Is Victory Close in the Epic Battle to Fix Healthcare?
Many a well-loved story features a mighty, seemingly unconquerable dragon to slay. The hero — because of his or her uncanny strength, persistence, integrity, cleverness or other remarkable characteristic — finds a way to accomplish the impossible.
Healthcare has many dragons, but none more daunting than the three-headed beast of data complexity, proliferation, and fragmentation. Yet if we do emerge victorious, we begin to reverse those disturbing healthcare trends and statistics we all know too well. Imagine if a patient with a rare disease could be diagnosed years earlier, granting them a longer, healthier life. If new, innovative therapies could reach patients whose doctors hadn’t known they existed. If doctors could more easily be introduced to new standards of care that yield better healthcare outcomes. If patients receiving the news of disease could be paired more quickly with the specialists that know exactly how to treat it. This has been Komodo Health’s mission for the last five years: to reduce the multifaceted burden of disease on Americans.
Arif Nathoo is a Harvard-educated medical doctor and a former leader in McKinsey & Company’s healthcare and medical affairs practices; and Web Sun is a former scientist, big pharma executive and healthcare consultant. Together — and truly in a basement at the end of 2014 — they started Komodo Health. Naming the company after the last living dragon on the planet is a constant reminder of the enormity of their goal: to gather up the ever-growing volume of healthcare data and create, for the first time, a high-resolution, real-time map tracking both the interactions Americans have with the healthcare system and the actual impact of those interactions, good and bad. This is “the ground truth” for healthcare, a place from which we can understand what the average outcome is for each treatment, determine the best possible action to perform to improve those outcomes, and predict future behaviors based on past actions to pinpoint areas ripe for intervention.
Nathoo and Sun were at healthcare’s forefront of a technology concept called “data platform as a service,” which essentially means that their company — with its expertise in data collection, mastering, linking, updating, analyzing and sharing — can help any healthcare actor answer important questions that drive the delivery of higher value care. These answers come quickly and accurately, with data privacy secured.
Komodo Health has experienced rapid growth since 2014 and is continuing to invest strategically to further its mission of reducing disease burden in the United States. Today, the company has over 170 employees in two primary locations — San Francisco and New York City — and works with 16 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world, as well as biotechnology and medical device companies, payer organizations, and patient advocacy groups. Increasingly, the company is engaging with payer and provider organizations to ensure a multi-stakeholder approach to reducing disease burden. Integrity, the company’s Healthcare Map, captures information on 15 million new clinical encounters a day from over 500 sources, including more than 150 payers and the Medicare Qualified Entity data set.
Aperture, Komodo Health’s flagship product, combines scientific, clinical, and industry data to help life sciences companies surface fresh insights about the practitioners that matter most in over 200 treatment areas — information that enables companies to understand patient flows, referral pathways, and new standards of care that lead to better outcomes. As the company looks to the future, building additional solutions to address our country’s chronic disease burden — informed by the Healthcare Map and powered by artificial intelligence — will be a priority. When you know what happened yesterday, you can predict both what will happen tomorrow and what should happen tomorrow. The applications of this knowledge are limitless.
What we’re doing isn’t easy — dragon slaying never is — but we’re up to the challenge of reducing data complexity, proliferation, and fragmentation for all actors in the healthcare ecosystem. In the end, we are creating more successful partnerships between these actors in which a common understanding and passion to create a healthier world opens the door to greater trust, collaboration and progress.