Pratah: Aggregating Disparate Healthcare IT Solutions Under Single Umbrella

Date:   Monday , April 11, 2016

It is undeniable that the healthcare IT industry has been on the rise for quite some time. Experts are optimistic that 2016 will usher healthcare to people\'s fingertips via smartphones, not merely for health monitoring, but also for diagnosis and treatment. But, being a fairly complex domain with stringent government mandates, it grapples with snail-like pace in innovations and an even slower rate of industry adoption vis-a-vis other industries. Vast domain knowledge being a must factor, the healthcare industry holds higher barriers that prohibit startups from entering - particularly in U.S. The innovations bursting out of these barriers still suffer with limited potential, since they are all locked up in silos. Interoperability being the biggest barrier that blocks data capture and thus automation, the healthcare industry is crying out for an overarching system to increase its RoI.

Shattering the Barriers

As an antidote to this problem of disparate healthcare systems, Pratah Healthcare Technologies was born recently as a strategic partnership betweenPratian Technologies, a Bangalore-based innovative IT Solutions company, and Access Health Care, LLC, a Florida-headquartered multi-service medical facility, shook hands as partners. \"Since 2014, Pratian has been building a suite of healthcare products along with Access, chiefly for primary consumers in U.S. geographies and eventually for global geographies. Recently, we took the relationship to the next level and incepted this partnership as a focused healthcare incubation company,\" remarks Subramanian Sivakumar, CEO, Pratian Technologies. Aside from being a fusion of Prat in Pratian and AH in Access Health Care, PRATAH, which means the dawn of a new morning, also indicates the advent of an unprecedented overarching technology this venture has given life to.

\"We are bringing together the hitherto disparate healthcare applications and functionalities to form an end-to-end suite,\" explains Dr. Pariksith Singh, Founder & CEO, Access Health Care, LLC. This remarkably creative and dynamically interactive platform bringing diverse skills together will be a bridge adjoining healthcare providers and IT professionals, which is a crucial element that has been notably lacking in the healthcare world of late. Built with a design thinking approach that enforces collaboration with each team, this suite helps software developers to provide what doctors really need.

Embarking on its journey in 2001 with a couple of providers, Access sped its way to the top and cemented its ability as a proficient organization. Today it has over 250 providers under its umbrella with total headcount of 800 employees and annual accrued turnover exceeding $500 million. With major focus on patient care, Access improves the quality of patients\' lives and their healthcare outcomes not only via its solutions for hospitals, healthcare centers, radiologists and diagnostic centers, but also brings it straight to their doorsteps via social media. Access is building a giant claims platform for healthcare insurance, a professional community portal and a huge data warehouse, numerous applications for Third Party Administration under the name MIRRA and ACO Analytics, an application for accountable care organizations among several others.

Making a key gearshift, Pratah is adjoining all of these interoperable technologies together to craft a large ERP that is also comprised of healthcare IT educational management that accelerates Healthcare IT. This will also act as a platform for startups to work on top off. \"Every single application that we have built in partnership with Access to address real complex problems in U.S. healthcare industry, is from scratch,\" adds Subramanian.

Expert Talent - The Key

Due to the huge gap between what academics offer and what industry needs, organizations have to spend a dismal amount on salary payouts and trainings for 6-8 months. The challenge is greater for some organizations building products from scratch, where the talents can be deployed only after the assessment of a technical mentor within the company promising the fitment of talents, certification from business head assuring that they are business ready and a \'go ahead\' in customer interview. Then comes the biggest nightmare - attrition. Whether to make a progressive jump or being tired of sitting on the bench, a fresher\'s average stay in a company generally oscillates around two years. Having frittered away nine months in making the fresher productive, the company only derives 15 productive months. Bridging this gap by creating ready-to-deploy talents just adeptly, but also swiftly, Pratian Technologies, through its innovative SkillAssure Framework, slashes this training cycle to help you gain 23 productive months. And imagine how enormous the benefits can be, if you can achieve the same in a scale for thousand people.

SkillAssure - A Unique Iterative Learning Model

Most learning models are in waterfall fashion, where they move from easy to the complex topics. Pratian broke this cycle with a unique iterative model, where the complex topics are taught over and over. After all, it is these complex topics that organizations really use in their projects. Once they complete Pratian\'s training, they will not take more than a month to understand the processes and domain, and get billable. What can be a painful exercise for organizations of all sizes is handled proficiently by Pratian, since it already has a proven and well thought out system in place. Another major strength of the company is the quality of its talents. Pratian culls employees from all over the country.

\"Last year we hired 85 people, which gave us access to nearly 25,000 people all over the country,\" reveals Subramanian. Pratian once built a learning management platform for SINDA, a large non-profit, government initiative, in Singapore to help the HR team to up-skill about 20,000 underprivileged students. As many clients are excitedly sourcing ready-to-deploy talents from Pratian, the company is spinning off as a talent development company under the brand Global Edify.

Till 2006, the sought after experts - Subramanian and Krishna Kumar S (Chief Solution Architect), were consulting and training over 30 large IT companies in India including GE, Siemens, Philips and Oracle. Pratian was established with a vision to impact atleast a million people and offer a platform to young talent in this country to showcase their capabilities building applications for global geographies. While continuing their consulting engagements, they built SKILL ASSURE - a framework to up-skill people who are fresh out of universities in 2009. During the first pilot in Manhattan Technologies, Pratian trained 15 young talents for as little as 16 days and deployed them on a complex supply chain management system. Kick-started its journey with four people visiting the U.S., Pratian proliferated into a 110 people strong enterprise within ten short months.

A Culture Resonating Trust

Though Pratian has today grown into a 160 people entity, it still doesn\'t have a leave policy, fixed work timings, remuneration policy or a HR department. \"We have an open work culture and a flat hierarchy. The whole culture is built on trust,\" says Subramanian. Pratian is enriched with people with 2-3 years of experience (or lesser). But don\'t misinterpret the youthful boom for inexpertness, since it is them who successfully built the extremely complex applications and architected giant products in an amazingly short time. The whole culture orbits around the values of integrity, passion and competence.

In spite of the abundant opportunities in the market and the copious talent its people carry, Pratian has not faced attrition thus far. More than the financial remuneration, the open culture and transparency are considered as the biggest incentives by Pratians. Considering that its major focus is on healthcare, which is crammed up with complexities, the company invests heavily in constantly sharpening its people strength around soft skills, analytics, standards like HL7 and processes like Electronic Data Interchange. Pratian has neither seen a day where its people are not trained, nor a day when a person carries a blame for undertaking a risky innovation that ended up in failure. \"Every time we fail, it offers us the greatest leaning opportunity. It is critical for innovation,\" asserts Subramanian. Access has similar mindset, which is evident by the fact that it has built 14 large applications in 12 months. It obviously requires a lot of risk taking, readiness to fail and learn by doing.

The Road Ahead

CREDAXIS - built in less than eight months, was pre-launched in Florida on last September. Already acquired five clients, Pratian plans to initiate marketing the same from April. The company that has established its operations in U.S. through its partner company, Pratian has signed up to commence its operations in Columbia and Mexico. Keeping with the spirit, the company also aims to broaden its territory across APAC, starting with Singapore and Oman. However, raising capital is not in the vicinity of this bootstrapped company.

In 2017, Pratian intends to start an intrapreneurship model to breed people with strong abilities to run projects as business head. Pratian also plans to setup a large innovation campus in India, where global talents can come together with Indian talent. It would offer a platform for incubation of ideas to solve healthcare problems and also create acceleration programs. Having invested 200,000 hours in building its interoperable platform with holistic integrated modules, Pratah is excited about its launch in May 2016.Having inherited the vast industry knowledge of Access and innovative spirit of Pratian, Pratah seems to have all the ammo it needs to emerge into an envious phenomenon that rules the roost.

Key management

Subramanian Sivakumar, Founder, CEO & MD, Pratian Technologies & PRATAH
Besides Pratian, Subramanian also spearheads a group of companies including SkillAssure Varsity, a fast growing Skills Development company, and PRATAH, a joint venture focused on healthcare. He wears many hats as a Product Evangelist, startups consultant, enterprise applications builder,trainer up-skilling employees of corporate clients, design & architecture consultant and many more. Subramanian also heads Arbinger India, a global leadership development and management consulting company operating in over 20 countries with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Pariksith Singh, CEO, Access Health Care, LLC
A practicing physician, philanthropist, mentor, writer, student and facilitator for the last 30 years, Pariksith is also the father of Access II, Integral Health Care (an Accountable Care Organization), Auroveda Operating Foundation, LLC, and numerous other entrepreneurial ventures. He manages one of the largest practice groups in Florida (currently consisting of over 250 employed and affiliated physicians in 90 locations).

Offices: Bangalore (Headquarter) and U.S.

Clients: Integral (U.S.), Primecare (Florida), Ultimate, SINDA, MIRRA, GE, Siemens, Philips and Oracle to name a few.