Super Smart – Healthcare Workforce Intelligence…

Great healthcare is ultimately provided by exceptional human-to-human interactions. Analysts estimate that 80% of all healthcare is delivered by people. Workforce intelligence tools have never been more important, made even more so in the shadow of the surging Delta variant.

Notwithstanding the very strong jobs report this past week, showing the addition of 943k jobs in July coupled with a 4.0% bump in average hourly earnings over last year, the complexity of managing the healthcare workforce is particularly acute today. It is estimated that there are nearly 19 million healthcare workers in the U.S., with almost 40% of them in the hospital setting. Over one million of these workers are doctors, while there are four million nurses.

Who are these people? Who are they really? The overwhelming need to provide timely, accurate and detailed credentialing for the healthcare workforce has been made even more urgent as the healthcare system is transformed and with the introduction of novel care delivery models such as telehealth providers. Relevant data are broadly distributed across all corners of the healthcare ecosystem, siloed and hard to access. Developing a “single source of truth” for each individual provider is mind-numbingly slow and fraught with friction, often taking many months to assemble.

Please welcome Axuall, Flare Capital’s most recent portfolio company, to solve what has been a frustrating and expensive process. Time is money – an average doctor will generate $2.4 million in annual revenue ($9,150 per day) so any tools that can collapse a multi-month process to days allows providers to both more profitably and effectively deploy their most precious resources. A recent study determined that the Axuall solution will increase revenues by $75k per physician hire.

As exciting and important the market opportunity is, we were particularly eager to once again partner with Charlie Lougheed, the founder and CEO, who had been the co-founder and President of Explorys, a company he sold very successfully to IBM (Explorys went on to become the cornerstone asset of IBM Watson). I worked with Charlie when I briefly served on the Explorys board through its sale to IBM. We are also excited to work again with Steve McHale, who was Charlie’s co-founder and CEO at Explorys; Steve is now on the Axuall board. It is all about the team.

Axuall has built a workforce intelligence blockchain platform on top of a national real-time practitioner data network, drawing from several hundred different data sources to create a powerful “digital wallet.” These sources include data on education, training, licensure, certifications, affiliations, skills, professional references, insurance, history of adverse events, and publications. Such a platform reduces onboarding and the enrollment of newly hired providers, as well as facilitating network planning, deployment, analytics, and reporting. The Axuall platform enables the secure sharing of digitally verified credentials between clinicians, authorized verifiers, and employers. Target customer segments include healthcare systems, staffing firms, health plans, and other emerging providers like telehealth companies.

While early, the market opportunity is very compelling. Everywhere one looks, there is simply too much friction in the system. Like many other tasks that will be automated, credentialling and more effective workforce intelligence solutions are required as the healthcare system is transformed. Greater data liqudity is needed. Individual providers are fatigued, having rallied beyond comprehension these last 18 months.

It was also nice that within weeks of closing the financing, Charlie and the team closed a multi-million dollar new account. Seems like he has assembled a very intelligent workforce…

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