This US-Based Healthcare Startup Is Saving Healthcare Cost By Unifying Patient Records
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Needless to say, the ongoing pandemic has exposed the wide gaps underlying in the healthcare sector across the world. Rising number of death cases could only make one think that though humans have advanced in leaps and bounds, the healthcare sector continues to remain fragmented. While with the help of state-of-the art technology in recent years, the healthcare sector has been overwhelmed with life-saving tools, the ever-rising treatment costs has limited the availability of the best medical care from the masses.
In the US, which is considered to be one of the most advanced countries in terms of healthcare, citizens have to choose between paying mortgages for their house or paying their healthcare insurance premium, thus revealing the high cost burden that an individual has to bear for a treatment.
To help the already stressed healthcare system in the US along with preventing the customer from falling sick, three Indians founded Innovaccer in 2014. The San francisco-based healthcare organization leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to automate routine workflows and reduce manual overhead.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Kanav Hasija, co-founder and chief customer officer of Innovaccer, talks about how they began from nothing to managing 7 million lives.
From IIT-Kharagpur to onboarding NASA as client
Hasija came in touch with Abhinav Shashank, another co-founder of the startup since their college days in IIT-Kharagpur. After graduating, Hasija went abroad to the US to study patent law, while Shashank worked in the automation space. However the longing to innovate something in the data-driven world kept them connected. Hasija returned to India in 2012, and this is when he along with Shashank met Sandeep Gupta, an IIM- Ahmedabad alumni. The three observed two macro trends. “We saw the cost of digital storage for data going down without a significant advancement in the data management technology,” Hasija added.
He said that they knew there would be a massive rise in data ponds and data lakes without a data management technology.
This is when the three founded Innovaccer to prevent the practice of storing data in a siloed manner, and unifying them together to increase the efficiency of an organization. The startup while working for organizations across the verticals onboarded marquee clients such as NASA and Harley Davidson.
However, the three founders decided to shut their all verticals and focus on the US healthcare sector.
“We realized that building a data platform across verticals is irrelevant and decided to go for healthcare because the market was huge and it’s gratifying to save life with data,” Hasija added.
Saving lives with data
According to Hasija one of the major pain points in the healthcare sector was that it was moving from ‘right to left’, meaning the sector was first finding the use case and then identifying the technology to deal with it.
“Healthcare sector was already suffering from multiple point solutions as they were siloed. We realized we need to move from left to right by building a platform that can unify a patient’s record from multiple endpoints that can help every stakeholder in the healthcare system,” Hasija explained.
The platform connects analytic insights, automation and applications for use by physicians, care managers, payers, employers and patients to support an individual throughout their healthcare journey.
Hasija said their data activation platform prevents a patient from stepping to a hospital due to preventive medicine assigned at the right moment. The platform with the help of collected data enables physicians and care managers to monitor a patient's health.
The patient’s data is collected from multiple endpoints which includes hospitals, clinics, labs, medical devices and applications, among others.
Explaining further, Hasija said one can only save the cost of healthcare when he/she is cured without going to a hospital with the help of preventive medicine and proper care.
According to Hasija, a single entity cannot provide preventive medicine. He said data from multiple entities such as hospitals, labs, clinics, medical devices and Insurance companies are required to cut the cost of healthcare. This further lifts off the pressure from the already stressed out healthcare sector.
The startup is working closely with more than 25 healthcare organizations across the US, and streamlines data integration and care delivery for over 1,000 geographies.
Till date, the startup boasts of saving $600 million in health care costs and has a unified record for 24 million lives.
The startup in February raised $70 million in a Series C round from Steadview Capital, Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Westbridge, Mubadala and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund). With this round, Innovaccer has raised $120 million till date.
COVID-19 impact and entering India
The healthcare startup faced a lull in the first two months when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, the resilience nature of the startup helped it surpass pre-COVID revenue numbers.
According to Hasija, they have registered a 80 per cent growth in revenue in the last three months when compared to last year and saw a rise in customer base by 50 per cent.
In the pandemic, the startup has introduced its offerings in public health infrastructure where it has built tools for its customers to be able to report to public health agencies at ease. These tools will also facilitate public health agencies to distribute back to its customers.
It has also introduced virtual care. “In the pandemic, doctors are not able to meet their patients as they used to before and we saw a 70 per cent drop in visits to clinics and 50 per cent drop in hospital admissions,” he added.
Virtual care enables doctors to directly contact the patients over text, or call and ensure that they are safe without stepping outside.
Though the startup operates in the US, it’s research and development office is located in Noida. On asking about their plans for entering India, excited Hasija said India with its Ayushman Bharat Yojana and National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) will start digitizing the healthcare sector in next five years and that is when Innovaccer’s platform will be useful.