Kyruus Takes Big Data Approach to Identify Qualified Physicians

5/4/12Follow @xconomy

Hospitals typically check patients in with one system, track their healthcare with another, and process insurance claims with yet another. Boston-based Kyruus is looking to pull together all these different data points and many more to help healthcare providers tackle patient care more efficiently.

We first heard about Kyruus last year, when it was revealed Highland Capital Partners principal Graham Gardner was the CEO of the new company. Highland led an $8.6 million Series A financing for Kyruus last June alongside Venrock and Gerson Lehrman Group. Angel investors Jonathan Bush, Ed Park, John Goldsmith, and James Golden also participated in the deal for Kyruus, which is working at intersection of two booming slices of the Boston technology scene: health IT and big data.

Kyruus co-founder and chief product officer Julie Yoo says Kyruus’ technology essentially centers on the “use of data to be able to get high resolution insight to performance, behavior, and outcome.” Big Data startups typically work to organize and processes loads of disparate data found in everything from social networks to publications to photos to medical records. In the case of Kyruus, it’s all the data that is collected to paint a picture of a doctor’s and healthcare network’s ability to care for patients.

“The average hospital has 200 unique data sources that contain information about physicians,” Yoo says. Beyond the administrative, insurance claims, patient survey, and medical record data, hospitals reveal information on their physicians through publications and other outlets, Yoo says. Government reforms have also mandated that healthcare providers make certain data transparent.

“We can take our data scaffold, and tap into internal data assets at hospitals,” says Yoo. “It extracts value from IT investments hospitals have already made.”

By unifying the data on a physician, Kyruus hopes to play a part in how hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies work with physicians.

“Hospitals struggle to form teams that are significant to manage the care of a population of patients,” Yoo says. So, they could use Kyruus technology to map out their network and identify what types of physicians are lacking, and then hire the ones with the right expertise. Doctors could also identify which specialist in a network is the best person to handle a patient’s care after a challenging diagnosis. Par8o, founded by Sermo founder Daniel Palestrant, is also looking to use technology to make the doctor referral process more efficient.

Insurers could use the Kyruus platform in much the same way to determine which physicians would be the best additions to their networks of caregivers. And the not-so-helpful tool on your insurance company’s website that’s supposed to guide you in picking a doctor? The Kyruus technology could help make a lot more sense, too.

“It’s a horrible experience to find a doctor in a page on an insurance website,” says Yoo. “We’re employing data and rules-driven types of tools to leverage big data approaches to provide a better user experience.” So instead of picking the first one on the list, patients could navigate their network by understanding which doctor is the best one for meeting their needs.

Kyruus could also help pharmaceutical companies identify which doctors are best to work on new drug development or leading clinical trials. It does this not just by tracking historically successful researchers, but also by predicting which doctors are the next big thing in their field.

“Organizations can form relationships early on with primary hot target individuals before they pop,” Yoo says.

Kyruus launched its technology commercially less than a year ago, and already has a number of “high-profile paying customers,” particularly in the Boston area, Yoo says. She didn’t name specific names.

The company has hired about 30 people and is recruiting “aggressively,” with a big focus on user experience designers, Yoo says. “There are big opportunities in healthcare to provide tools that look nice,” she adds.

You can hear more from Yoo at our XSITE conference at Babson College on June 14. She’ll be sitting on an afternoon breakout panel alongside other local entrepreneurs looking to use information technology to improve healthcare.

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