Akido Labs is a medical technology startup-turned-healthcare provider that has realigned its growth strategy through a partnership with Pomona-based Chaparral Medical Group.
The partnership takes Akido’s proprietary technology platform, which the company calls the Wellbeing Graph, and makes it usable in a medical network.
The platform is software technology that predicts social or health outcomes that an individual may be susceptible to based on their medical history and life events, which Akido classifies as social determinants of health. It also addresses the needs of patients with pre-existing chronic conditions who regularly see specialist doctors.
Chief Technology Officer Jared Goodner provided an example of using the platform.
“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, specifically social determinants, that indicate possible progression of a worsening disease, our system marks job loss,” Goodner said. “And that leads to an automatic sequence of events being triggered based on that (marking).”
The software could also suggest additional screening around prediabetic markers, a notification that the doctor and patient are discussing nutritional insecurity, or send the patient an application to join a nutritional program. Goodner added that the platform is designed to support doctors in their services, not make decisions for the patient.
“You’re effectively democratizing the ability to prevent a disease from getting worse by exposing you (patients) to a much larger market of intervention options, some of which could be created and managed by Akido and others that could be entirely third-party. what makes the most sense for a patient’s health,” said Prashant Samant, Chief Executive of Akido.
Through its technology, the company has worked its way into the preventive care market, as opposed to immediate care for patient conditions that have already occurred.
Akido’s partnership with Chaparral Medical Group, which has more than 30 locations in the Pomona Valley, allows the company to attract more users of its technology and, as a result, more revenue. It also marks Akido’s transition from a software provider for various healthcare clients to a true healthcare provider supported by its own technology.
“(Chapparal has) a culture of dealing with chronic diseases, and we can enhance that with our platform and technology infrastructure,” Samant said.
As part of the partnership, Dr. Prasad Jeereddi, the founder of Chaparral, will continue his group’s day-to-day medical duties and assume 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 choice for Akido’s business because of its focus on multidisciplinary treatment of the chronically ill, which he said is the best way to create a lasting healthcare business.
“We’re talking about endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pulmonologists and cardiologists, really those core subspecialties that we now see as the most important for chronic care care,” Mahanti said. “We wanted to make sure we were working with an organization that had that core competency.”
Jeereddi and Mahanti together have over 50 years of operational knowledge and experience in the multi-specialty care sector and will be key players in Akido’s expansion into new markets.
“I have always believed that patient care is both an art and a science, and the thought of creating a symbiotic relationship between the artful practice of medicine and the powerful technology of Akido will greatly benefit our patients, physicians, care teams and communities said Jeereddi.
The partnership comes seven years after Akido was formed out of the University of Southern California’s D-Health Lab, around the time the company received an early investment from Y Combinator, a tech startup accelerator.
In the time between then and the development of its new medical network, the company primarily provided its services to institutions that needed help managing healthcare services. Akido has used its platform to collaborate with the City of Long Beach, the City of Santa Monica, the Moffitt Cancer Center, and the American Foundation for the Blind, among others.
In Long Beach’s case, Akido deployed its platform to help the city coordinate care across multiple social and health-focused services.
“Places like Long Beach work with people who have very different needs from a cultural perspective, right? It’s a very multicultural city,” Mahanti said. “This means that as a doctor, nurse or social worker, it can be very helpful to provide support to meet a specific person’s cultural needs, and so we have put a lot of work into designing the system to make that possible.”
Last year, the company announced it had raised a total of $25 million in funding to scale its impact and its most recent funding at the time was Future Communities Capital.
Akido used to have an enterprise software business model, but with the transition to a healthcare business model, the company is generating revenue from patient care. This revenue is a mix of service maintenance fees and capitalized maintenance fees. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, capitated care is “a health care payment arrangement in which an entity receives a risk-adjusted amount of money for each individual assigned to it per period, regardless of the level of services that individual is seeking.”
With his own medical network, Akido now wants to delve further into the field of prevention. Samant said the company’s biggest challenge to date has been validating its presence in space.
“It required a lot of validation from other parts of the business ecosystem, from insurance companies and government agencies to healthcare providers who wanted to work with us,” Samant said. “Like, ‘can you guys really take responsibility for this rock? Or are you just guys from Silicon Valley who are going to throw rocks with software?’”
According to Samant, Akido plans to increase its funding by 150% to 200% over the next year, largely due to the business that will come from its partnership with Chaparral.