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Using AI on Healthcare Data to Improve Outcomes at Scale
Episode

Tashfeen Suleman, CEO at CloudMedx Inc, Clinical AI Platform

Using AI on Healthcare Data to Improve Outcomes at Scale

In this episode, we are privileged to host Tashfeen Suleman, the CEO at CloudMedx Health, a clinical AI platform personalizing healthcare delivery through data and AI. Tashfeen discusses how his company pulls data from EHRs, payers, and patients, and create a unified workflow where different stakeholders can use the data. CloudMedx can look at different touchpoints of a patient’s journey, predict, and outline the future of what that patient may look like, thanks to its capability of looking at retrospective data. Tashfeen shares the three differentiating factors of CloudMedx as well as insights on AI augmentation vs replacement, setbacks, and technology in healthcare. It’s an exciting conversation, so please tune in!

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Using AI on Healthcare Data to Improve Outcomes at Scale

About Tashfeenm Suleman

Tashfeen is the CEO at CloudMedx. Before CloudMedx, he was the Program Manager and Software Engineer at Microsoft. He has more than 20 years of experience working on the tech side. He is passionate about building solutions to solve real-world problems at scale using technology and automation.

Using AI on Healthcare Data to Improve Outcomes at Scale with Tashfeen Suleman, CEO at CloudMedx Inc, Clinical AI Platform transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Using AI on Healthcare Data to Improve Outcomes at Scale with Tashfeen Suleman, CEO at CloudMedx Inc, Clinical AI Platform was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez here. Today, I have the privilege of hosting the outstanding Tashfeen Suleman. He is the Chief Executive Officer at CloudMedx Health. They are a clinical AI platform personalizing health care delivery through data and AI. The company wants to allow patients and providers to better manage health using the state of the art technologies that integrate with existing hospital and payer networks to achieve the best outcome. CloudMedx offers tools to both patients and providers to assist them with their journeys and workflows. Touchscreens, a proven technology leader. And I’m really excited to have them here on the podcast today to talk to us about the work that they’re up to at CloudMedx. Tashfeen, thanks so much for joining me.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Thanks for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So before we dive into CloudMedx and the work you guys are doing with AI and health care, tell us a little bit more about you, what got you into health care and what keeps you in it.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So, as you mentioned, I have a technology background and I have always intersected between the cross-section of green technology and building real=world applications that can have a meaningful impact. And so it was about five or six years ago that we had a health care scare in our family. My father had a subdural hematoma, which is an internal head bleed that went undiagnosed and it almost cost him his life. But he fully recovered and we caught it on time. And I was at Microsoft at that time. And that became are my rallying cry to try to figure out what happened and how we can avoid such events for thousands and millions of people in the future. That was what became the genesis of CloudMedX, which is to look at the data from different sources, and they do a cross-section of analysis around different insights and present those insights to providers and payers so they can improve efficiencies and reduce events such as the one that happened to my dad. And so that’s the biggest inspiration of why we started the company. But fast forward now. I think everybody who works at the company has had a brush with health care, whether it was them personally or a family member or friend. And Saul you may have seen this yourself where health care is, when everything works, it works. But when people fall through the cracks, they typically have a hard fall. So that’s our rallying cry to build tools that can forecast some of these events and put in front the best things that patients, payors,and providers can do in order to get ahead when they have such a health care scare.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, you set it right. And there’s so much that could happen and so many misses that can happen. I forget what the number is, but it’s pretty high. The number of things that could go wrong and the reasons why outcomes don’t work out within health care because of some of those misses. And so I’m curious what exactly you guys are wanting to do here with CloudMedx in the health care space Tashfeen. Tell us a little bit more about it.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Yeah. So if you really look at health care from a macro perspective, you have a provider who takes care of you if you are sick, you have a payer who reimburses or provides insurance to the patients so they can have the best care. And that works well for macroeconomics, for a small populationsets that have a one to one relationship and one to a fewer relationship between the provider and the patients. But where this breaks down is when you have millions of patients. And that one to many mapping come into place where you have a limited number of providers and limited number of hours that you can spend per patient in order to figure out what’s the root cause of their ailments. And so the US healthcare system has become very good at solving the current problem, but not the underlying problems that the patients may be facing. And as you know, as we are now entering an explosion of data where both medical literature and the complications that come out from the different comorbidities or different diseases that patients have, it’s become very hard and complex to manage. And so looking at that population level, big data and large volume perspective is what CloudMedx has become really good at, where we pulled data in from electronic health records, from payers and from patients, and create a unified workflow where different stakeholders can slice and dice the data from different perspectives.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So one of the ways to look at it is if you’re a provider and you want to get information on population risks or population journeys, because we have such a vast amount of data, we can look at patient journeys of different touchpoints as they go through different sections or different progression of the disease. So we can predict and we can outline what the future of that patient may look like, given a huge history of previous patients like them in the past. So we can look at retrospective data and project that future in terms of allowing a provider to come up with a better treatment or a better outcome for that patient. Again, we’re not looking to replace physicians. We want to work in tandem with physicians. And I think A.I. is now at a stage where it can be used as a force multiplier and an augmentation to a physician. And I’ll give you a simple example. Know, when you go to a doctor, you would be put into a room and that doctor will go from room to room and he’ll have maybe about seven to 10 minutes per patient. And that is enough time to figure out what the patient’s current problem is. But it’s not enough time to go really deep and figure out what the root cause analysis is.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So within those 10 minutes, the provider will prescribe some tests and ask you to get some tests done, and then you will wait for the results, and then they’ll figure out what to do next. But that process of 10 minutes per patient is, I believe, not enough time for the provider to really go down to the root cause. What happened in the back end is a huge, genormous administrative task of putting all that data in the electronic health record, creating claims, submitting those claims and all that stuff. And a bunch of that is where a company like ours can automate those processes and make them really easy for providers as well as payers to have the right kind of information at the right time so people can make more informed decisions. So our forte is to look at large amounts of data, put them in the right context for the right people so that they can make their own decisions, and then just help with moving the process forward in an efficient manner so that adverse cases, adverse outcomes can be reduced. And we’re currently doing that with some of the top payers in the country who currently top hospitals in the country. So you go to a website, you will see some of the large organizations from payers providers that we’re working written across the entire spectrum of the United States.

Saul Marquez:
That’s excellent. And, you know, being able to fast track insights and better utilize the talents of physicians to care for patients is really, I think, the dream. I mean, everybody wants to do a better job of that. It’s just easier said than done so. So talk to us, Tashfeen, about how you guys are doing what you do differently than what’s available today.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Yes, I think the biggest differentiating factors of how we stack up, I think there are threefold. One is when we built a company, we didn’t build the technology looking for a solution. We built a solution that had we built the technology that was equally being asked by providers. And so we partnered very early on with the physician group that wanted to build population health insights. And we had a willing customer to try the technology out and improve it and make it better. So it wasn’t a technology looking for solution. We already had a customer who was willing to use it and that became our test site, our pilot site. So that gave us a core foundation to not only start the company off with technology in health care domain expertise from the get-go. But we continued as we’ve grown over the last few years, we’ve continued to hone in that cross -section of AI and medicine. As you know, health care is more or medicine is more art than science. And so we married science and art together. So if you look at the team composition right now, it’s a mixture of data scientists, doctors, in some cases, we have folks who have dual degrees both in computer science and medicine. So I think one of the biggest forte’s is the great team that we put together that understands how health care works and what kind of solutions at scale can be deployed to have the maximum impact in a positive manner. The second is our company has become really good at large computing and big data analysis. And to the point that I mentioned earlier, that at the macro level, at the clinic level, or at a few clinics level, most physicians are pretty good at figuring out who their high-risk patients are and they can put case managers behind them.

Tashfeen Suleman:
But as you go to the state or the federal level, those you don’t have enough people in enough hours in the day to track who your high-risk patients are going to be and follow up with them and make sure that they’re following their care protocols, that they are not at high risk of readmissions. Not missing their medication. That becomes an exponentially hard problem for humans to solve, and that’s where our company can identify those patients who are vulnerable, those patients that are high risk and allow our partners and care coordinators to reach out to them and handhold them and guide them towards their care process. So, again, at scale at Big Data, I’m talking tens of millions of records and partners that are utilizing some of those platforms to reach out to those patients in the most efficient and timely manner. And that’s the second differentiating factor. And then the third is the AI technologies that we’ve built have really scaled up tremendously. And we have a foundational core that can ingest large amounts of data and generate insights very, very quickly. And that has allowed us to become nimble and efficient in terms of deploying those solutions, whether it’s on the cloud or on the premise of our customers and still have the same outcome as what we’re already used to seeing. In other words, our customers don’t see disruption. They just see augmentation to the existing workflows.

Saul Marquez:
Very cool. Yeah. And, you know, it’s so interesting because I would say call it five years ago, six years ago, there was that threat, like people, physicians, administrators, thinking AI is going to take my job. But I feel like we’ve gotten to a point now where we’re realizing that that’s not the case and that this is more of augmented intelligence that’s going to help us. Do you feel that that way, too, that that we’ve turned the corner on the fear?

Tashfeen Suleman:
Um, yes and no. It’s it depends on the perspective of the individual that you are talking to, I think is certainly a change in the health care industry that some people think AI can do everything. And I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think it is at a level that can do everything. But there are certain things that AI is very good at and big data computer mundane tasks, some administrative tasks like, you know, processing papers, processing claims. I think those things are where AI has become pretty good at and machine learning and natural language processing perspective. And we do that pretty well. And so those processes can be automated. But the industry of health care is very human touch and requires empathy and it requires a lot of handholding. So from that perspective, I don’t think we’re at a point where AI is going to take over physicians’ jobs and the mature physicians, or I’d say the people have more experience, know that and they accept that AI would be an augmentation rather than a replacement. But there are a few in the industry who think that eventually this may take over, at least from our perspective. I don’t think that is our goal. Our goal is to continue to be an augmentation rather than a tool that replaces physicians.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I’m with you, and I agree. I personally feel like we’ve come a good way from where we were five, six, seven years ago. But yeah, you’re right. I feel like there’s it’s maybe who you hang out with and you’re in the business of it. Right. So you’re working with people that are very good at what they do at different levels of organizations and having to make decisions based off of this. Talk to us about how you guys have helped improve outcomes with this technology.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Yeah. So, you know, I can give you a few examples. And from again, from looking at big data coming up with rapid developed algorithms we can deploy in the field, you deploy these algorithms into areas, renal failure to congestive heart failure to outcomes from liver cancer. And time and time again, what we’ve seen is it all comes down to if you can identify patients that would follow the norm and their care journeys would follow the norm. And it’s very predictable and easy to manage the care for those patients. But it’s only five to 10 percent of the patients may not follow a regular path of recovery, a regular path of predictability, and then those are the ones that the systems need to watch out for. So we did a big deployment last year with one of the large institutions across the country where we deployed our algorithms for early identification of chronic kidney disease. As you know, chronic kidney disease has various stages and the last stage leads to end-stage renal failure. And that’s when you either need to be on a kidney transplant list or you need to have been on dialysis. So we’ve made a pretty good algorithm in terms of identifying the various stages that the patient goes through in terms of their chronic kidney disease and flagging patients who are at a more progressive slope and then putting them into certain care coordination programs so that their providers could connect with them, reach out to them, manage them better.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So that’s one. Where we can see rapid improvements in the management of renal failure patients with chronic kidney patients in terms of keeping either keeping them out of the dialysis machines or if they are on dialysis, then doing a better job and managing better care. Another example is where we identify patients who were at high risk of readmissions when they have congestive heart failure. And as you know, readmissions can be quite costly, but it can also disrupt a patient’s care journey. So if you have a chronic condition, congestive heart failure, it can become quite a big task to put a care team around you and make sure that your health and wellness has been taken care of. So doing that, a big scale, identifying high-risk patients for readmission and then putting them into certain care programs can really help not only improve quality of life for patients, but also keep costs from blowing up in terms of the management of those patients. Obviously, we don’t want to reduce costs, but we want to make sure that patients have the best care at a reasonable cost without becoming too expensive.

Saul Marquez:
Now, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for that. And as you’ve worked with your team to put together the algorithms that are doing the work, what type of setbacks have you guys seen and what has been key learning that you feel has made you guys the CloudMedx that you are today?

Tashfeen Suleman:
You know, I think health care is a very humbling experience, and so one of the biggest humbling reasons why we started the company was what happened to my father. And, you know, over the course of time, we’ve become pretty entrenched, pretty savvy, and our health care systems work. And so I can’t speak for other people’s experiences, but within my family and with my friends who have helped and we have anecdotal evidence and we’ve seen how their journeys have been changed by some of the stuff that tools that CloudMedx have done. I think that’s, you know, whether it’s helping a friend or a family member go through prostate cancer to lymphoma, to a brain calcification, all those are places where we were able to come in and help them find the right care, get back on their feet and go back to normal life within a very short amount of time. A few years ago, these things would have taken a long time to get diagnosed and then post-diagnosis. You get into a certain area of do you talk to different doctors? You have different opinions and becomes a very difficult decision for people to assess what to do. And I think with data, we’re having a lot of people you get more insights and get more data in order to make informed decisions. And we’ve certainly done that with family members. And I could see we’re doing that with other patients all across the US as well. So you can do that for our family members. We can do that for millions of people or people all across the country. So that has been a very humbling experience for us. And from a learning perspective, I think we should be aware that health care is a village. It takes a lot of people and a lot of coordination and integration to get things right. And so we don’t want to boil the ocean. And that’s why we believe in partnerships and collaboration so that we can have the maximum outcome for the patients.

Saul Marquez:
And I think that’s great. And, you know, it is humbling, you know, when your health gets compromised. Oh, man. I mean, everything else just falls to the side in priorities and having the service, the technology to help get through that is critical and get through it and as best away as possible is so important. And so kudos to you and your team, Tashfeen, for the insights you guys are coming up with and the companies and hospitals you’re helping. Talk to us about what you believe you’re most excited about today.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So we’re very excited about where health care is going, and I think we’re now at a point where technology is mature. We’re now at a point where people are more receptive of using technology and in fact, they demand it. I think over the last 10 years, we’ve seen an explosion of ease of use and consumerism, mass consumerism, where you can book a flight using Orbitz Kayak, you can watch movies on-demand, Netflix and Prime. And so health care is now catching up to all that, where patients are demanding similar tools and technologies being available to them. And with the onset of COVID, a bunch of that stuff is being accelerated and put out in the market. As you might have seen, a bunch of those technologies are being rapidly adopted and deployed, and readily available. And people are more receptive to using it, whether it’s telemedicine to remote patient monitoring, to having a conversation with a provider when you’re halfway across the US. So we’re very excited for where we’re headed, but it does come with a greater need for automation and a greater need for digital and cloud presence. And I think that’s where our company is very good at bringing those nondigital systems to the cloud so that we can rapidly help clients and partners and patients operationalize them when they need it the most. And so I think we’re very excited about what the future holds and our position as a company in that new health care era that is being ushered in.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, definitely. And I was taking a look at the different things that you guys offer. The COVID command center. You’ve got Sophi. I guess it’s personalized public health I assistant coding, analyzing decision point, clinical analyzer. I mean, you guys got a nice suite of tools here.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Yeah. So the goal was always to put all the information in one place and let the stakeholders decide what tool sets they want to use and manage the information layer on their own. So the command center that you’re seeing is really a centralized geographical information system that is currently compiling data from all 50 states. Thirty-five hundred counties and many of their hospitals all onto one dashboard. So you can get situational awareness of where COVID is, where it’s headed at, what is a hotspot, what are the future search areas where it is going to strike over the next few weeks. How do you plan for them in terms of hospital capacity and hospital beds, flu vaccinations? But also, how is that impacting joblessness? How is it impacting social determinants of health? How is it impacting mental health and all that stuff? So the command center that you’re seeing that you were referring to C19 Explorer. And we both that in partnership with Anthem, which is one of the largest payers across the US. And what we’re seeing is that is being used by federal and state leaders. It’s being used by employers in ways that we had never imagined. They’re using it not only to get a perspective of where the virus is right now, but they’re using it for the reopenings, that they’re using it for their return to work strategies.

Tashfeen Suleman:
And they’re also now beginning to use it for their employee well-being. Keep in mind, you open your office too soon and you risk the illness of your employees. You open it too late. You affect the operations of your company. So what is the right decision or when? When is it the right time to open? So we’re providing them all those data points so they can make those data-driven decisions. So that’s everything on the command center that we put together then, Sophie, which is our patient engagement tool, it’s available on CMS website. So anybody who wants to get access to a sort of a chatbot that can get the initial intake of information from the patient and then guide them through a set of questions and compare them to other patients and figure out what is educational information around what their symptoms are and then guiding them towards a care post is what the goal of Sophie is, is a slew of other tools that are to be made available to make all those things happen.

Saul Marquez:
Very interesting. Well, you guys are covering a lot of ground here. And so definitely, folks, if you want to learn more, the website is CloudMedx Health. It’s CloudMedx.com. Make sure you check them out there. Tashfeen this has been super interesting and I’m super happy for you and your team and the work that you guys are doing to make health care better for all. Leave us with the closing thought. What should we be thinking about and what’s the best way for businesses and people to get in touch with you and your team to continue the conversation? Absolutely.

Tashfeen Suleman:
So the best way to get in touch with us is two ways. Shoot us an email directly at info at CloudMedxhelp.com, or visit our website and use the Contact US page and there’s a partner page and then there is a general inquiry page. We’d love to partner with you and respond to any queries, comments that you may have as far as a closing thought. I think it’s a very unfortunate time in terms of COVID and how it’s negatively impacting a lot of people. If there’s any way we can help as a company in terms of some of the tools that we have available, we would love to partner with you and make them available to you to make that transition easier and manage the employee help member help in the most effective manner possible. And, you know, we’re here to collaborate with her, to partner, and we always go into conversations with an open mind and we wish everybody the best as they go through this pandemic.

Saul Marquez:
Taskfeen, thank you so much. We certainly appreciate that that closing sentiment and listeners will make sure to give you all the relevant links to get in touch with Tashfee and the team including their website and the different links that he mentioned where you could ask questions, et cetera. Tashfeen, thank you. Keep up the awesome work and really appreciate you making time to be with us today.

Tashfeen Suleman:
Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners, Saul Marquez here. I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization, and achieving the ROI you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with the professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit smoothpodcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • The US healthcare system has become very good at solving the current problem, but not the underlying problems that the patients may be facing.
  • A.I. is now at a stage where it can be used as a force multiplier and an augmentation to a physician.
  • I think we should be aware that health care is a village. It takes a lot of people and a lot of coordination and integration to get things right. 

 

Resources

https://cloudmedxhealth.com/

https://cloudmedxhealth.com/connect/

info@cloudmedxhealth.com