LeanTaaS raises $40 million to optimize health clinic operations with AI

By December 12, 2019 March 6th, 2020 News

Long wait times for patients can be the undoing of a large clinic or a hospital system. According to a recent survey, 84% of patients consider a reasonable wait somewhat or very important to a quality experience, and 30% say they’ve left a medical appointment because of an inordinately long wait. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a strong correlation between offices with longer average wait times and low patient satisfaction scores. And a whopping 20% of patients say they’d consider changing providers due to wait times alone.

That’s why Mohan Giridharadas, a Stanford graduate and former McKinsey and Company partner, founded Charlotte, North Carolina- and Santa Clara-based LeanTaaS. It’s a predictive analytics company that taps data science to “radically” improve health care provider performance, using cloud-based solutions to solve problems like resource utilization.

LeanTaaS got its start in 2010 and went on to raise $14 million in venture capital, and to partner with 20 centers within the not-for-profit National Comprehensive Cancer Network alliance and 30 National Cancer Institute member institutions. (Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York-Presbyterian, Penn Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and UCSF Health are among its customers.) Following three funding tranches totaling $61 million led by Insight Partners, the company today announced that it’s closed a $40 million series C round from Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, bringing its total raised to over $100 million.

“Right now, in the busy cold and flu season, patients wait hours to be seen, medical staff suffer from burnout, and costs continue to rise for patients and providers alike,” said Giridharadas. “The healthcare industry can take a nod from airlines, who have improved the travel experience by using advanced data analytics to maximize everything from fuel trucks to baggage handlers. Just as the answer for busy airports wasn’t to add runways or build more airports, the answer for healthcare is not to build more facilities or extend operating hours. Instead, we must figure out how to do more with the resources already on-hand to improve the experience for all.” He added that the fresh capital will be used to bolster product R&D, as well as talent acquiring across LeanTaaS’ engineering, data science, product management, sales, and marketing teams following a 10-month hiring spree that saw more than 85 employees join.

Proprietary algorithms underpin LeanTaaS’ marquee product, iQueue, which matches available assets — including operating rooms, infusion chairs, ambulatory clinics, imaging assets, and inpatient beds — with patients and clinicians who require them. It takes into account hundreds of real-world operational constraints, and it continuously self-improves by comparing anticipated with actual performance, ostensibly improving patient access and staff satisfaction while decreasing wait times and operating costs.

iQueue comes in three flavors: iQueue for Operating Rooms, iQueue for Infusion Centers, and iQueue Labs.

The first — iQueue for Operating Rooms — offers a marketplace and dashboards designed to boost surgeon access with actionable metrics. It ingests electronic health record data from providers like Epic, Cerner, Meditech, Allscripts, and McKesson to suggest allocation changes and determine whom to take away time from (versus whom to give it to). Moreover, it enables surgeons to monitor abandoned and released time blocks from the web or from a mobile app, and to request those blocks on-demand from health care system schedulers.

Similarly, iQueue for Infusion Centers looks at daily appointment patterns, chair utilization, and staff availability to suggest freely available appointment slots. It creates calendar schedules that maximize patient flow and chair usage, with templates engineered to minimize delays and fully utilize resources. A schedule shifter feature suggests ways to restructure and to improve a future day’s schedule, while daily and weekly huddle reports provide start-of-the-day views of anticipated chair utilization and over- and under-booking estimations. Every morning, the system sends a summary email to center leaders that spotlights patterns and trends concerning patient volumes, add-ons and no-shows, patient arrivals, wait times, cycle times, and more. A separate nurse allocation report previews the day’s nurse availability by time and treatment length.

As for iQueue Labs, it orchestrates both medical imaging and phlebotomy labs processes. On the imaging side, it predicts the demand pattern of incoming imaging orders by time of day and day of week, balancing the various stages of the workloads to ensure a smooth flow across machines. With respect to phlebotomy, iQueue projects the patient demand for each category of lab test by time of day and day of week, and it handles patient placement and right-sized bed and unit capacity planning, as well as handling census taking and streamlining discharge.

Giridharadas claims that at the 180 infusion centers where it’s been deployed, iQueue for Infusion Centers has improved patient access by 15% to 25% across 4,500 chairs while reducing wait times by up to 50%. And in the case of iQueue for Operating Rooms, which is in active use by 105 hospitals (with more than 900 operating rooms collectively) belonging to 24 different health systems, customers report seeing 3% to 6% improvements in operating room utilization, with one health system saying iQueue helped identify more than 390,000 minutes of additional operating room capacity.

LeanTaaS’ portfolio targets several lucrative health care software sectors, including the patient scheduling app segment (which is anticipated to reach $444.1 million by the end of 2019) and the operating room management segment ($3.41 billion by 2022). It’s not without competitors — University of Washington spinout Perimatics offers an AI system that uses data on patients and surgeons to predict the length of surgeries, as do Tagnos and Qventus — but LeanTaaS has market momentum on its side.

“LeanTaaS’ iQueue represents a rare nexus of product leadership, robust ROI, and fast time to value for hospitals,” said Insight Partners managing director Peter Segall. “As software-focused investors, we have found the product’s impact on customers to be very impressive in general, but in particular considering how hard it is to deliver value with true SaaS products in healthcare environments.”