I first spoke with William for our Entrepreneur Journeys series in March 2015. This is a follow-up discussion on the company’s progress and extensive impact by harnessing data from a hundred different sources to help pharmaceutical companies across various use cases. Excellent insights!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by catching up a bit. We spoke sometime back in the Entrepreneur Journeys series where you introduced Zephyr Health. Our audience has that. We’ll connect that story to this one so people can go back and read that story. Catch me up on what’s happening.
William King: Thanks again for spending the time. I’m the Founder and Executive Chairman of Zephyr Health. Zephyr Health is a Big Data and analytics company. We serve life sciences companies. We work primarily with large pharmaceuticals and medical device companies.
We have a cloud-based software we call Zephyr Illuminate. We leverage Illuminate to help our customers unlock value from very complex data and translate that into actionable insights. This is a theme that we’ll talk a lot about. Clearly, people have been thinking about Big Data for some time. Clearly, people are very interested in analytics.
What we’ve observed is this notion that analytics is increasingly moving away from the charts and the graphs are more analyst-driven. It’s moving into things like text-based recommendations. We’re very excited about how our business and the category has evolved by taking complex data sets and translating into simple words that people can read, digest, and then take action.
Sramana Mitra: What kinds of data sources are we talking about?
William King: Since we’ve last spoken, one of the trends that is still very much here is that data is very much the battle of the ball. Everybody is thinking about data. It’s growing in its complexity. We’ve got different companies that are thinking about things like wearables and imaging data. It’s just amazing the amount of data that’s being generated in healthcare today.
We’re a vertically-oriented company entirely in healthcare. It’s all healthcare data but it comes down to three different categories. The first category is any data that’s available on the public domain. There’s quite a bit that’s out there. It’s interesting to look not only here in the United States but also to see the trends that are metering in terms of what’s available in the public domain.
There’s a big push to put a lot of this data into the public domain in a compliant form so that people can research and leverage the information that’s out there to advance the key things in healthcare.
Sramana Mitra: What are examples of public domain data that you work with?
William King: There’re many. Some of the obvious would be PubMed. We’ve got information from the CMS. We also look internationally. You’ve got NHS in the UK. The French and the German governments all have their own bodies that publish health data in the public domain. You can look at it at the macro-level.
We’re also able to look across different areas. Oncology would be a great example where ASCO is a really important conference. There’s a bunch of information that’s published about who’s speaking and the science that’s being presented. It really spans the gamut from the very large government datasets all the way down to the disease areas themselves.