Ben is a successful healthcare and tech entrepreneur whose most recent venture, Visions@work, was acquired in 2011 by publicly traded global IT corporation NIIT Technologies. Ben has been behind the vision, design and architecture of cutting-edge, award-winning software products while being directly responsible for running large corporations. His international business acumen is a result of managing operations in the United Kingdom, Japan, India and the UAE.
Predictive Modeling News talked to Ben about packaged algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Predictive Modeling News: What’s the best practical application of predictive analytics that you’ve worked on or heard about lately?
Pranam Ben: Predictive analytics at the population health level didn’t even really exist three to five years ago, so everything we see today is a new world. There are some great success stories around personalized medicine, for example, but I can also point to two practical applications I’ve worked on. Our platform, Bridge, has the capability to predict not only readmissions among multiple risk groups, but also a healthcare organization’s potential savings or losses on overall spend. Both of these use cases have proven accurate within an acceptable margin of error. I fully expect that in the coming years, companies like The Garage are going to greatly expand such use cases by using packaged algorithms to help clinically integrated networks reduce spending, improve outcomes and become high-performing organizations.
PMN: What will predictive analytics look like in the future? What kinds of functionality will analytics bring to the table tomorrow that clever minds are only beginning to think about today?
PB: I see three trends playing a key role in defining healthcare’s transformation to value-based care delivery models: applied machine learning and artificial intelligence; on-demand, consumer-driven healthcare experiences; and next-gen security, transparency and accountability. With these trends as drivers, I think we’ll soon tap analytics to power functionalities such as: • more precise preventive medicine • more accurate diagnoses • improved health literacy • better cost and coverage predictions for consumers • more responsive drug manufacturing and supply chain operations As predictive healthcare analytics becomes more sophisticated, it promises to offer the kind of real-time insight that providers need to better manage chronic illness and deliver high-quality preventive care.
PMN: What path did you take to your present position, starting right out of college? Was it the career path you envisioned when you started?
PB: My initial academic qualifications were focused on hardware and network communications -- not software. My earliest introduction to software was when I became part of a project to develop software that programmed microcontrollers for non-contact temperature measurement. That experience opened my eyes to the power and potential of software. So I enrolled in classes and learned the basics of programming. Since then, I’ve been laser-focused on developing software products that solve real business problems. However, my foray into healthcare was purely accidental. I joined a company in 2003 that was developing some exciting stuff for healthcare, and quickly realized just how many opportunities there are for innovative healthcare software solutions.
PMN: What occupies a typical day or week for you? What functions, activities and workload are you typically engaged in?
PB: Most of my time is spent directly or indirectly with customers. Our culture at The Garage is one that’s innovation-driven and customer-obsessed. The ability to learn something new from all of our customers -- and then harmonize our platform and business growth accordingly -- is a major perk of my job. I’m also deeply committed to empowering our crew to do their best and be their best on a daily basis; it helps that I have one of the best teams anyone could wish for.