San Francisco-based startup Remedy has launched an AI-powered tool to screen patients for their risk of chronic illness.
Dubbed Remedy Sentinel, the new platform aids the company’s care coordinators to assess and identify both clinical and sociodemographic risk factors for chronic illnesses like diabetes, COPD, chronic kidney disease, depression and congestive heart failure.
“We’re training our algorithm to think like a physician to empower non clinical staff on how to get information from a patient,” said CEO William Jack in a phone interview. “There’s important information that is generated outside of the four walls of the clinic that aren’t captured in EMR and claims data.”
According to Jack, traditional diagnostic and screening methods don’t delve deeply enough into the lifestyle and social factors that contribute to the risk for chronic disease. Alongside disease diagnosis, the company helps connect patients to resources to help manage their condition more effectively.
Remedy is also launching an associated pro-bono service that allows patients with providers or health plans not using the platform to apply for their own chronic disease screenings.
The company’s origins date back to the issues when Jack was misdiagnosed for his epilepsy and wanted to determine a better way to utilize more up-to-date data into the diagnostic process.
By targeting chronic disease, the company is focusing on the main cost drivers in the healthcare system and hoping to highlight potential health risks for patients before they get to a crisis point. An oft-cited statistic is that five percent of patients drive 95 percent of healthcare costs.
Based on an analysis of CDC and AHRQ data, the company claims that tens of millions of Americans are at potential risk of a chronic illness that they are unaware of, including 70 percent of patients with chronic kidney disease and 20 percent of patients with diabetes.
The 25-person company, which was founded in 2016, has pivoted from its initial business model as a direct-to consumer telemedicine service informed by AI to a platform centered on identifying chronic illness with data science.
“We saw an opportunity to make an even larger impact on healthcare by applying the AI we developed to chronic disease diagnosis and management, rather than just the acute care visits that still make up the majority of telemedicine visits,” Jack said.
Remedy has raised seed-stage funding from investors including Khosla Ventures, Alsop Louie Partners and Jeff Dean, who leads the Google Brain deep learning research team.
The company is targeting their product at value-based healthcare systems including Medicare Advantage plans, ACOs and other integrated care delivery networks and claims to be able to drive a return equivalent to $200 per member, per year through increased risk adjustment payments.
The idea is hopefully to drive enough short term value as a business validator to pick up new customers focused on value-based care.
Looking forward, Jack said the company is going to be focused on scaling up the Remedy Sentinel platform with health plans and providers and continuing to improve the foundational diagnostic algorithm with more data inputs and better connections between outcomes and specific care plans.
Photo: Natali_Mis, Getty Images