AI in Healthcare, Finally!
Guy Scalzi, Chairman at Vantari Ventures
Vamsi Chandra, Senior Vice President at Practo
We asked Guy and Vamsi to join us today because they are having great success in bringing a Healthcare AI solution to the United States. Specifically, we discuss the following with Guy and Vamsi:
- (3:39) Guy, population health, value based contracts, at risk contracts and new reimbursement models are all hot topics in Healthcare. How can Practo’s Querent help healthcare providers deal with these challenges?
- (5:34) How is Practo’s Querent different from all the other analytics offerings in the market?
- (7:11) We’ve covered the challenges of analytics quite a bit on the Velocity Interoperability Podcast, yet my understanding is that providers are slow to adopt solutions to use analytics to drive substantive and positive change. Why do you believe providers are not aggressively pursuing these solutions from companies like Practo
- (11:49) What other key issues are top-of-mind for healthcare executives
- (12:40) How can people contact you to connect with your team at Vantari?
Velocity Health Informatics Inc., previously Health eGRC, was founded in 2011. We are a woman-owned company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Our solutions and services are designed to meet the needs of Accountable Care Organizations, Hospital Systems, Health Information Organizations and Insurers. Velocity is one of the few firms that provides medical record remediation and data integration/data quality AS-A-Service offerings for healthcare providers that are overwhelmed with the amount of medical record duplicates and errors and the issues those errors create up and downstream in their data integration.
About Guy Scalzi
Guy has 30 years of healthcare expertise and focuses on strategic planning. Guy began his career as a hospital administrator and went on to co-found DataEase International, a software company. He also served as CIO at New York Presbyterian Hospital, The New York/Cornell Medical Center, and the Hospital for Joint Diseases, at NYU Medical Center. Guy also served as a Principal at Aspen Advisors and Senior Vice President and Managing Director of FCG’s Outsourcing Services division.
Guy is an expert on information systems planning and governance and published “IT Governance in Hospitals and Health Systems“, the HIMSS Book of the Month in November 2014.
About Vamsi Chandra
Over the last 17 years, Vamsi has created many products predominantly in Healthcare Informatics and Analytics, the largest and most successful being Querent (Advanced analytics platform) and the Magnum Suite (HIS, RIS, PACS, EMR). As a part of his corporate journey, have been successful in M&A activities (3 acquisitions, and 2 Divestments). He has been a P&L owner and CTO responsible for growth and achieving targets year over year.
Join the Conversation
Please jump in and participate as your input will only improve our chances of success. The fine folks at Velocity are interested in exploring and improving our current states of medical record data quality and interoperability and this post is the first of many posts and (coming soon) podcasts reporting on current status and solutions. PLEASE bookmark this site and provide your input and feedback on a regular basis!
The Velocity Interoperability Blog and Velocity Interoperability Podcast are sponsored by Velocity Health Informatics. Velocity provides both data quality and data integration as a service offerings to ensure that healthcare providers access the correct patient record with the right data for each patient they serve.
Joe Lavelle: Welcome to the Velocity Interoperability Podcast brought to us by the gurus at Velocity, I am your host, Joe Lavelle and I am really looking forward to another thought provoking discussion where we further investigate data quality, interoperability and medical record remediation.
We’re going to get right to it today. We are joined by Guy Scalzi, Chairman at Vantari Ventures and Vamsi Chandra, Senior VP at Practo, one of Asia’s largest healthcare startups. Gentlemen, welcome to the Velocity Interoperability Podcast!
Guy Scalzi: Thank you Joe, we are pleased to be here.
Joe Lavelle: Well, thank you so much for making the time to be here today. Before we start our discussion, could you each take a few seconds and tell the audience about you and your background?
Guy Scalzi: Sure. I was a hospital administrator for two years in New York City and then got involved for the software startup, sold that company and came back to healthcare reinvented as CIO, I was CIO of NewYork–Presbyterian for a number of years, then did outsourcing and consulting and I continue to do consulting and also I’m a partner in Vantari Ventures which as it sounds is a venture fund investing in healthcare IT startups. Vamsi?
Vamsi Chandra: Thanks Joe, thanks Guy. I’m a serial entrepreneur at 3 startups before this, started my career with supercomputing in the last 18 years of being in healthcare, I’ve set up a telemedicine network across Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. The last startup was called Enlightiks which we sold in 2016 to Practo, one of Asia’s largest health tech startups. I head their analytics business now and I’m a Senior Vice President with them, also considered to be a board member on India chapter Asia Pacific region.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect and Vamsi, could you take the next couple of minutes and tell the audience how you serve your customers at Practo?
Vamsi Chandra: Practo’s Querent is an artificial intelligence and analytics platform focused in healthcare that we use to help our clients with efficient care management to optimize population health and make key decisions using our analytics and artificial intelligence platform. So, Querent’s presently deployed in over 800 hospitals, clinics and players in multiple countries and we have just recently entered into the US market with clients across the country, and we have Vantari as our primary distribution partner for the US market, and we also partner with Velocity because we know how important it is to have the right integration tools and services to pull out the right data while maintaining the data integrity which is probably one of the most key components and we’re very proud to be associated with Velocity in this journey.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect. Guy, population health, value-based contracts, at risk contracts and all these new reimbursement models they are all hot topics in Healthcare. How can Practo’s Querent help healthcare providers deal with all these challenges?
Guy Scalzi: Well, certainly Joe all of them require descriptive and predictive analytics. I think that’s really the key, clients start with quality and financial reporting which are at the heart of Querent. Using the same architecture Querent can analyze the data and provides predictive information to help optimize care. For example, at a client in New York right now, we’re helping them with their value based care cohorts, and one of the ones that we were working with is diabetic patients with schizophrenia. We look at that cohort and apply predictive models including social determinant data elements. We focus on the right patients for an outreach program. The care management module can reach out to these patient cohorts and help them enroll them into the right care plans and treatment pathways. The Querent algorithms use machine learning and natural language processing as well as AI tools to update indicators as more data is processed.
Joe Lavelle: I have to tell you guys both that this is very exciting to me to hear and to listen to. In my internship in college 30 some odd years ago, I was lucky enough to work at General Dynamics in Fort Worth, and during my internship I was involved in AI projects, and when I graduated and got out into the industry, it took me a couple of years to get into healthcare, but I was just certain that the AI that I learned in the manufacturing of fighter jets could easily be applied to healthcare and was sorely disappointed that I had to wait 30 years. But now I’m very excited that AI has finally reached healthcare, so with that said I’ll let either one of you take this. How is Practo’s Querent different from all the other analytics offerings out there in the market?
Guy Scalzi: Well, you just described one Joe and that the artificial intelligence built in is pretty new to healthcare, and it’s a very significant component of Querent. We think that as you’ve just said, I mean healthcare is pretty much behind many other industries in this and really needs to catch up. So ACO is another value-based care initiatives, increase the complexity of patient engagement because providers engaging a patient across the community instead of on a campus or in a bed, in a hospital or in the clinic, so it’s a much more complex environment.
Many analytics offerings are claims- or facility-centric which makes it difficult to truly address its market. Querent can ingest multiple data types from numerous organizations, and then develop a comprehensive view of the patient’s health and treatments, which is so important in taking care of people today. Querent can view a patient retrospectively and prospectively using the machine learning, natural language and AI that you were talking about to provide a clinician with critical insights. In addition, we have a clinical and technical team who work with clients to configure or customize client to meet their unique requirements.
As we all know, if you’ve seen one healthcare organization, you’ve seen one healthcare organization, right? That’s the standard in this business and many products do some of these analytics, but we don’t really see a competitor out there that as comprehensive in offering.
Joe Lavelle: You know in this podcast we’ve covered the challenges of analytics, throughout our history we’ve been doing 14 months now, and we keep hoping that we’re going to make progress and providers are going to be quick to adopt these solutions, but they’re not. Why are providers not aggressively pursuing solutions from companies like Practo?
Guy Scalzi: Well, that’s changing, they are getting more to understand it. But I think they’ve been consumed with Meaningful Use, Meaningful Use 2 to PQRS, ACO, that alphabet soup requirements that everybody faces every day. Typically, it’s required extensive and costly EMR implementations which in many cases are really just wrapping up and moving on to optimization. Clients then find that their EMR doesn’t have all the data that they need. I’ve yet to see an organization that manages to get everything into one application, so as much as they try to standardize and move data into one repository it is really across the organization.
So, it’s difficult to access and share the data when it’s in proprietary silos, and that impedes the quality and financial reporting. It’s also a challenge to admit that there are foundational components which need refinement after major implementation or upgrades. So you’ve spent those hundreds of millions of dollars and still you’ve got these outliers. And in comparison to the cost to what people spend that EMR Querent Analytics is the very low cost valuable investment, there is also a critical client work requirement in patient engagement and care management.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect. Those that listened and not only this podcast, but my other podcasts now that one of my soapbox is interoperability, and I believe those guys that got together in DC years ago to define Meaningful Use really made a big mistake by not making sure interoperability was a part MU1 much less MU2 or 3 or going on, but what I’m really excited about is products like Querent are masking that problem, you’re making it easier for a customer that got so overwhelmed by installing their EMR, they haven’t had time to optimize it as you said, at least now they can mine the data in their own set of systems and get those outcomes, that Guy I sat the room probably just like you did as they were selecting these EMRs for hundreds of millions of dollars, and EMR vendors were telling them, once you get this EMR then you’re going to have all this data available to you. Well, the truth was they had all the data but it was buried deep, and you need some sort of tool like your tool to get that out of their EMR.
Guy Scalzi: Absolutely. Vamsi, do you have a comment on that?
Vamsi Chandra: So Joe, with most of these EMR implementations, right? There is a lot of structure data using which the EMR companies can produce reports, or even dashboards for that matter. But what happens to all of the data, which is in unstructured format in progress notes, in clinical notes and microbiology reports or histopathology reports and so on and so forth, or even radiology reports for that matter. One of the core elements of Querent is that there is a very, very strong natural language processing tool built into it. In fact, in one of the recent conferences, we showcase our algorithms and using unsupervised machine learning models without any human supervision for the first time that you actually for the data set into the product it is 94% accurate and that is like unimaginably good.
With some kind of learning or supervised learning, the system can easily reach 96, 97% accuracy which means all of that wealth of information, wealth of knowledge that’s stored in doctor’s notes, the system can actually bring those important elements from it and it’s now available for the end users to mine the data. So, for example, if the doctor said do you know how many patients who had a heart attack in acute myocardial infarction also had an afib event out there within the age group of 40 to 60 (year old) males coming in from Brooklyn Borough and also had ABC problems. This is how you would search in Google, but you cannot search in EMR. Now, using our tool, you could search as if this just like the Google interface. So, that’s one of the key elements of the platform that we are providing.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect, thank you for adding that. I really appreciate it. Guys, what are some of the other key issues that are top-of-mind right now for healthcare executives if they think about what they’re going to spend their money on in 2018?
Guy Scalzi: Well, certainly as always, it’s the top and the bottom line. And we don’t think there’s any better investment they can make than analytics and care management. And this isn’t just something that the CIO or the IT department really have to focus on. We find our most successful clients have business owners that drive the actual reporting and implementation of the product to get exactly what they need and this is the chief administrative officer, the chief medical officer, the CFO and the rest of the C-suite has to be involved and make this a priority in order to get what they really need to impact the bottom line and improve patient care.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect, I’m sure there’s going to be a ton of interest, people want to know more. What’s the best way to contact you and your team at Vantari, Guy?
Guy Scalzi: Best is my email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to vantarihealth.com which is our website.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect. Guy and Vamsi, it was so great to hear your story, thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom with our audience!
Guy Scalzi: Thank you Joe, we look forward to helping clients overcome their interoperability and data quality challenges, so they can improve their levels of patient engagement. That’s what this is all about certainly.
Joe Lavelle: Absolutely.
Vamsi Chandra: Thank you Joe.
Joe Lavelle: It’s totally our pleasure. Before we wrap this conversation, we’d like to thank the great folks at Velocity for sponsoring our show. Please go to www.velocityhealthinformartics.com to find out more about the innovative ways they are solving data quality and interoperability needs of our clients and now on behalf of guests Guy Scalzi and Vamsi Chandra, I’m Joe Lavelle, we’ll be back soon with another informative episode of the Velocity Interoperability Podcast.