Q&A with Matthew Sappern, CEO at PeriGen

Media 7 | September 30, 2021

Matthew Sappern, CEO at PeriGen, had served as a corporate officer for Eclipsys Corporation before and during its merger with Allscripts. Leading up to the merger, Sappern served as Eclipsys Senior Vice President of Professional Services, responsible for the company’s $100M consulting, implementation and training P&L. Sappern joined Eclipsys in January 2003, as VP of product development in the software engineering division. Over a time of three years, he came to run 75 percent of the development operation and oversaw the delivery of three critical enterprise software releases in record time for the company.

We are at the beginning of a remarkable age of technical and clinical alchemy.



MEDIA 7: You have had a profound professional career of over 30 years, could you please share a glimpse of your wonderful journey?
MATTHEW SAPPERN:
My career has been anything but a straight line. I actually started in the media industry and thirty years later I am fortunate to be leading a team of mission-driven healthcare professionals and technologists, making what I believe is a profound difference in the lives of mothers and babies. I have benefitted from proximity to talented, brilliant people just about everywhere I have worked.


M7: What are your thoughts on the penetration of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in the healthcare domain and what changes do you see happening in the near future?
MS:
AI is still a nascent idea in healthcare, limited by quality data and by clinical acceptance. This will change over time. The sheer number of patients vs healthcare workers present challenges of scale and resultingly open the door to automation of all types. In my experience, I have come to believe that machine learning technologies can and should play a critical part in augmenting, not replacing, current clinical care. These tools can reduce the amount of subjectivity and variability in the assessment and delivery of care and reduce clinical bias and normalization of deviance which have a negative impact on the quality of care.


Machine learning technologies can and should play a critical part in augmenting, not replacing, current clinical care.



M7: PeriGen’s mission is ‘Protect Moms and Babies.’ To what extent has PeriGen’s AI patient safety platform improved the ‘Labor and Delivery’ healthcare?
MS:
PeriGen solutions use AI tools to augment subjective assessments with objective, data-driven assessments. More than half the adverse events in term births are preventable and studies show a prevalence of delayed recognition and response to clinical warning signs. In L&D, a single nurse is typically the arbiter of how a mother or fetus is tolerating labor and that can be dangerous. Variation in experience, training, clinical bias, and normalization of deviance all challenge that nurse as she strives to make the right call, and to effectively communicate her clinical assessments to the rest of the care team. 


M7: Could you please give us an insight about the upcoming ‘@AWHONN Virtual Conference’ and what message does it hold for the attendees?
MS:
I don’t have much insight other than I think everyone was hoping to get together in person, but safety has to come first. I am sure the decision to go virtual was difficult but governed by concern for the nursing constituency.


In short: find smart, committed people and pave their way.



M7: You have led PeriGen through a period of innovation and growth as well as multiplied its market share and revenue. Would you like to share some of your preferred strategies behind this success?
MS:
For the last decade I held fast to the fundamental view that technology should be helping nurses manage in an increasingly challenging clinical environment. I never wavered from this view. I then surrounded myself with brilliant people, made sure they understood and believed in the mission, and did my best to listen and move obstacles to let these brilliant people do their thing. In short: find smart, committed people and pave their way.


M7: What advice would you like to give our readers starting their careers in this sector?
MS:
I believe we are at the beginning of a remarkable age of technical and clinical alchemy, so your timing is perfect. Always maintain a great respect for the healthcare providers you work with because the secret is to design great technology that these amazing people want to use.

ABOUT PERIGEN

PeriGen is the global leader in applying AI to perinatal care. It is the only technology company deploying FDA-cleared AI algorithms at the bedside, its software has been featured in numerous peer-reviewed publications and has been shown to help health systems significantly reduce unanticipated NICU transfers.

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