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2013 Up-and-Comer: Explorys

May 10, 2013
by David Raths
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As invaluable a resource as the Healthcare Informatics 100 compendium is, the “100” list encompasses only a small percentage of the total number of healthcare IT vendor companies active in the U.S. A much broader universe of smaller, dynamic vendor firms is always making inroads, and among that group are dozens of interesting companies worth knowing about. Over the next few days, we’re going to feature eight vendor organizations that we at HCI believe you should keep on your radar screen.

There’s a lot of talk about the potential for leveraging “big data” in healthcare, but so far, most of it remains just that: talk. But one Cleveland-based company is leading the way. Spun out of Cleveland Clinic in 2009, Explorys’ goal is to allow providers to meld data sets from multiple providers, payers and plans, care settings, and electronic medical systems to do various types of analysis.

Anil Jain, M.D., developed the concept behind Explorys during his tenure at Cleveland Clinic. He is now the company’s chief medical informatics officer. CEO Stephen McHale says Jain developed ways to make it easier for clinicians to test hypotheses about care improvement for populations and cohorts such as diabetics, and do query and search on their own data. This analytics platform allows organizations to leverage their data to support patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. Explorys’ DataGrid platform uses massively parallel computing and a Google-like indexing model that lets providers search and analyze patient populations, treatment protocols, and clinical outcomes to improve care delivery.

Its “learning network” has grown to include 200 hospitals and 100,000 providers. Explorys says its “platform as a service” provides the speed, scalability, security, data governance, and standardization to allow for meaningful research and analysis at prices that health systems can afford.

“We are evolving with the dynamics of the market as it is being transformed,” McHale says. “We are seeing rapid consolidation in the industry. In a few years we may have somewhere between 50 and 100 mega-health systems, and those systems are going to be focused on value-based care models.”

Explorys offers its customers one of the largest healthcare databases in the world and a cloud-based platform for what it calls “enterprise performance management.” Customers use this platform to analyze clinical, operational, and financial data across their services and delivery channels to identify patterns in outcomes and opportunities for improving delivery of care. Predictive analytics tools allow them to do risk scoring on their populations. Others do clinical benchmarking against industry norms. Customers include Cleveland Clinic, MedStar, University Hospitals, St. Joseph Health System, Catholic Health Partners, and Summa Health System.

Stephen McHale

“We are now working with 14 large integrated delivery networks representing 24 million lives, and will soon add another 11 million to get to 35 million lives,” McHale notes. “So we are growing pretty quickly.”