The unprecedented levels of data generated in the global healthcare industry present a wealth of opportunities for growth, provided the sector harnesses the datasets in an optimal fashion.
San Francisco-headquartered Innovaccer helps organisations make powerful decisions based on key insights and predictions from their data. So far, the company’s products have been deployed by over 10,000 providers across 500 locations.
Founded by three friends Abhinav Shashank, Kanav Hasija and Sandeep Gupta, Innovaccer has become one of the leading healthcare activation platform companies in the last six years. While Abhinav and Kanav were batchmates at IIT Kharagpur, Sandeep and Abhinav met while working at diversified industrial manufacturing company, Ingersoll Rand. While working in different projects, the trio realised the burgeoning importance of data in developing smart strategies across industries.
However, the data was distributed across multiple large silos. Combining, crunching and analysing this data efficiently and in real-time to deliver an in-depth understanding of the looming problems was a challenge. To address this, they developed the FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform.
To know more about FHIR technology and how it is driving a data-based strategy to improve decision making across healthcare institutions, private health plans and government organisations, Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Sandeep Gupta, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Innovaccer.
AIM: How has Innovaccer grown in the last few years from exploring big data to derive insights to bringing FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform into life?
Sandeep: When we started Innovaccer, we initially wished to use our data activation platform to help any field or industry that needed it to explore big data to derive insight. However, once we looked at the US healthcare industry, we realised that our Data Activation Platform could do so much more than just crunch data. In 2015, we left 70% of our revenue on the table to realign our focus and save lives. Six years later, we have enabled more than 37,000 providers to transform care delivery and work collaboratively with payers across 1,000 locations. Innovaccer has unified records for more than 24 million members by using the connected care framework and generated more than $600 million in savings.
There were hundreds of sleepless nights, and we spent thousands of hours developing our proprietary data activation platform, which was both robust and customisable. It helped us in developing tailor-made solutions for both large and small size healthcare organisations and federal plans. We wanted to make using the solution a piece of cake for the people, and the platform is such that no one has to spend more than minutes trying to understand it. We have a dedicated clinical team of some of the world’s most renowned clinicians assisting us in our end-user approach. Tremendously reputed technology luminaries helm our engineering vertical, and we are committed to making our data activation platform extremely agile, fast, and secure.
AIM: What roles do machine learning and data analytics play at Innovaccer?
Sandeep: Our technology suite aims to assist care teams in the moment of care in a manner most suitable for them. See, the data is endless, and we can always play with it. But the point is, can we provide insights that can help healthcare stakeholders across the care continuum in mitigating through the system more seamlessly?
I will give you an example. One of the leading health systems in the US implemented an AI-assisted risk-scoring methodology offered by Innovaccer’s analytics platform, which helped them enhance the accuracy of their risk scoring algorithm four times. Furthermore, the Social Determinants of Health data (SDOH) also enhanced this power by five times.
With our advanced machine learning algorithms, we developed an integrated model to determine the effect of SDOH in any region in the US drilled down to the zip (pin) code level.
The CMS-HCC score analysis showed that the health system had 12,000 patients with a risk score greater than 1.5. The extensive predictive modelling revealed that 2,000 patients required immediate attention instead of the 12,000 patients predicted by the CMS-HCC risk-adjusted model by taking the machine learning-driven approach. It also disclosed that out of the 2,000 patients, only 1,200 were the ones who had at least once visited their hospital or clinic.
With the predictive analysis of their clinical and non-clinical data, the organisation could identify high-risk patients and successfully improve population health. The insights obtained enabled them to automate their care management approach. With efficient and personalised care management, the organisation plugged care gaps, reduced the 30-day readmission rate by 7.14%, reduced ED utilisation rate by 6.65%, generated millions of dollars in savings, and much more.
Throughout this exercise, we didn’t rely on just one type of insight. Doctors wanted to know one thing, and something else mattered more for nurses. The finance team wanted to know about their overall utilisation, and the administration cared for high-level insights. Patients were, of course, concerned about totally different things. Our proprietary algorithms provided them with just what they needed. We believe in our technology suite, but we don’t do analysis based solely on our assumptions. We want to hear the voices of the people we serve. This is what sets us apart.
AIM: How does Innovaccer power the healthcare industry with its FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform and other offerings?
Sandeep: The FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform that we created is highly customisable, making it easy to work with for any organisation, ranging from small to large enterprises, government organisations, health plan firms, hospitals, and health systems, et al.
Our state-of-the-art data integration and analytics infrastructure is exceptionally stable and intuitive, and can ingest any amount of data with utmost ease. We always wanted our product to be globally available; hence, we streamlined data integration and care delivery for over 500 practice locations in real-time from the beginning. The platform’s entire design has been created, keeping the end-users in mind, namely the leadership of an organisation, doctors, nurses, et al., and is, therefore, extremely user-friendly.
We made it so that the end-user has relevant information immediately available to them, with a single click. Innovaccer leverages artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to generate insights that help organisations achieve better clinical outcomes and drive healthcare efficiency. Innovaccer’s Data Activation Platform’s micro-service architecture provides flexibility and addresses specific needs by fitting the organisation rather than the organisation fitting to the product.
Our products have received recognition from various independent analysts and research firms of international repute, including Forbes, KLAS, Gartner, Black Book Market Research, and more, due to their user-friendly and extremely customisable framework. Deployed across more than 1,000 locations, our data analytics offerings have enabled more than 37,000 providers to transform care delivery. We empower care teams in the moment of care, and before and after that too. We understand that the process of care delivery is not just limited to the four walls of a clinic, and our holistic approval to improve care outcomes considers all facets of a patient journey and leverages care teams with the most critical insights.
AIM: What was the impact of pandemic on Innovaccer?
Sandeep: The global pandemic brought forth the cracks in our healthcare system, the ones that we have been trying to plug since 2014. We found an opportunity in these challenging times as we started working doubly hard to overcome our industry’s struggles through our various COVID-19 tools, including telehealth products, Command Center for Healthcare Executives, and COVID-19 Management System.
Together, these provided a unified information hub for an organisation to manage their COVID-19 resources and operations and empower their team with unprecedented visibility into their environment. This included COVID-19 resource optimisation and inventory management, 360-degree visibility into all their COVID-19 operations, advanced COVID-19 trend forecasting and action planning, helping them take full control of their COVID-19 management activities.
AIM: How did the private sector help fight the pandemic in terms of the contributions, initiatives, and innovations?
Sandeep: Healthcare organisations worldwide were severely affected by COVID-19, and the last year’s events took everyone by surprise. The uniqueness of the current scenario can be understood by the fact that most of us haven’t witnessed a healthcare emergency of this gravitas in our lifetimes, implying a lack of prior experience and preparedness.
Healthcare leaders across the nation were at their toes to ensure their organisations stay on top of all those challenges and save lives and avoid financial depreciation. In such times, many organisations resorted to substantial investments in virtual care delivery systems and other technologies. At this junction, private organisations joined hands with government establishments.
The private sector championed the cause of digitalisation of care and helped organisations in more than one way, right from helping in early detection to hospital bed management. When the world was adjusting to the new normal, the private sector orchestrated the shift. It ensured healthcare authorities and care teams stay connected throughout while educating patients through timely guidelines and informative material. Further, the private-public collaboration also helped with real-time patient tracking, monitoring, and even workforce management. In fact, Innoavaccer built India’s first COVID-19 mobile self-assessment application for the Government of Goa, followed by developing a similar application for the Government of Puducherry.
AIM: Tell us about the implementation of FHIR at healthcare institutions and its various benefits.
Sandeep: FHIR builds on previous data format standards from HL7, like HL7 version 2.x and HL7 version 3.x, and is even easier to implement. Our FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform can run state-of-the-art analytics. It essentially collects raw data scattered everywhere, integrates it, normalises it, and parses it through its algorithms to provide trends and predictions in a structured, consumable, and ready-to-use manner. Deployed across 1,000 locations, it has unified records for more than 24 million members and generated more than $600 million in savings.
Innovaccer’s user-friendly and customisable FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform helps one go from integrating data to powering innovation. We connect and manage integrations to clinical, claims, labs, and other healthcare data sources onto our advanced FHIR platform. In addition to this, we run 800+ analytical enrichments to clinical and claims data, including risk, quality, cost, utilisation, and many other metrics, as well as provide extensive support on FHIR resources as an instant API for engineers to develop on. Our workflows help care teams reach the desired efficiency and are made better with suggestions from 25,000+ providers.
AIM: What are the challenges you face when it comes to leveraging new-age tech in the healthcare domain?
Sandeep: Healthcare Technology, as a domain, is a rapidly growing one. However, every organisation is on a different stage as far as embracing it in their care operations is concerned. While working with legacy systems is one area where it gets tricky at times, the more significant challenge is integrating systems that do not talk to each other. We understood this problem at the very beginning of our journey, and we have developed our products keeping this issue in mind.
Each client we work with has different needs and understanding of what data can do for them. Worse still, sometimes healthcare leaders aren’t on the same page about where their priorities lie as an organisation.
We understand that healthcare organisations are still getting accustomed to what healthcare technology has to offer. Right from implementation to bringing real issues to the surface through our powerful and real-time data analytics capabilities, we keep all our clients at the centre of our operations and work closely with them at each step.
AIM: Tell us about how technology and data analysis fueled Innovaccer’s growth
Sandeep: It all started with a data analytics project at Wharton and Harvard University that focused on bringing distributed datasets together and leveraging them through analytical technologies. The three of us, Abhinav, Kanav, and I, started Innovaccer from this concept of studying, crunching, analysing, and deriving insights from Big Data.
Cut to today; we have been able to help manage over 10 million lives and assist healthcare organisations in saving over $600 million. Innovaccer’s Data Activation Platform is built on AI-enabled architecture that allows integration of disparate sources of data without having to write a single line of code. Its agile and modular structure can ingest structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data and pool it in as a single source of truth and works on a central HL7 FHIR-based data schema.
The platform can integrate data from over 60 types of data sources and receive and deliver data in 150+ formats ensuring its authenticity and integrity with quality checks on 62+ coding standards. It also provides connectors to over 200 health IT vendors.
AIM: What is Innovaccer’s modus operandi as we step into 2021?
Sandeep: Our next trigger of growth will be assisting the global healthcare systems and making care delivery seamless for all points in a care system with our cutting-edge technology suite as the world enters the post-pandemic era.
Innovaccer intends to bring back the joy of imparting care to the care teams and nurture relationships. We want to foster an ecosystem that is truly connected and global – we rightfully want to create an impact in the moment of care. Our R&D teams are continually pushing to build more sophisticated and relevant solutions.
In the days to come, we will continue expanding our base and keep rolling out solutions and updates that genuinely address the smallest challenges faced by healthcare professionals in the post-pandemic world. We want data to work for our clinicians, and we want them to assist with whatever they need to optimise care and cost outcomes for their patients.