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November 16, 2016

AnalyticsMD, AI-enabled “Air Traffic Control” for Healthcare

doctors in hallway

Today, I would like to announce our investment in analyticsMD, a company that is transforming hospital efficiency, safety, and patient outcomes through the use of sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, delivered in real time at the point of care.

analyticsMD was founded by three amazing innovators with prior on-the-ground experience solving some of the toughest, most pressing challenges in hospital settings. analyticsMD uses AI technology to evaluate concurrent data signals from multiple information systems in hospitals to external data sources such as weather and disease seasonality to anticipate, diagnose and solve real-time operational challenges in hospitals.

We’ve all been witness to consistently rising numbers of more complex patients heading to U.S. hospitals. An elderly parent becomes confused and disoriented. An old friend goes for the ball a little too fast, a little too hard, and his knee gives out. We have been conditioned to head straight to the nearest emergency department. But instead of receiving immediate care as we had hoped, often times we end up sitting and waiting.

This is the unfortunate reality of many of today’s emergency departments and hospitals, where it is not unusual for some patients to wait before being seen by a doctor, receiving pain medication, or having tests performed. Unfortunately, they may have to wait far longer if their condition is deemed serious enough to require a bed in the hospital. As a consequence, extremely ill or injured patients may see their condition worsen as they wait, while patients with less severe illnesses or injuries may leave without being seen at all, only to return later with a more complicated, difficult-to-treat, and costly condition.

This isn’t a result of the lack of intelligence, experience, or dedication of the physicians, nurses, or allied health professionals working hard to care for their patients. Instead, it’s largely a result of the significant burden that a tapped supply of physicians and nurses are shouldering, without sophisticated tools to help them best streamline the disparate assets that may be available to them.

These professionals have not been armed with the information systems and workflow improvements that have driven efficiencies and workflow improvements in other industries from manufacturing, to hotels, to service businesses. As a result, hospitals, which grapple with the operational reality that a majority of patient volume may potentially come through unscheduled visits to the emergency department or the operating room, have limited immediate visibility into the specific actions needed to improve throughput and reduce wait times and variances in care.

As an emergency physician, I’ve seen firsthand how operational inefficiencies can negatively impact provider performance and erode morale; where the inefficiencies create a perfect storm for errors to occur — not to mention the added potential of sending healthcare costs soaring. Even with their best efforts, the most skilled, dedicated, and attuned healthcare professionals are hampered by the lack of operational systems that help them do their jobs better.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Perhaps as a result of the influx of baby boomers, the growing volume of knowledgeable, yet more complex patients, the expectations have changed from receiving healthcare services as a “patient” to choosing treatment options as a “consumer.”  As a result, the great hospitals that make up the U.S. healthcare system (and abroad) are being challenged to respond.

I am proud to support analyticsMD, a company that is helping healthcare systems adapt. Leveraging Big Data and powerful analytics to improve healthcare is not a new value driver in healthcare. However, current solutions may only aggregate data in dashboards and graphs while failing to provide clear immediate insights. This leaves overburdened staff with the task of triaging these data themselves.

The analyticsMD platform is different; it seamlessly delivers specific recommendations to providers and care managers at the right time, in the right place, with the right context, and to the right person.

Using sophisticated AI and machine learning techniques, analyticsMD’s proprietary software platform predicts patient surges so that key resources can be ordered and allocated. The platform identifies patient flow bottlenecks and provides staff with real-time and immediate corrective recommendations in the form of a virtual “nudge.” It improves capacity utilization by allowing staff to preemptively schedule procedures and other appointments both in-the-moment (“Call in an additional staff member for the next shift”) as well as several weeks ahead (“Adjust an appointment or procedure duration”).

Think of it as AI-enabled “air-traffic control” for healthcare

analylticsMD software has already been deployed in several leading hospitals and health systems in the U.S., including Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, El Camino Hospital, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Natividad Medical Center and the Mercy Health System. Many of these hospitals reported improvements in operational efficiency and patient care within two to three months. As a result of improvements in efficiency, one hospital in particular saw its patient-satisfaction ranking jump from twenty-ninth to fourth in just six months.

This is just the beginning for analyticsMD. Though its initial targets are emergency departments, operating rooms and inpatient capacity, the company intends to deploy its insights to meet the demands of operational and clinical needs of hospitals more broadly. I look forward to investing in the growth of this innovative company and as a physician, in supporting a technology that has the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes, efficiency, and safety.