Revon Systems to work with Oxford University

Revon Systems, the digital therapeutics company based in Crestwood, Ky., just outside of Louisville, is leveraging the bright mathematics minds of Oxford University with its own team of data scientists to do collaborative research on digital treatments of chronic illness.

Revon’s SmartCOPD app | Courtesy Revon Systems

The partnership aims to develop algorithms for digital therapies using Oxford’s program in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modeling “to bring the latest methods in machine-learning, predictive modeling, and decision science to bear on Revon’s digital therapies,” the partners said in a news release.

Revon is the company behind an array of digital technologies that help patients become more active participants in their health. The company says it has a built-in machine learning feature called a Smart Symptom Tracker, which helps patients interpret troubling symptoms and signs with the goal of finding the right level of care. One of its first apps targeted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD.

Ted Smith, Revon’s chief executive, told Insider, “Before we had smartphones, it was virtually impossible to know how someone was doing at home.” Smith, the former chief of civic innovation for Louisville, added: “From our perspective, it’s a young field and market. It’s the right place and the right time to tackle health problems.”

In a phone interview, Revon’s Chief Data Scientist Dr. Sumanth Swaminathan noted that Oxford was the premier mathematics institution in the world trying to push industrial research with its existing partnership program with industry. “We have a relationship over there,” he explained, and so Revon decided to join the Oxford program with the goal being “to have a specific presence in novel research.”

Sumanth Swaminathan, chief data scientist, Revon Systems

For Oxford, the industry tie-ups allow it to publish in journals and get graduate students trained in high-impact novel methods with the hope of developing more partnerships and collaborations, Swaminathan said.

Oxford said it would offer to Revon graduate student interns and faculty consultation on novel modeling and data analytic methods and contribute refereed publication level analysis and presentation of findings.

In the release, Chris Breward, director of the InFoMM Center for Doctoral Training, said, “Revons’ push to leverage cutting-edge modeling and machine learning techniques to reduce adverse health events in patients with chronic illnesses provides an exciting opportunity for Oxford’s faculty and students to collaborate on important medical problems.”

Revon gets access to “really smart people offering ideas and research methods that perhaps we wouldn’t have thought of,” via Oxford, Swaminathan said.

Revon will provide resource support, data, and existing scientific knowledge in algorithmic triage, the company said, adding, it would offer device and prototyping support to rapidly test and execute potential solutions that emerge.

The timing of the Revon-Oxford partnership comes as there has been an explosion in health data capturing the attention of scientists. “That climate provides joint interest in solving problems between institutions like Oxford and us,” Swaminathan said.