The skills taught in the NCSU MSA program have a tremendous impact on data scientists and consultants and also on leaders and entrepreneurs. As a young entrepreneur and MSA student, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to apply the technical and communication skills I learn at school to the startup environment at my company, Nanbar Health.
What is Nanbar Health? Perhaps we can better answer this question with another; do you want to see how innovative healthcare technology and data science can be used to help countless patients?
Nanbar Health’s mission is to improve the care outcomes of all humans and reduce the cost of healthcare through the collection, analysis, dissemination, and education of patient insights across the entire care continuum. We envision a world where interoperable, communicative, high-quality healthcare is affordable and accessible to everyone through innovative technology.
Nanbar Health’s unique combination of Remote Patient Monitoring, Advanced Analytics, and Continuing Medical Education provides opportunities not only for improving patient health outcomes, but also for reducing system care expenditures.
Many problems financially burden the U.S. healthcare economy, including poor interoperability, high physician burnout, slow internal & external care team communication, absent real-time patient analytics, and generic patient & provider education. Nanbar Health’s platform aims to solve this multi-faceted problem through a holistic and impactful system:
- Collecting reliable patient data
- Analyzing this data through innovative and clinically-backed methods
- Educating patients and providers on a personally-customized level
- Disseminating insights to all relevant parties in a patient’s care journey.
The most important attribute of this system, and what makes it so beautifully effective, is that the patient is always at the center. With strong patient engagement and provider buy-in, the system flourishes. This seems cliché to admit, as patient engagement could drive progress under any other technological form of treatment. For the Nanbar team however, it is a testament to their commitment to creating health technology solutions that relieve the burden on the system and improve lives while being easy to use and loved by those who use them.
The patient data collection piece of the system entails the usage of the Nanbar Health mobile application (available on the App Store) in conjunction with wearable technology. The app connects to any FDA-approved wearable and allows patients to not only continuously collect physiological data, but also subjective measures, including symptoms & intensities, psychological/mood scores, and medications. What this unique combination of data creates is a truly rich and diverse set of information to draw insights from.
Nanbar’s analytical provider dashboard supports analysis, education, and dissemination. This web dashboard allows providers to see changes in patient health markers in real-time and empowers them to immediately make treatment or care alterations, should they be needed.
Nanbar Health utilizes Bayesian statistics and network theory to aid in clinical decision support, root cause analysis, and underlying symptom identification. Not only has this approach been developed and backed by clinical research, but it has also been published in multiple journals and presented at multiple conferences, including Sigma Nursing and the American Society of Hematology. The insights produced are then rapidly disseminated and made available across the care continuum to every provider involved in a patient’s care, with tailored patient-education being delivered through the mobile app in parallel at every step of the patient’s care progression. Insights uncovered from the tool in the clinical research setting go through an accreditation process and are dynamically delivered to providers through quick Continuing Medical Education (CME) modules. This gives them a time-efficient way to earn CME credits while uncovering unique patient group trends and innovative disease treatment methods which are not only clinically effective but also research-backed.
An important final point to touch on is the realized cost benefits of using this platform. With 4,247 patients & 37,594 VOC (Vaso-occlusive Crisis) episodes across ER, Inpatient, and Outpatient settings over 5 years1, what could a minimum of 500 reductions2 yield because of using the Nanbar Health platform?
- A 4.17:1 Hospital Savings to Platform Costs Ratio, resulting in $6,582,500 in Hospital savings for $1,580,500 of Hospital spending on the Nanbar Health Platform.
- A 3.35% Total Hospital Savings Rate, resulting in $6,582,500 in savings for $197,472,198 of total Hospital spending.
- A 0.80% Platform Costs proportion of Hospital Total spend, meaning Hospitals would spend only $1,580,500 on the Platform for this period out of the $197,472,198 total Hospital spending during this period.
The unique combination of these 3 technologies in one platform will change the way we think about healthcare and the patient. Each of these services alone provide a powerful impact on patient health, provider care methodologies, and system expenditures. What is important to note, however, is that together, with each sub-technology communicating with another, they can achieve far greater outcomes.
Now that you know more about what Nanbar is aiming to solve, let me expand on the point that the lessons I learned in the MSA program have contributed significantly to the company’s success.
Without the technical communication skills learned, crucial founder tasks like pitching, selling, and presenting to a great variety of audiences would be harrowingly difficult. These skills are ones that have helped my team not only win accolades at conferences but also instill a high standard of communication both inside and outside of our company, effectively guiding business growth and operational success. Without the skills taught in consulting, interactions with existing clients and potential ones wouldn’t be nearly as smooth and satisfactory. Complex data problems once insurmountable in nature are now approachable and simplified because of the technical lessons attained through the program.
The skills I have learned through the MSA are ones that I hope to improve upon and carry with me for life, both professionally and personally.
I urge fellow data scientists, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs to reach out and learn more about not only this platform and the value that technology and analytics bring to our costly medical landscape, but also the nature of the multidisciplinary excellence that the MSA inculcates. Readers are also urged to spread the word to their connections in healthcare so that Nanbar Health can improve the lives of millions who are not receiving the affordable and quality care that they could be.
Columnist: A B Gundala
 Shah N, Bhor M, Xie L, Paulose J, Yuce H. Medical Resource Use and Costs of Treating Sickle Cell-related Vaso-occlusive Crisis Episodes: A Retrospective Claims Study. JHEOR. 2020;7(1):52-60. doi:10.36469/jheor.2020.12852
 Fan Yang, Tanvi Banerjee, Kalindi Narine, Nirmish Shah, Improving pain management in patients with sickle cell disease from physiological measures using machine learning techniques, Smart Health, Volumes 7–8, 2018, Pages 48-59, ISSN 2352-6483, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smhl.2018.01.002. – 1500 total Reductions are a minimum estimate as a result of patient & provider education, RPM, and current Predictive modelling accuracy.