It works very similarly to the way former NSA operative Sean Lane used to tease out a criminal’s identity from a mountain of information. Called Olive AI, it’s a Robot Process Automation tool that sifts through stacks of health data to pick out a patient's details the way its National Security Agency-equivalent did back when Lane was fighting crime. He is now the CEO of the Columbus Ohio startup, and he wants to bring his solution to those breaking down the silos in healthcare.
Now, Olive is liberating the everyday healthcare employee from the shackles of their administrative tasks – those found in the revenue cycle, supply chain management, clinical administration, and human resources processes. The firm's automation solution is designed to streamline many of these back-end processes that remain an expensive necessity for cash-strapped hospitals and healthcare providers. It’s there to ensure workers can get the job done without the pain and expense of trying to fit a square query peg into a round data hole.
“There’s a growing multi-billion-dollar problem: healthcare doesn't have the internet. Instead, healthcare uses humans as routers, forcing workers to toggle between disparate systems,” said Sean Lane, Olive’s chief executive officer. “They click and type and extract and import, all day long – and it’s one of the leading reasons that one out every three dollars spent in the industry is spent on administrative costs.”
Not only will Olive automate a hospital’s operations, but the technology will also keep an eye open for pressure points that could be costing them money. The software does this by accessing previous health claim status information so it can sift through the data and determine whether there were coding errors that can be corrected. An extra check at the program level provides hospitals with the chance to capture revenue that may have otherwise been lost.
Lane says that his AI-powered offering works with any software that healthcare can throw at it. Medical records that don’t match up are maneuvered around through a combination of computer vision and RPA to use these systems very much like a human would – by opening browsers, using a keyboard, and moving a mouse. Once Olive finds the information it needs, the application can use its people-like decision-making skills to make choices about the next steps.
Healthcare leaders see the light in regards to Olive's potential. The company counts more than 500 hospitals as their customers – representing some of the largest healthcare providers in the country. Lane’s startup recently raised $51 million in series E funding, led by VC firm General Catalyst. In total, the company has secured $123.8 million in capital with the likes of Drive Capital, Oak HC/FT, and Ascension Ventures financially backing the AI firm.
It’s still early days for healthcare adoption of artificial intelligence technology, Olive says. In a study conducted by the tech provider, only 50 percent of hospital leaders stated they were familiar with AI/RPA while another half said they couldn’t name a vendor in that field. With an estimated $1 trillion going towards administrative expenses, more than half of the leaders surveyed said they would be considering implementing the technology by 2021.