UPMC creates an AI-powered analytics company focused on patients with chronic diseases


MedCity News

UPMC, based in Pittsburgh, has founded a new artificial intelligence-based company to help clinicians identify patients with chronic diseases and link them to treatment options.

Realyze Intelligence, incubated and funded by UPMC Enterprises, provides a clinical information platform that “reads” the detailed clinical notes in patients’ EMRs, said Aaron Brauser, president and CEO of the new company, in an email. Brauser is together with Dr. Gilan El Saadawi, who is the CMO of Realyze, also co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based company.

The platform uses clinical models along with artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies to gather information from the entire patient record, including the descriptive clinical notes, he explained.

These notes provide a wealth of invaluable information about a patient beyond the structured data in EMRs and data warehouses. However, in order to access this information and understand the progress of a patient’s condition, these notes must be read and interpreted by a trained clinician, he said.

“This rich patient history is effectively trapped, resulting in billions of dollars being wasted in abstraction costs,” Brauser said.

The Realyze Intelligence solution is able to analyze the clinical notes together with the structured patient data in the EMR and to categorize patients into specific disease populations. The platform can then help clinicians match patients with the treatment that is likely to benefit them most.

“Realyze’s ability to analyze vast amounts of unstructured data has brought a new dimension and depth to our analysis and made it even more useful to our clinicians as it delivers life-changing medicines to the communities we serve,” said Dr. Oscar C. Marroquin, UPMC’s Chief Health Care Data and Analytics Officer, in a press release.

For example, the Realyze platform can identify patients who have been diagnosed with stage 3b chronic kidney disease and are not yet on dialysis, Brauser said.

“These patients can then be prioritized and referred to a specialist to ensure better treatment and reduce the risk of a ‘crash’ dialysis event,” he said.

Similarly, the platform can identify a cancer patient who meets the criteria for a new treatment and notify the doctor before presenting treatment options to the patient.

Looking ahead, Realyze Intelligence aims to expand its customer base across health systems and health plans nationwide and to continue developing package deals to combat chronic disease and cancer, Brauser said.

Photo: ipopba, Getty Images

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