Masimo medical device CEO Joe Kiani often cites the statistic that 200,000 patients per year in the U.S. die preventable deaths under the care of doctors and physicians.
With the inaugural Kiani aims to reduce that number -- which was found by a Hearst Corporation investigation in 2009 -- to zero by 2020.
To start, he persuaded eight major medical device manufacturers to join his company in sharing all their health data with one another. Kiani's Mission Viejo-based company makes monitors that measure hemoglobin levels, brain function and oxygen in blood, among others.
His goal is to have a patient's pulse and brain function monitors communicate with a system that also stores radiological and blood sugar data, along with other real-time information hospitals collect on patients in their care.
One of the biggest causes of preventable death in hospitals is the failure of doctors and nurses to recognize in a timely manner symptoms indicating a major problem, Kiani said.
"We'll have a superhighway of patient data," Kiani said. "From the devices, they'll all go to some algorithm that says, 'We think this could be happening to you.'
"Right now, it's data overload," he continued. "The only time [clinicians] get a good look at the data is after the fact."
Major health monitor manufacturers Circuit Board, GE, Cerner, Smith Medical, SonoSite Fuji, Surgicount Medical and Zoll Medical all vowed to share their patient data.
But that's just one pillar in the plan hashed out at the conference, which hosted former U.S. President Bill Clinton as keynote speaker.
Kiani said hospitals, clinics and blood banks could start implementing other measures right away to reduce patient deaths.
One tool under discussion at the conference was surgery and intensive-care checklists. First promoted by Dr. Peter Provonost, simple lists of steps to take before a procedure can drastically reduce patient deaths, according to studies Provonost and successive researchers have performed. Provonost, who was honored at the conference, won a MacArthur Genius Grant for his work in 2008.
Also, Kiani said, blood from bloodbanks is overused in surgical procedures. Much of it is too old, with deteriorated red cells, he said.
Hospitals treat blood "like it's water," he said. "It's not. Some of this is 40-day-old blood. Would you eat a steak that had been in the fridge for 40 days? You look at it through a microscope... the blood cells can't go through capillaries."
Another major cause of preventable patient death is medical mistakes -- often involving misprescribed drugs or incorrect dosages.
Kiani said the conference was inspired by Clinton's global charity initiatives. Last June, Kiani traveled to Africa with Clinton to watch his process. Rather than just raising money in the manner of traditional nonprofits, Clinton was able to build "networks of creative cooperation," as Clinton explained in his keynote address.
The goal of the patient safety summit was to create such a network, Kiani said.
Kiani started his company in 1989 with a $40,000 loan against his condo and $100 million from investors. It has since grown into a major manufacturer with revenues of $500 million per year.