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OptumIQ™ is applying analytics in an exciting new way — to improve the patient experience. We’ve developed tools that can comb through patient data to tell a story. That enables us to offer more useful information to providers.

As an example, an estimated 30 to 62 percent of diabetics go unrecognized in the system. By looking at electronic patient data, we can identify people who have signs of diabetes.

We can also inform their providers and offer outreach. This helps save money for the system and improve patient care.

Sarah London, senior principal of Optum® Ventures, explains how this works.


Video Component

Sarah London video transcript

Optum IQ

Transcript Interview:  Sarah London - Senior Principal, Optum Ventures

HiMSS TV, Conference

Interviewer Question:  “All right Sarah, tell me all about Optum IQ.”

Sarah London:  “Sure.  So, we are really excited to be highlighting Optum IQ at HiMMS this year, because in addition to all of our products and services, Optum IQ is really something that is infused into everything that we do.  And it is a way to talk about capabilities that we have been building over a long period of time.  But we are now at a point that by bringing those together, we can take the solutions that we offer to the market to a completely different level.”

Interviewer Questions:  “In other words, the analytics that had governed payer relationships can now be applied to patient relationships?”

Sarah London:   “Absolutely.  And if you think about the work, that we have done for the last decade, to curate 100 million clinical lives, if you think about Pandora.  Pandora, right, in the fact it can offer you great musical selections based on the kinds of music you like to listen to.”

Interviewer:  “And, how does it know I like those songs?”

Sarah London:  “Right, because they spent a decade annotating and actually curating the data around music, and that is homework.  And gritty work that Optum has basically been doing for 10 years that no one else has done. And now that we have done that and we have done all this work to develop analytics on that, we can actually drive to the next level.  Which is starting not to be just prescriptive about what’s happening in the system, but really be predictive and then actually be prescriptive. So if we are talking to a patient, we can say, because everything we know about you, we see all your data, not only here is what we think you need to do to stay healthy, but here are the recommendations we think you are most likely to follow. And so the interaction is just such a higher value into interaction for the consumer.”

Sarah London: “The way we think about Optum IQ is it’s really 3 core components. So it is that curated data, and then using that to build analytics.  But it’s also the applied expertise. So we have 25,000 subject matter experts in Optum that work across the entire system and are able to bring a knowledge of how things work and how things could work better to lever the data and the analytics to tell a different story.”

Interviewer Question:  “Diabetes, obesity etc.… How would you attack diseases like that across the spectrum?”

Sarah London:  “Yeah. Great question.  So if you start with the data, so one of the things that is fascinating is, if you look at the data that we collect, on patients today, even in the electronic medical record, which 80% of it is non-discrete.  And then above that when you actually do the work to pull that data out, and codify it, what you find is that somewhere between, for most providers, somewhere between 30 and 62 percent of diabetics go unrecognized in the system. Because a doctor makes a note over here, they don’t actually code it, the payer doesn’t know about it.  They may not even have a conversation with a patient because they may not be talking to the patient about diabetes. So what happens is we are able to develop algorithms that comb the data and say, this patient actually shows all the clinical indicators of a diabetic. We are able to serve that up to a provider to say, “Is this someone you should be treating in a different way?” And then what happens is you go from having a patient who is unrecognized and not treated, who ends up going to the emergency department because they have a diabetic issue.  They are not managing their obesity. They have depression. There is utilization in the system. Their patient experience is horrific to a patient that gets proactive outreach from a provider.  Someone says we are going to hook you up to a nutritionist. We are going to get you on the right medication.  We are going to talk to you about how to manage this disease. This is not some terrible; you are going to have an awful experience the rest of your life.  This is something you can manage through. And from a patient perspective, it’s a completely different experience. And from a system perspective, you end up driving down the cost of that patient’s experience with the system.  So it’s a win/win.”



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