AIBusiness recently met Pinaki Dasgupta, CEO & Founder of one of the most exciting AI healthcare start-ups, Hindsait. Pinaki shared with us his inspiration and future plans and how AI technology will enter into an exponential growth phase within next 5 years.
-Tell us about your journey so far with Hindsait – what was the inspiration for the business, and what are you aiming to achieve?
Back in 2011, Pinaki was visiting his family in India. During their visit his sister had a life threatening sepsis attack, she was admitted in an intensive care unit in the local hospital and was in comma for 32 days straight, with multiple organ failures. Pinaki ended up spending his whole time in India shuttling between the hospital and his childhood home and getting familiarity with the entire diagnosis and treatment processes with multiple specialties. His effort to save his sister paid off, she was released from the hospital on 34th day with no major disability.
From that experience two things stuck with him, though the hospital had great experienced Doctors and the latest CT, MRI machines, et al, they hardly use any technology to store patient data or any decision support system.
Coming from Technology background and having served multiple industries globally, Pinaki started wondering why Healthcare didn’t embrace information technology the way other industries including manufacturing, financial, retail did many moons ago.
But Pinaki’s key passion and expertise was with Aviation sector, as he started understanding healthcare, he saw great similarities between Aviation and Healthcare. In both these industries safety and reliability are paramount, same six sigma principles can be applied to reduce human errors and omission to produce better outcomes.
But then something remarkable happened, At the time Pinaki was a Partner in the global consulting and technology major in New York, leading its Aerospace and Defense practice in North America. His son at the time was studying in GTech at Atlanta. One fine morning his son made a distress call to Pinaki and complained of chest pain. Though intuitively Pinaki reasoned that this could be due to indigestion, to be safe he advised his son to seek help. Few minutes later, his son was admitted in one of the finest hospital in Atlanta. After having gone through battery of diagnostics tests, his son was finally released after eight hours with no abnormalities detected.
Later when Pinaki was comparing these two hospitals bills: one for his sister for 34 days inpatient stay in India vis a vis his son for his 8 hours of stay, he was astonished to find the net dollar amount was almost the same, after the currency conversions.
Idea of Hindsait was born.
Pinaki intuitively knew something wasn’t right. He started his quest on understanding US healthcare system and started reaching out to his friends in healthcare business, including physicians, nurse, executives, think tanks, et al as well as he started studying all available published reports, to understand US healthcare and what ails it.
One of the key theme of findings that emerged from his quest was over-utilizations, errors and frauds, that amounts to almost one third of US healthcare wastage, every year. (Source: http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=82)
In the ‘fee for service’ or FFS business model which is dominant payment/business model in US Healthcare, as opposed to ‘Fee for outcomes’ as evident in most other industries world wide, overutilization, is often the result of many established factors such as: ‘defensive medicine’, ‘fear of mal-practice lawsuits’, ‘someone-else-is-paying-for-it syndrome’, ‘established clinical protocols’, et al, results in over-treatment, over-diagnosis, jacking up the entire cost of care, which is often unnecessary and could be harmful to the patients. (Here is a powerful Op-ed on the subject by Atul Gawande in NewYorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/11/overkill-atul-gawande). Hindsait took up this problem of overutilization head on first. Making healthcare better wasn’t just a mission statement for Hindsait, it is in fact Hindsait’s founding team’s life mission too, as all of us in the team had similar personal first hand experience of inefficiencies in the current US Healthcare system.
And the timing for Hindsait was perfect. HITECH act enacted in 2009 has driven US healthcare to digitize the care delivery, through adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. This coupled with ACA act popularly known as Obamacare, has been ushering in seismic changes in the fundamental business model of US Healthcare. This digitization of health records has been creating wealth of information, which was hitherto unavailable for analysis.
Pinaki and his founding team @Hindsait hypothesized if they could feed 100s of thousands patient historical records and associated outcomes data, it would be possible for them to build a robust algorithm that could predict which utilization requests meet clinical necessity criteria, hence appropriate vs. those request which do not meet those necessity criteria hence should be eliminated, as per established clinical protocol.
– Can you give a brief overview of your proposition, as the first power-efficient health monitoring proposition?
As we speak our software is preventing millions of dollars in unnecessary services. And as we go forward, our platform’s awesome ability to ingest and analyze unstructured patient histories and decisions from Charts and learn from clinical guidelines and business rules, can be applied to address variety of other daunting problems facing the healthcare industry including:
A. Fraud and anomaly detection.
B. Preventing costly readmission
C. Improving Quality ratings for Payors and Providers by analyzing missed prevention opportunities and triggering on-time alerts.
D. Outcomes based analytics including clinical decision support and more…
– Would you like to share a couple of your case-studies/success stories?
Reduce costly readmissions
AI improves relapse predictions before and after a patient is discharged
Transforming Inpatient Care.
Problem: Hospitals can’t afford readmissions. Medicare and many other payors are no longer covering the costs for these admissions, which they see as preventable.
Solution: Hindsait’s SaaS platform identifies patients who are nearing the end of their stay and suggests whether keeping them might in fact be more cost effective than risking readmission. Then Hindsait tracks recently discharged patients and delivers communications to healthcare and social workers as well as the patients themselves that enable optimal relapse prevention.
– What’s next for Hindsait?
We are on a mission to make healthcare better and we are resolute in our mission. So far, we have kept us under the radar, quietly building our software and proving it out with our clients. Going forward our aim would be to scale our solution, take our AI SaaS platform to multiple healthplans, benefit managers and integrated healthcare delivery network, across USA. We will soon be a dominant player with our unique Artificial Intelligence platform for better healthcare.
– Which Industries do you believe will be the pioneers in broadly adopting AI technologies? Is Healthare one of them?
We believe AI technology will change the world, will touch every industry on its path and Healthcare will be the forefront of this innovation.
We have already seen how Apple, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Google, GE and other leading organizations have embraced AI technology and as we move forward into the future, we will see AI technology being embedded into every device that we will touch and or will interact with. Soon it will be the top priority for every corporate Boardrooms in global fortune organizations and beyond.
-How do you see the Enterprise AI market evolving over the next 5 years?
We are at the early stage of AI technology revolution and the results are already astounding. As the word spreads, more and more organizations would adopt the AI technology and we believe the AI technology will enter into an exponential growth phase within next 5 years.