June 6, 2023
The purpose of the DayZero Podcast has been to give founders a platform to share what they’ve learned during the startup journey, with the goal of improving the performance of those who are just setting out. In this episode, we will examine the impact of the EMR, and consider how the abundance, or even overabundance, of medical data is creating a window of opportunity for businesses that can make data more accessible and actionable. Today, we will hear from Mitesh Rao, M.D., MHS, Founder and CEO of OMNY Health; Dr. Brian Fengler, Co-founder, EvidenceCare, and Dr. Bea Bakshi, CEO and Co-founder, C the Signs. To open the discussion, let’s hear from Mitesh Rao, as he describes the data landscape as it stands now:
Mitesh Rao: I kept seeing opportunities around data, I saw huge potential for the industry to actually come together, right, the broader industry of healthcare around real world data, and what data could do to transform the lives of patients in the rare disease space, building novel therapeutics, thinking about quality safety, thinking about how do we improve things like medical devices, a lot of what we were doing was reactive around data because data was so challenging to get access to. And so I saw this potential for what I thought of at the time as a missing piece of the architecture, a missing piece of infrastructure that could enable not just provide organizations like health systems and community groups to be able to tap into their data, and really understand it at a nuanced level, but also to think about the broader world of partnerships and what those partnerships could do, because it’s that old phrase of the rising tide raises all ships, we’re stronger together. And healthcare often suffers not just from siloed data, but siloed perspectives. And that’s what I wanted to really tackle. Thinking about data as a common language, if that’s the language that we could all speak and bring people together, then the entire industry could move forward in really transforming things for the future.
Dr. Rao identifies what seems to be the key component in most discussions of medical data, which is, can we make the data unified and accessible for both physicians and patients? Next, let’s hear from Dr. Brian Fengler, who, along with his co-founder, Jim Jamieson, is attempting to solve the data puzzle.
Brian Fengler: Everyone was excited about EHRs, 10 years ago, when Meaningful Use first came out, we thought, wow, this is gonna be great. We’re gonna have all this data, we’re gonna have all this information at the physicians fingertips. And I think early on, and I think it’s still persist that, you know, there really are documentation and coding and building tools. And evidence care exists to sort of fill that void of bringing clinical insights and nudges into the physicians workflow in a way that we can help deliver better care to the patients and also create value for the health system in terms of efficiencies and clinical outcomes. And that’s really the purpose of our platform.
Dr. Fengler has emphasized the importance of making data actionable, and useful, so that it not only provides important background information, but it also points the appropriate direction for future care. Now, let’s listen as Dr. Bea Bakshi asks an important “where are we now?” question about how data can accelerate diagnosis and prevent disease.
Bea Bakshi: In the age where we have such advancements in technology and AI and big data, why at the point where a healthcare professional meets a patient, where we just relying on human beings, because doctors are human beings, and we’re fallible, and relying on the clinical experience of a human being at that point in time to essentially identify one of the most complex diseases out there reliably and accurately. And with over kind of 1000s of papers that get published, you know, every week, every month, whatever, again, like, human beings just don’t have the capacity to like, retain and kind of absorb that much data. So it was this opportunity to say, actually, if we can make data accessible and available at point of care, we can consider risk stratifying patients at that first touch point to say, is this patient at risk of cancer? If so, what cancer? And what do I need to do next to make sure we can diagnose this patient as early as possible? And that’s really what see the science does for healthcare professionals, essentially.
All three of these founders recognized early that the electronic medical record has created a vast field of opportunity for founders who are willing to figure out how to organize it. Although each company is focused on different aspects of the challenge presented by the ever-increasing field of data, they all understand that serving patients more efficiently remains the endgame. Congratulations to these founders on their vision and initiative—and on their creativity.