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May - 2016 - issue > siTech20 2016 - 20 Most Promising Technology Companies 2016
SI Team
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Healthcare technology has evolved, from paper to digital, through a combination of market pressure as well as governmental mandate. It moved from 1950s style heavy logbooks to the era of complex health records systems where huge amounts of patient and imaging data are stored, analyzed and retrieved every minute. With the ACA (ObamaCare),healthcare delivery and payment models in the U.S. are rapidly transforming from volume to value based payment models. What does this mean? Doctors and hospitals are no longer paid just on volume of office visits, surgeries, or admissions but on patient satisfaction and ACTUAL objectively measured quality of care. At the same time, genomic research and discovery are changing diagnosis and treatment decisions. Patients also have access to instant information with text messaging, email, and thousands of apps. But all of these incredible digital, genomic, and machine learning advances in medicine are very limited, since there is no connected data exchange to bring the "best treatment to the right patient just in time." "Interoperability" in healthcare means refers to the seamless exchange of "big" medical data, genomics, and the IoT(Internet of things). Healthcare Interoperability requires a universal translator, and a connected network, much as the internet grew.

"When I was a practicing physician, a patient would show up in my office, and oftentimes, I would have no prior knowledge that the patient had been admitted to the hospital in recent weeks. There was no coordination of information. The stock market and weather had more real time information than medical practice," says Sanjay Patil, CEO of Care Connectors. "Understanding this short coming, we built Health tech products and solutions to connect the entire healthcare ecosystem in real-time." Care Connectors, a B2B company, facilitates health systems, medical insurance firms, pharmacies, laboratories, and device companies to exchange healthcare data in a secure, closed loop network. "We are more than a SAAS provider, we have a connected network behind it. This empowers organizations by creating virtual private data exchanges, at a fraction of the cost of public HIE solutions. At Care Connectors, we solve complex healthcare data exchange challenges for customers without building costly interfaces or forcing our customers to become experts in developing software for the highly regulated U.S. healthcare technology ecosystem." Headquartered in the Bay area, the company's solutions combine clinical, claims, cost, and genomic data to be mined, and exchanged in allow near real-time monitoring of chronic care, anywhere in the world by leveraging mobile devices and the IoT. For instance, if a patient takes a glucose reading with a Bluetooth enabled glucometer, and it is out of range, their doctor and family would be informed about it in seconds."The diabetes nurse can immediately initiate a video call, and make dosage adjustments. We even have technology that interacts with patients through their television and remote control, to remind them of activity and medication recommendations." says Patil.

From this data, Care Connectors is able to perform complex analytics to identify patterns that might result in a bad outcome, such as hospitalization. They use statistical analysis, and machine learning, even using esoteric technology such as GPU acceleration to rapidly calculate risk and predict outcomes.

The company provides a simple web services API for application and device organizations to communicate with doctors and patients. Organizations that utilize the Care Connector's API can start within a short duration of time, at a fraction of cost. "We combine our API and network to allow incredible scale," points out Patil. "A patient never has to leave their home for medical care. Using our healthcare ecosystem partners, a person can have a video call with a doctor, get diagnosed, get prescriptions ordered, and even have someone come to their home to draw blood for laboratory testing. We combine FitBit and Apple watch data into the calculations, along with retail data from loyalty programs such as Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens. You have a single database of information regarding disease, medications, genetics, physical activity, allergies, even what they eat." In addition, with changing laws in many states, doctors get reimbursed at the same rate as an in office visit. The federal government is now compensating for chronic care for diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and heart failure. Care Connectors' technology is not limited to the U.S. Family members in the U.S. can keep an eye on the health of loved ones overseas, and even be part of doctor consultations, using mobile devices.

Providing Tomorrow's Technology, Today

Sitting at the center of the healthcare ecosystem, the company's solutions are faster, better, and cheaper. They meet or exceed the legal, security and privacy requirements of the U.S. and state legislatures. In an instance, Care Connectors assisted a health system provider connect their Electronic Health Record (EHR)systems with a bio metric monitoring gateway for patients with diabetes and heart failures. "By analyzing the data, we were able to identify high risk patients, and enroll them in intensive monitoring data that helped doctors to make the best decisions for patients after their discharged process," explains Patil. This dropped read missions from24 percent to three percent, which in and of itself resulted in cost savings of several hundred thousand dollars, not to mention happy patients.

Care Connectors' unique data model, that combines medical/clinical, claims, cost, consumption and genomic data is a key differentiator. With a global presence in seven countries, the company believes that the most exciting technology is combining the "big data" of genomics with healthcare data. "Genomics and information science will change the planet more than the internet did." At a recent presentation with John Sculley, former Apple CEO, they commented that "Genomics that will change the way healthcare providers feed populations, identify disease, and pick treatments."The cost of sequencing went from ten billion dollars to sequence one person, to less than 500 dollars per person. Care Connectors have developed specific applications and predictive models to mine genomic data in order to identify best drug and treatment for patients. "We have built a scalable architecture to handle ever increasing volumes of data along with the new data-genomics data," says Patil. "With our unified data model, we can aggregate large datasets in healthcare-harmonizing it for data scientists to leverage, while combining clinical, cost, genomics data that powers our engine and network."Incorporating dynamic updates to their genomics database on a regular basis, the company helps data scientists around the world to bring relevant information immediately to the point of care. "This is how we can deliver precision medicine today, instead often years from now."

Domain Rich Minds Behind Innovation

"When I graduated from medical college, I was told that half of everything we had been taught, will eventually be proven to be incorrect. Now, 20 years later, this statement has turn into reality. Science has advanced dramatically," says Patil. "We are putting significant resources behind connecting health insurance companies, pharmacies, and consumer analytics data to find patterns of behavior that can predict superior and bad outcomes," concludes Patil.
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