Wharton Healthcare Conference | Datavant Interview
What does Datavant do?
Datavant connects health data. A typical patient has their data stored with hundreds of institutions: they may have 10+ providers, 5+ payers, a few dozen pharmacies, some lab tests, some X-rays, a FitBit, and a 23andMe account. Nobody in the ecosystem, including the patient, the doctor, or the health analytics/data ecosystem has more than a few percentage points of information about a given patient.
Our goal is to make it easy to connect data about a patient’s holistic journey. To do so, we provide a set of solutions that reduce the friction of data exchange across the healthcare industry, with a specific focus on connecting de-identified patient data while protecting patient privacy.
Today, we work with a large number of partners to de-identify their data in compliance with HIPAA. As we de-identify our partners’ data, our software applies an anonymized identifier to each patient that exists in the underlying data set. That anonymized identifier can be used to link corresponding patient records across data sets without revealing any identifying information or compromising patient privacy.
In short, our partners use Datavant’s connecting technology to stitch together multiple de-identified data sets, which they can use to provide better analytics (these analytics use cases span the life sciences and health care industries, including use cases for population health, clinical development, market access, real-world evidence, risk scoring, value-based payments, or precision medicine). And patients are the ultimate beneficiary: by making it safe and easy to connect data and understand a patient’s holistic journey, we believe that treatments can be developed more quickly and reach the right patients.
What’s the goal of linking corresponding patient records?
The goal is to provide a more holistic and longitudinal view of patients for our partners, capturing the patient journey through EHR, omic, lab, claims and other data sets. Being able to link data across these silos is critical to unlock the power of health analytics.
Who are you working with today?
Today, we are working with dozens of data sources, including EHR, medical and pharmacy claims, lab data, genomic data, mortality data, and socioeconomic, behavioral and consumer data. In the aggregate, these sources represent hundreds of data sets, and provide data on over 240 million lives. In the past year alone, we have de-identified over 20 billion patient records.
At the same time, we are working with providers, payers, life science companies and analytics companies that are interested in connecting disparate data sources for a variety of reasons, from designing sophisticated treatment intervention programs to running real-world data studies.
Whether you are a data user or a data source, being part of Datavant’s ecosystem makes it much easier to connect data than it otherwise would be.
Can you give me an example of how this all works?
Definitely. Let’s say a rare diseases company wants to find a way to better identify patients that are frequently misdiagnosed. To do so, they want to take in lab, genomic and claims data that they will use to develop a clinical diagnostic support tool for physicians. The rare diseases company might work with Datavant to source data on those specific patients of interest. After receiving each of these de-identified data sets from the relevant sources, the company could then use Datavant’s software to link records across those data sets. By linking those patient records, the company could build an aggregated data set, which will power their clinical diagnostic support tool.
This all sounds a bit complicated. Could you tell me a bit about the team that’s building and delivering the software?
The strength of our people is key to Datavant’s success. We’ve purposely built a team that contains a mix of people from healthcare and life science backgrounds as well as pulling in people from other industries, and we’ve bolstered this team by ensuring we have deep industry expertise on our advisory board. For example, our Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Product both held leadership positions in a number of healthcare technology companies prior to Datavant, while our Head of Engineering was the former Head of Data Science at Lyft. As we scale, we plan to continue pulling in brilliant people from diverse backgrounds while always ensuring that we have strong industry expertise.