There are few other industries where AI and machine learning technology can be quite as transformative as healthcare. Mayur Saxena is the founder and CEO of Droice Labs, and it's his mission to bring this tech to bear for the good of patients everywhere. He founded the New York-based biotech while attending Columbia University as a Ph.D. student and working at a healthcare company running clinical trials. He realized that health data is one of the most fragmented and scattered information sources out there.
“With machine learning, healthcare professionals can organize that information to better understand the disease of every patient and reach them faster with interventions that improve their lives,” said Saxena.
He enjoys the challenge of making patient data accessible for clinicians and is energized by what AI tech can do to make that happen. The concept behind Droice is to bring order to the chaos of healthcare data so people can spend more time analyzing it. The firm collected data from 50 million patients and is collaborating with healthcare providers, payors, and government agencies in both the US and Europe.
Professionals who work in hospital systems, pharmaceutical agencies, medical device makers, and insurance all turn to Droice Labs' natural language understanding (NLU) technology to facilitate the analysis of data. What's unique about the NLU system is its ability to assess and organize patient information collected from disparate sources and in multiple languages. Saxena reported that one hospital reduced the time it took to accurately diagnose a patient's condition by over 20 percent with the help of Droice’s technology.
“Our machine learning system takes all the data about an individual into account, and breaks it down so that a doctor, pharmaceutical scientist or healthcare insurer can understand patients better and faster,” Saxena said. “We’re automating personalized care for a much larger patient population. With shared insights across a large patient population, physicians can chart disease progress and prescribe the best treatment plan.”
Droice was founded in 2016 by Mayur Saxena, Aleksandr Makarov, Ashanideepta Bhattacharya, Harshit Sexana, and Tasha Nagamine. The firm was one of seven startups selected to participate in the SAP.iO Foundry New York healthcare accelerator program. When he reflected upon his firm's experience, the CEO views his time as a positive one. He learned a lot about the healthcare industry, Saxena said, and the unique challenges facing the different stakeholders. Partnering with SAP also opened to the door for Droice in some significant ways. For example, the firm’s machine learning platform is available for download on SAP App Center.
One aspect of doing business within healthcare is the priority placed on the security of patient information. Privacy must always be top of mind for companies working within the healthcare space, and Droice Lab's commitment to being digitally trustworthy is key to its success. While they pool data to study a population with a particular disease, neither the firm or its partners will zoom in on a patient's information to identify them.
Despite only being three years old, Droice experienced rapid growth in recent years and received seed funding from Dorm Room Funding in 2017. A Gartner 2020 CIO Survey reports that artificial intelligence will be the healthcare industry’s most transformative trend. These same analysts predict that 75 percent of healthcare agencies will invest in AI technologies to improve outcomes by 2021.