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Ravi Narasimhan

Innovation Lead


Location: Cypress, CA

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Education

PhD, civil engineering and computer science, Louisiana State University
MS, information science, Louisiana State University
MS, environmental engineering, Asian Institute of Technology
BTech, civil engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Career bio

I joined Optum in 2006 and have worked on a number of key enterprise initiatives including call centers, exchanges, utilization management, etc. I have also served in a wide variety of roles including lead developer, delivery owner and chief architect. Over the course of 13 years, I have gained an in-depth knowledge of key health care business functions and how technology helps to support those functions. 

Personal profile

Why did you choose to work at Optum (instead of any other tech company or health care company)?

We have a health care crisis in this country. In addition to the latest opioid crisis, we have been unsuccessfully trying to get a handle on the burgeoning cost of health care and the burden it poses on our nation and how it bankrupts families. I am passionate about doing my part to solve this societal problem. Optum is uniquely positioned to bring about a change in the health care landscape. The close partnership that Optum enjoys with UHC (the dominant payer) helps create transformative changes that can have a major impact on health care. At the same time, Optum culture is more like a startup: agile, open to new ideas and heavily invested in innovation.
 

What’s one example of a really difficult problem in health care that you are solving using technology? 

Today, the problem we deal with is “too much data.” There is a vast amount of data available from personal fitness and health monitoring devices, in addition to the traditional data sources such as claims, lab results, prescription claims, etc. It is a monumental task for a physician to comb through this trove of data to extract information that is pertinent. This is made more complicated when information is hidden in unstructured formats, such as in progress notes, radiology reports, lab reports, etc. 

I am working on an approach to mine this data and present it to clinicians in a structured format so they have the information they need to make better decisions. 
 

How are you keeping health care human while applying advanced technology? 

I never forget that the reason I joined Optum is to help patients lead healthier lives. That is the “true north” that guides my actions. 
 

What are you passionate about when you’re not at work?

I like to run, I like to read, and I treasure the time I get to spend with my family, whether it is helping my son with his trigonometry homework, listening to my daughter rave about K-Pop music and supporting her efforts to “culture” me, or listening to my wife ... all the time!
 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Discover your passion; find what drives you. That will provide a goal and meaning to your life.

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