How Upstream Health is becoming one of the top health analytics companies in the U.S.
With the help of former Nike and Starbucks marketing executive Scott Bedbury, Montana startup Upstream Health Systems Inc., is rising within the ranks of the healthcare sector.
An advanced tech company dedicated to improving lives by increasing health across communities, neighborhoods and populations, Upstream was created last spring and is now beginning to hire employees and raise capital.
The company has branch offices in Bend, Ore., as well as Seattle, while the firm’s senior developer, economists, statisticians and mathematicians build and develop software in its Missoula, Montana office.
With the health analytics sector already a $350 billion industry and continuing to grow according to Upstream founder and chief science officer Alex Philp, it is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the $3 trillion healthcare field.
“We are dedicated to this notion of upstream analytics — understanding the causes and conditions of diseases like coronary disease, diabetes and certain neurological diseases among others, and helping populations prevent diseases from occurring,” said Philp.
“We are focusing on innovative health care systems and private companies, trying to envision how to make entire regions healthier. We want to help people go from being patients to smart consumers, and we have a lot of tricks up our sleeve and major announcements when it comes to new projects and ideas.”
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Behind the company’s flagship software application called “Navigator” that it sells to health systems, insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies, Upstream is focused on environmental factors and built its software to allow clients to combine all of the factors in to one application.
“Where you live matters in terms of lifestyle behavior, exposure to carcinogens and in terms of accessibility to clean foods and water,” said Philp. “There are hundreds of variables that can be analyzed to see health trajectory.
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“Approximately 40-55 percent of risk is based on your lifestyle behaviors, and where you live is approximately 20-25 percent. We decided we could literally map all that so people could understand these diseases and these processes.”
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Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”