Delivering AI Technologies to Improve Patient Care
Iodine Software is an enterprise AI company that is championing a radical rethink of how to create value for healthcare professionals, leaders, and their organizations by improving hospital clinical documentation accuracy through applications powered by advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. Iodine’s predictive AI engine complements the skills and judgement of healthcare professionals by interpreting raw clinical data to generate real-time, highly focused, predictive insights that clinicians and hospital administrators can leverage to dramatically augment the management of care delivery and improve the financial position of health systems.
Silversmith first partnered with Iodine in November 2018 when it invested in the company, along with the team at Bain Capital Ventures, as its first institutional investors. Over the next three years, Silversmith’s Jeff Crisan and Brian Peterson supported Iodine’s co-founders William Chan and Mike Kadyan as they built out their sales & marketing, finance and customer services functions while expanding their product offering both through internal development and acquisitions. By late 2021, Iodine had approximately tripled its ARR, grew its customer base more than 200% to 95 unique customers serving 800 hospitals, successfully integrated two accretive acquisitions (ChartWise Medical Systems and Artifact Health), recruited Board members from leading healthcare companies, and through significant investments in sales & marketing, emerged as a category leader in the clinical documentation space.
Iodine’s vision to solve the most complex health care challenges only continues to grow, not just in the company’s core area of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) but for all those involved in the patient care journey. We were thrilled when in December 2021, Advent International joined as the company’s newest investment partner at a valuation of more than $1 billion. As the company begins this next chapter, Silversmith’s Jeff Crisan sat down with William Chan to discuss Iodine’s mission and his vision to deliver revolutionary technologies to improve patient care.
Tell us a little about the history of Iodine. When did you start the company and how did you decide to focus on inefficiencies in the clinical documentation space?
My co-founder Mike Kadyan and I had previously co-founded a company together and in 2010 we came back together with a shared vision to create a new healthcare company whose mission would be to empower caregivers to provide better patient care through technology. That has been our mission since we started Iodine and continues to be our mission today.
Our first product focused on providing alerts to caregivers via mobile devices. And while it was a product that delivered on our mission, like many startups, we realized the market was not ready for the technology at the time, so we made the difficult decision to pivot our product strategy. Through the work we had done with healthcare systems, it was clear that a massive pain point for hospitals was reviewing clinical documentation to identify inconsistences, omissions, and errors. It was an inefficient, manual process which required specialists capable of clinical judgement, who were hard to hire and often stretched thin. Poor documentation then resulted in not only less than optimal patient care, but also reimbursement denials and regulatory compliance issues. Patients suffered from these inefficiencies, and we knew there had to be a better way to help hospitals review documentation.
How did Iodine tackle this issue and how did you know you had a product that resonated with healthcare providers and systems?
In 2015, we went to market with an AI/ML technology platform that enabled hospital systems, for the first time, to identify records with the highest likelihood of having errors and prioritize the workload of CDI specialists. The software not only boosted hospital revenue by improving the efficiency of CDI specialists, but more importantly, ensured patients received higher quality care. Within three years, we had more than 30 customers representing over 250 hospitals using what is now known as our Concurrent application.
You did all this without raising outside capital. What was that experience like and when and why did you decided to bring on an investment partner?
For the first 8 years, we bootstrapped Iodine all the way. It was blood, sweat and tears in the early days, but in 2016, with customers seeing the value our technology provided, we started rapidly growing. By 2018, we realized that if we wanted to continue to deliver on our mission of improving patient care through technology, we needed to find a partner to help us scale more quickly and expand into other areas.
When we made that decision, there were two things that were important to us in deciding who we worked with. First, we wanted someone who had expertise in the healthcare market and understood the challenges associated with selling technology platforms into healthcare systems. Second, and most important to us as founders who had bootstrapped the company to date, we wanted someone who would be a great partner.
How do you think the pandemic has changed the healthcare landscape over the past two years? Have these changes impacted your vision for Iodine?
At a macro-level, the pandemic has demonstrated how badly the healthcare industry needed funding. Even though it’s the largest industry in the U.S., investment in innovation hasn’t been proportional to the size of the overall healthcare spend. Now that innovative companies have the capital to grow, I expect that we’ll finally start to see smarter solutions to our system’s biggest problems, including provider burnout and revenue leakage.
Specific to Iodine, the pandemic not only put a spotlight on the role that AI and machine-learning technology can play in helping healthcare providers document clinical outcomes, but also has helped us realize there is a significant opportunity for us to apply the same technology to other workflows and processes that impact the patient care experience and support hospitals’ clinical quality and financial integrity.
Iodine is passionate about solving the most complex health care challenges, not just for CDI teams, but for all those involved in the patient care journey. We look forward to having the support of Jeff, Brian and the entire Silversmith team as we continue to provide revolutionary technologies to improve patient care.