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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Charlie Lougheed, Co-Founder and President of Explorys (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 5th 2014

Charlie Lougheed: We formed Explorys in 2009 when we met Dr. Anil Jain, a physician at the Cleveland clinic. Anil was not just a clinician, but he was also responsible for their e-research initiatives around leveraging electronic data and EMR. Some of the things that he and his team had invented really inspired us to form this company, take it to the cloud, and roll it out nationally. That was more or less the journey. It was an exciting process.

Sramana Mitra: Tell us a little bit more about what specifically Explorys does and how does that situate you in the industry. What is the ecosystem that you’re playing in and how do you position yourself in that spectrum?

Charlie Lougheed: First of all, one of the things that we try to avoid doing is positioning ourselves as just another technology vendor, because we are a lot different than that. We were the first to deploy and use Hadoop at scale within healthcare. However, beyond the technology component, we’re also a creator of networks and an enabler of networks.

Explorys takes data from a cost healthcare continuum or data that’s collected inside hospitals’ electronic medical record systems. It combines that data and creates better information that can be acted upon to improve care and quality and reduce variation. Ultimately, we help manage a lot of the unnecessary costs in the delivery of healthcare.

Sramana Mitra: Who is the target customer?

Charlie Lougheed: Our customers are large healthcare systems. Some of our customers include the likes of Trinity Health Systems and Cleveland Clinics. They are large health systems that, in addition to having a hospital presence, also have a community presence. Our customer base spans 325 hospitals. That is equivalent to data from about 220,000 healthcare providers over the course of 10 to 12 years. It represents about 14% of the US population, which is approximately 48 million unique patients.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s do a couple of use cases that would help our audience get a more visceral feel of how exactly you are helping these medical systems achieve their goals in engaging you.

Charlie Lougheed: One thing that’s really important is to manage diseases such that bad and expensive things don’t happen. For example, in order to really understand and manage a diabetic population, you have to not only know about what’s going on with the patient but also need to understand what’s happening when that patient isn’t in front of you, because it relates to other information across that continuum of care. Sometimes, the fact that you don’t see a patient is a warning sign that their diabetes isn’t being effectively managed. The result of that is a lot of bad things ranging from degradation of eyesight to circulatory issues and avoidable admissions that are very costly. People lose time and productivity. This costs the US a lot of money. It costs employers a lot of money. It’s one of the biggest contributors to personal bankruptcy.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: Charlie Lougheed, Co-Founder and President of Explorys
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