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A Look Into the Dragon's Lair


Komodo’s Annual Dragon's Lair Competition Highlights the Power of Creative Thinking in Healthcare Innovation

For many of us who work at Komodo, healthcare is a personal passion. We have backgrounds in public health, medicine, advocacy, health education, and research, and working with Komodo’s full-stack platform is an exciting part of our jobs. Every year during Komodo Week, we put our passion on display during our Dragon's Lair competition: a Shark Tank–style event where our internal experts unleash their collective brainpower to explore some of healthcare's most complex problems. Dragons present personal projects featuring high-impact insights, innovative analytical designs, or novel methodologies, built on Komodo’s full-stack software platform and proprietary Healthcare Map™. The competition encourages us to use our tools to bring Komodo's mission — to reduce the burden of disease — to life in creative new ways. 

In the months leading up to Komodo Week, Dragons formed self-guided teams comprised of experts from across the business to tackle a challenge of their choice. Submissions were narrowed down to the top 10 most powerful analyses, which were then presented to a panel of judges on the main stage at our Komodo Week event. The winning team receives both internal recognition and a cash prize!

BLOG Dragons Lair_Jack_McLean-2The entries were diverse, and the results were inspiring. One team analyzed adherence across delivery methods for schizophrenia medication among individuals experiencing housing instability or homelessness. The team found that injectables had a 15% higher adherence rate than orally delivered medication compared to a 4% higher adherence among those not affected by housing instability. Another team looked at race and ethnicity–based trends in emergency room (ER) utilization by patients with asthma, and found that patients in cities with the highest Black populations were 10% more likely than those in predominantly White cities to visit the ER with asthma-related illness at least once in 2021. We saw a prototype for "KomodoGPT," a transformer model that solves complex tasks on claims data such as ICD codes translation to bridge the gap between several editions of disparate ICD coding and deliver powerful representations of patient journeys. 

BLOG Dragons Lair_Vibha Chattoo_V2This year's winning team, consisting of experts in data science, clinical innovation, clinical development, and product, developed a complex statistical methodology for predicting drug label expansion. Their approach identified early signals of off-label drug use and drugs used in novel combinations. Once trained, this model could consistently predict candidates for label expansion to improve the high degree of uncertainty in therapeutic development. This could lower costs for pharmaceutical companies by shortening notoriously long timelines and improving the current ~10% success rate.

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At Komodo Health, our mission to reduce the burden of disease is more than a business goal — it’s the shared passion that brings many of us to this work. We're excited and inspired to work alongside colleagues who care so much about using science and technology to improve health outcomes.

Read more about Komodo Health culture in our piece on wellness benefits, or our flexible work policy.

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