65.6 F
Los Angeles
Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

Akido Labs Launches Medical Network

Akido Labs is a medtech startup turned health care provider that has redirected its growth strategy through a partnership with Pomona-based Chaparral Medical Group.

The partnership takes Akido’s proprietary tech platform, which the company calls the Wellbeing Graph, and makes it usable on a medical network.

The platform is a software technology that predicts social or health outcomes a person may be susceptible to given their medical history and their life events, which Akido classifies as social determinants of health. It also caters to the needs of patients with pre-existing chronic illness who visit specialty doctors on a regular basis.

Chief Technology Officer Jared Goodner provided an example of the platform’s use.
“As a patient, I may have recently lost my job, which I happen to mention to my doctor. Because our system is trained to identify markers, particularly social determinant markers that indicate a potential progression of worsening illness, our system marks the job loss,” Goodner said. “And this results in an automatic sequence of events that gets triggered based off that (mark).”

The software could also suggest additional screenings around pre-diabetic markers, a notification that the physician and patient discuss food insecurity or send an enrollment application to the patient for a nutrition program. Goodner added that the platform is designed to support doctors in their services, not make decisions for the patient.

“You’re sort of democratizing the ability to prevent a further worsening of an illness by exposing (patients) to a much larger market of intervention opportunities, some of which could be created and managed by Akido and other ones that are totally third party, whatever makes the most sense for the health of a patient,” said Prashant Samant, Akido’s chief executive.

Through its technology, the company has worked its way into the market for preventive care, as opposed to immediate care for patient conditions that have already materialized.
Akido’s partnership with Chaparral Medical Group, which has more than 30 locations in the Pomona Valley, allows the company to bring on more users of its technology, and thus, more income. It also marks Akido’s transition from a software provider for different health care clients to a bona fide health care provider backed by its own technology.

“(Chapparal has) a culture towards chronic illness management, and we can supercharge that with our platform and technological infrastructure,” Samant said.

AKIDO 315 W 9th Street Los Angeles, CA
The company’s HQ on 9th Street downtown.

Under the partnership, Dr. Prasad Jeereddi, Chaparral’s founder, will continue the operations of his group’s daily medical functions and take on the role of chief medical officer for Akido. He will work closely with Akido Head of Business Development Sanjit Mahanti.

Mahanti said that Chaparral is the right fit for Akido’s business because of its focus on treating the chronically ill in a multispecialty way, which he described as the best way to create a durable health care business.

Core competency

“We’re talking about endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pulmonologists and cardiologists, really those core subspecialties that we’re now seeing as the most important to take care of the chronically ill,” Mahanti said. “We wanted to make sure that we worked with an organization that had that core competency.”

Jeereddi and Mahanti together have more than 50 years of operational knowledge and experience of the multispecialty care sector and will be key players in Akido’s expansion into new markets.

“I’ve always believed patient care is as much art as it is science, and the consideration taken to create a symbiotic relationship between the artful practice of medicine and Akido’s powerful technology will greatly serve our patients, doctors, care teams and communities,” Jeereddi said.

The partnership comes seven years after Akido was founded out of the University of Southern California’s D-Health Lab, around the time the company received an early investment from Y Combinator, a technology startup accelerator.

In the time between then and the development of its new medical network, the company primarily provided its services to entities that needed help managing health care services. For example, Akido has used its platform for work with the city of Long Beach, the city of Santa Monica, the Moffitt Cancer Center and the American Foundation for the Blind, among other organizations.

In the case of Long Beach, Akido has provided its platform to help the city coordinate care across multiple social and health care-oriented services.

“Places like Long Beach work with populations that have very different needs from a cultural standpoint, right? It’s a very multicultural city,” Mahanti said. “That means that as a physician, care provider or social worker, providing support to meet the cultural needs of any given individual can be quite helpful, and so we put a lot of work into designing the system to make that possible.”

Last year, the company announced that it had raised a total of $25 million in funding to scale its impact and that its latest financing at the time was Future Communities Capital.

Akido used to follow an enterprise software business model, but with the transition to a health care business model the company makes revenue through patient care. That revenue is a mix of fee for service care and capitated care.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, capitated care “is a payment arrangement for health care services in which an entity receives a risk-adjusted amount of money for each person attributed to them, per period of time, regardless of the volume of services that person seeks.”

With its own medical network, Akido is now looking to further delve into the preventive care space. Samant said that the company’s biggest challenge so far has been validating its presence in the space.

“It required a lot of validation from other parts of the business ecosystem, from insurance companies and government agencies to health care providers that wanted to work with us,” Samant said. “Like, ‘can you guys really take responsibility for the rock here? Or, are you just Silicon Valley people that are going to toss stones with software?’”

According to Samant, Akido is planning on growing its revenue by 150% to 200% in the next year, due primarily to the business that will come from its partnership with Chaparral.

Featured Articles

Related Articles