Of the many ingredients that go into quality healthcare, comprehensive patient data is close to the top of the list.
No one knows this more than Mayur Saxena, CEO and founder of Droice Labs. Saxena created his startup while pursuing his doctorate degree at Columbia University and working at a healthcare company conducting clinical trials on new medication.
He is energized by the plethora of opportunities to improve healthcare using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
'Patient data is notoriously disorganized and complex,' Saxena said. 'With machine learning, healthcare professionals can organize that information to better understand the disease of every patient and reach them faster with interventions that improve their lives. It's an amazing feeling when you talk with someone who's recovered from an illness because they received the right care.'
The idea behind Droice is to make messy data neat so people can spend less time organizing it and more time analyzing it.
Insights Drive Personalized Patient Care
The startup has collected data from 50 million patients while working with healthcare providers, payers, and government organizations in the U.S. and Europe. Healthcare professionals in hospitals, pharmaceutical firms, medical device manufacturing, and insurance rely on Droice Labs' natural language understanding (NLU) technology. NLU makes sense of patient information in multiple languages from anywhere, such as electronic medical records (EMR), insurance claims, research reports, and medical devices.
'Our machine learning system takes all the data about an individual into account and breaks it down so that a doctor, pharmaceutical scientist, or healthcare insurer can understand patients better and faster,' explained Saxena. 'Instead of repetitive, disparate, one-on-one diagnoses and follow-up care, we're automating personalized care for a much larger patient population. With shared insights across a large patient population, physicians can chart disease progress and prescribe the best treatment plan. Clinical research into new drugs that took years could be reduced to days or weeks.'
Saxena said that one hospital reduced the amount of time it took to arrive at an appropriate patient diagnosis by over 20 percent.
SAP.iO Foundries Opens Up World of Healthcare Opportunities
Droice Labs recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York. It was one of seven up-and-coming startups working with hospital system providers, employee health and wellness solutions, medical devices, and health IT.
'We've learned so much about customers in the healthcare industry from SAP's sales and product teams,' said Saxena. 'These large organizations have unique needs, and we're grateful for the opportunity to partner with SAP, a company with a massive presence across so many geographies. We've gained valuable insights about strategic global selling and scaling our technology to meet the unique requirements of these customers.'
The Droice Labs machine learning platform is now downloadable on SAP App Center.
Turning Long-Time Passion into Thriving Startup
Droice Labs reflects Saxena's long-time personal and career commitment to healthcare. After earning his undergraduate degree in bioengineering and biomedical engineering, he worked in high-performance computing in Singapore before arriving in the U.S. That is when he acted on his passion, exploring how AI and machine learning can help improve patient care and potentially eradicate disease.
'We're looking at data from hundreds of thousands of patients a day, helping improve their care pathways across the healthcare system,' said Saxena. 'We have the technology to work with patient data at scale. I'm most excited about working together with recognized healthcare experts using state-of-the-art technology to address major challenges in this complicated, regulated industry.'
Digitally Trustworthy Strategy at Droice Labs
In an environment where patient concerns and regulations around data control continue to increase, Saxena emphasized his company's strategy of digital trust.
'Everything we do is designed to respect individual patient privacy,' explained Saxena. 'We don't possess related identifying data on patients, and we remove any identifiers. Working in a mission-critical environment like healthcare brings a set of responsibilities. If there is a population suffering from disease, and by looking at their information we can partner with healthcare providers to help make their quality of life better, that's what we'll do. But we don't participate in business models targeted to specific individuals.'
Saxena expected his company's rapid growth trajectory to continue, and it was easy to see why. According to Gartner's 2020 CIO Survey, AI is the healthcare industry's top game-changing technology. Analysts predicted 75 percent of healthcare delivery organizations will invest in an AI capability to explicitly improve either operational performance or clinical outcomes by 2021.
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This story originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.