Meet Ana, your new assistant

July 31, 2017

 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

VisiQuate announced that with Ana, its new automated data assistant, getting values for key metrics, ratios, and trends will be easy as asking questions in simple English, like, “What is next month’s forecasted operating income?” Or, “Show me the last 13 months of point-of-service collections.” Ana will satisfy the request almost instantaneously, because she is built on top of VisiQuate’s powerful analytics platform. Also, Ana takes full advantage of VisiQuate’s advanced analytics capabilities, including deep learning, AI, forecasting, and other predictive insights.

Courtesy of VisiQuate

HMT had the pleasure of speaking with VisiQuate’s Colt Briner, Vice President of Product Marketing, and Anthony Comfort, Technical Product Manager. We discussed Ana, which we had the opportunity to see in action at HFMA in June.

First, Briner gave us a brief overview of Ana. He said, “Ana is basically a conversational UI, meaning she allows you to interface with your data in the revenue cycle the same way you might converse with Alexa or Siri. So, you can ask her for metrics, charts, or trends that exist in your data and she can turn those around for you. She can proactively identify opportunities that exist inside your data. One thing that has become clear with the volume of data that exists in healthcare, is that humans really can’t keep up. So having artificial intelligences sitting on top of that data is the only way to make sure you are capturing the opportunities that exist inside that data.”

He added, “The last thing we have done with Ana is we’ve made it possible for her to function as a revenue cycle consultant. She has been educated with VisiQuate’s revenue cycle playbook, which is a compendium of tactics that you can undertake to drive improvements in your revenue cycle. She accesses the data that is there so she can find the opportunities that exist, and then help facilitate the process toward capitalizing on those opportunities.”

Next, HMT asked about improvements that Ana would bring to organizations.

Briner said, “Democratization of data. As it stands right now, there is a lot of value and opportunities that exist. Having good data-wrangling ability, we have found time and time again millions of dollars that people didn’t know were there. It’s as easy as having a conversation to get to that data. There is a big impact on how data can be effectively leveraged in an organization.”

Courtesy of VisiQuate

We then asked about how organizations will train staff to use Ana. Comfort said, “It’s a twofold approach. Doubling down on our investment (which is what we’ve been doing in machine-learning technology) allows us to build a pretty robust natural language understanding engine. Second is having a great onboarding process for the new user module that will be live on Ana shortly. When a user first logs in, Ana will present a guided path of how to use what she can provide to help them understand questions they can ask and products she can produce. Then along the way after the user has been interacting with her, she will have the ability to give recommendations based on past usage, such as reports they may be looking for or what reports other users are looking at.”

HMT also asked about security concerns. Briner commented, “The security work that we have done ensures that our platform is protecting information and is robust relative to its ability to fend off attack. All the work we put into our core platform, Ana has—since she sits on top of that. The same protocols and security measures are used.”

Finally, Comfort commented on their brand, which if you haven’t had a chance to check out their advertising, it’s well worth your time. He said, “Costs are continuously rising on the healthcare side. On the revenue side, because of the political environment, where your revenue comes from as a healthcare organization is a lot more indeterminate now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Where it previously came from insurance companies, it’s coming out of the patients’ pockets, next week it might flip the other way. In our user community, there’s a lot of frustration. Our brand is really trying to say, the status quo—what people have been doing—will only get you so far. If you want to adapt and deal with everything that is coming your way and break out of the mold to stop this cycle and frustration, we’re the company for you.”

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