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Joe Baffone on the Role of Data in Transforming Healthcare
Episode 1430th October 2023 • Data Driven • Data Driven
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In today's episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with the remarkable Joe Baffone, an expert in the healthcare industry. With a focus on busting through administrative toxicities that lead to financial toxins, Joe discusses their comprehensive tooling and tech-enabled services that manage financial assistance for provider organizations.

Join us as Joe dives into the impact of personalized immunotherapies, the challenges in managing patient care journeys, and the transformational role of data. We also get a glimpse into Joe's reading preferences and their book recommendations. Stay tuned for an enlightening conversation with this compassionate capitalist on changing the world through the power of data.

Show Notes

[00:02:34] Joe Baffone, CEO of Anexis Health, wants to revolutionize healthcare data.

[00:04:13] Leading advocacy groups and healthcare companies professionally.

[00:07:52] Equities of care: improving healthcare journey management.

[00:09:50] Automated, comprehensive healthcare management with patient access.

[00:16:24] Data is important, helps improve patient therapy.

[00:18:52] Eye-opening stories managing a growing team.

[00:23:27] Life altering diagnosis, overwhelming paperwork and fees.

[00:26:27] EHR systems make healthcare data sharing easier.

[00:28:50] HIPAA and privacy concerns collide with medical data, but de-identification and aggregates can help.

[00:33:19] FHIR APIs transforming data sharing in healthcare.

[00:36:41] Data is essential to prove world-changing ideas.

[00:39:55] Making a difference gives me satisfaction and fulfillment.

[00:43:54] Clinical roles in pharma, administrative challenges, suicide epidemic, blood markers can help act quickly.

[00:44:58] Logistical challenges in personalized immunotherapies affecting healthcare.

[00:50:48] Grant Cardone's book: Be Obsessed or Be Average

[00:52:13] Love reading, Bible daily, thought-provoking thrillers.

Transcripts

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In this captivating episode of data driven, we engage in a thought

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provoking discussion about equities of care and disparities in the health

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care system. Our guest explains how patients

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experience varying levels of care based on their unique circumstances,

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an issue that undoubtedly impacts both the health care system and the

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patients themselves. We discuss the administrative

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inefficiencies and lack of effective management in healthcare systems.

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Can data and AI really fix this issue? Listen

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to find out.

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Hello, and welcome to Data Driven, the podcast where we explore the

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emergent. Right? It's no longer emerging. Fields of data science,

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machine learning and artificial intelligence, and, of course, data engineering, which

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is really the foundation for all of the good stuff that we're gonna talk about

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today. How you doing, Andy? I'm well, Frank. How about yourself? I'm

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doing alright. I'm still working on memorizing the season 7 kinda intro,

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which is probably by the time this show goes out, it's It's been a

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little different each time. So Sure. But it's all good. I I like

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the, the emphasis on data engineering, of course. Mhmm. I'm

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Naturally. But, totally

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totally get that. And, I'm really excited about,

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today's guest. Cool. Yeah. Me too. I I will add

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that that before we talk about our guest, that the the emphasis of

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data engineering isn't just for you. It's mostly for you. Well,

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thanks, Frank. I appreciate that. The more work I've done in

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in enterprises, the more I realized that, you know, this is

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It is foundational. Right? And and and if you follow me on on my Red

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Hat channels and things like that, you know, I have this this talk, you know,

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red, rock stars and roadies. Right. Like, our office hours talk, by the way.

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Oh, thank you. Yeah. And, you know, and I use the

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example of Taylor Swift because my niece is a huge fan of hers. Right? So

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people buy the tickets for Tay Tay. Right? But Tay Tay's concert

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wouldn't be awesome. I'm not a fan. Right? So I'm not and they don't

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hate. I don't fan. I'm very neutral. I'm Tay I'm Tay Tay neutral. Right?

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And my my my Tay Tay Probability wave has

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function is not collapsed yet. So, that's

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a quantum computing joke, which you will get or you won't

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get or neither, I suppose, which is another joke. Anyway,

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it really comes up that that, you you know, it's important. Right? Like, the the

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rock star is important. That's who sells the tickets, but Absolutely. The

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performance can't go on without all the people that go in. So roadies.

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Yeah. With that, I'm gonna we're gonna have a great conversation with Joe

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Bethone, or Bethony. I'm not we'll get the corrected pronunciation in a

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minute. He's the cofounder and CEO of Anexis Health, a leading health care

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tech company That helps lessen Nice. Administrative and

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logistical barriers across the patient experience, increase access to

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care, reduce financial burdens at both Patient and provider

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levels. His goal is to change the world by building a culture around health care

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data that people wanna be a part of. Welcome to the show, Joe. Thanks so

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much, Frank. Hey, Andy. Hey. Yeah. It's it's we had a

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little bit of a chat in the virtual green room here, and we'll get to

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that maybe at the, as the show progresses. But, just

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wanna welcome you, Joe, to the show. The, the the

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goals, the mission, of the company just sounds amazing.

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It sounds what exactly is needed. Right? Yeah. So so

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so tell us about how did you how'd you get here? Like, how'd

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you How'd you get there? How'd you hit that

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frustration point? What made you take the action, and then what your firm is

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doing? Yeah. Yeah. I I think that it It took me

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longer to get here than I than it should have. Right? I

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think I'm more stubborn than I ever thought, And

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maybe it just takes me longer to learn. I spent a lot of time in

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the pharma industry doing a bunch of different things.

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So the things that I did in pharma that relate to what I'm doing

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today, were around roles I

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played in the business of oncology. Alright. So

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I did things like create payer focusing teams, facing

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teams, led reimbursement Teams. I led

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relationships in big health care companies. I

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had the opportunity and the blessing To lead

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our relationships with advocacy groups. And

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that was probably one of the most meaningful experiences in my

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professional career Because it got me

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into this seat to watch people that dedicated their

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entire Professional life. 2, advocating on

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behalf of patients. In this case, cancer patients.

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So it was extremely meaningful for me

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To watch people or to interact with people and try

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to play some kind of meaningful role in the

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lives of those that were looking to impact the lives of

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patients with a cancer diagnosis. So that was a really cool

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opportunity. I did learn a lot through all of These

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other experiences, another big experience was

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leading relationships with large health care

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companies. Large health care companies that supported and sold

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into pharma. So what I learned was

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there's a lot of crap out there. Right? And there's some good stuff.

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And learning the ability to kinda

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sift through things, learning the ability to say, hey, this looks really cool,

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But how do you measure it? Right? There's a kind of a data story in

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that. Right? Right. So ultimately,

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I spent too much time because I'm Stubborn,

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and I think that I learn quickly, but sometimes I refuse

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to learn On other's terms. Right? And

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so other's terms, the Andy God, in this case. Right?

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Where there is a there there's a plan in play here. So, Ultimately,

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I don't have any regrets, and, really, the honest truth is is I needed all

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those experiences to help me as an operator. So I stepped out of

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pharma. I did the operator gig somewhere else prior to this

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and it was around data. It was around taking clearing house

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data, bringing it in, And creating meaning and action

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to that date. Meaning so it's clearing us data for

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claims and remittance. And there's a lot of good data in there. Right? But

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it's all how it's packaged. Right? So in the oncology space,

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provider organizations are buy and bill. They have pharmacy dispensing software,

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So they've got skin in the game. Certainly, the patient has skin in the game

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and stuff not getting paid for it is getting paid for. Right? So we

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ingested the data. We looked at it closely. We found out what was going

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on with things that were being denied. Why was it being denied?

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What are the things that we could do to impact Denials or

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approvals or time to payments. Right? And that all impacts patient

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care. So we took that data. We ingested We

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created meeting in action. We created pretty pictures, and we sold in to

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pharma. We help providers, right, help their patients.

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So during that time, as an operator, we

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were discovering and exploring other things to truly have an

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impact on improving access to health care for

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patients. And so at that time, in

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that role as an operator With other partners,

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we actually were working with another software company to start to build the

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bones of our technology at Anexis Health today,

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And that is assist point. We can get a little into a little bit more,

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about that later, but that's the journey that led me to

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Anexis Health. Do we wanna pause and banter or,

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go through some questions, or you want me to tell you a little bit about

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Anexis Health? Well, I'd like to know more about Anexis Health. I mean, there's there's

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a lot to unpack what you said, but I think if we kind of if

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you close the loop and kinda see what you do, that might that might make

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the questions a little more clearer. Yeah. And I think to the audience and maybe

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you guys, depending on how much time that, you

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guys spent just looking at our website, Ultimately, there's a big

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conversation going on right now around equities of care.

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I don't know if you guys have heard about that, but ultimately,

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Whether you call it equities of care or disparities of care,

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there is a real issue in our healthcare system

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where Based on specific circumstances,

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patients are getting care or not getting care, or getting care

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in a different way. Right? And it's having an impact on our health care system.

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It's having an impact on patients. So it's it's really interesting

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that this is a really hot topic. We actually started building

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building this this concept of a company really before

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this became a hot topic. So what we're solving for

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is actually improving the

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way the health care journey is managed. And our focus

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is busting through administrative toxicities That often lead to

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financial toxins. So how do we do that? Yeah. We

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basically provide a comprehensive

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Tooling through technology and through

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services, tech enabled services, to manage

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financial assistance start to finish For provider organizations.

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So it could be a community provider, and we're in 14 different disease

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states now. We started in in oncology. And, ultimately,

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What we do for provider organizations as it relates to financial

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assistance is 4 key pillars, search and roll, track, and adult.

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So if you guys know anything about the health care space and revenue

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cycle management, ultimately, what we do for financial assistance

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is that complete cycle of management around financial

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assistance, and and it does a couple things that are really important. Number 1,

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it makes the providers whole Economically so that they can continue to treat

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patients the way they need to. It takes a burden off

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of the patient, so they get the health care they deserve.

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And, ultimately, we're making this heavy administrative

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process and function cleaner, Easier,

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more automated, more comprehensive, and so that's 1 that's what we

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started. Right? That was the the MVP that we created, And then

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we started to develop other tools around access. And

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so management of free drug is a really important thing in the

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space. It's something that is needed to get patients on the

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therapy that they need, but often, it's a net

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negative To life science, to the provider, even to the patient

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because of what's actually not being paid for wrapped around that. And so

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we do a really good job of Managing that, making sure that where there's an

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opportunity to convert patients to other assistance options to get

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commercial drug, we do that as well. So those things

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that we're currently doing right now, inclusive of making sure that

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everyone has access to other services like travel, Lodging,

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psychosocial, other other services are in one

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destination, in one place. Now Why is

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this a big thing? Because before we started doing this, really, we were the

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1st to market with this provider centric comprehensive way of

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approaching things. It was all spreadsheets. It was fax machines. It

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was post it notes. It was free text notes in EHRs and rev

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cycles. So it was a mess, And that was

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our competition. Now our vision our vision of this organization

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is to bust through in more administrative top systems

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by providing the enterprise platform for provider

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organizations. So it could be community providers, health

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systems, institutions. The enterprise platform

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we that that we wanna provide is focused on administrative logistics. So in

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the health care system, provider organizations have Three key technology

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enterprise platforms, the EHR, the electronic health record,

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the revenue cycle management system, the cash register, And

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and the intake engine and the pharmacy dispensing software.

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All of those systems are not designed to manage

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The administrative logistics of the patient's care journey. So as

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a country, we talk about equities of care. We talk about managing the

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patient experience in their health care journey, and we haven't

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tooled the space to do that effectively. Right? And if

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you think about it, Most of the if you guys have

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individual experience or family experience or friend experience, getting

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a diagnosis of cancer or some

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disease that is associated with the sophisticated disease

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states like gastroenterology, rheumatoid arthritis. I could go on and on. That's a

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heavy piece of information to receive. Right? Oh, it's a life changing

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event. Oh my god. And then they said, go figure it out. I think you

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should get this, But go figure out all these scenarios, like, how you're gonna pay

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for it? Is there help out there? Right? Are you going to have

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to be at a certain, like when we talk about disparities,

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Andy, you live in Farmville, Virginia. I don't know how close the the

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the the really top notch next level

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Center you would go to for a cancer diagnosis, but Yeah. Getting there

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and getting there on a regular basis is something that we struggle with. Right? So

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if you're in rural America or there's other scenarios around Urban America. Anyway,

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there's a lot of administrative functions that aren't managed

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effectively, and it's all one off. So the things that we wanna Really

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carve out and manage from an enterprise approach

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with provider organizations is the remote nature of patients that are

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on oral therapeutics. The cell and gene space is

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heavily laden with administrative logistics, the testing,

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diagnostics, and genomic profiling space. So

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by doing that, we're creating a technology network. We're pretty big

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already with our current state. And by creating that technology

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network, We create the ecosystem by which

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services and data solutions flow through, and pharma invests

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heavily in that To automate, to make sure there's fulfillment

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to impact 3 key things. Getting patients on intended therapy,

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Getting them on therapy quicker and keeping them on therapy because we know

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from our data, when there is an a therapeutic

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designed and there's scientific evidence around the impact it

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has. And if you do those 3 things, you're gonna improve outcomes.

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So That's what we're doing as an organization. I

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I wanna tell you guys that I am a capitalist

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at heart With a purpose to change the world. You said that earlier, and that's

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something that we can be and can do. Well, that's

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true. They're not mutually exclusive, and there's a lot There's a lot

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of unpacking that. Right? And then and just as, you know,

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thank God I never had a cancer diagnosis, but

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just Doing stuff in the health care system. Right? Yeah.

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Just doing anything in the health care system. You look at the mass

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quantities of paperwork that has to go And I mean, not just

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paperwork, like, in the term, but, like, actual paper that's still

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used. Like, you mentioned post it notes and spreadsheets. About the

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fax machine, Frank. Or the fax machine. It's crazy. And

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it's, like, I'm just in my back of my head, like, that little

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data engineer in me is Freaking out because, oh my god, like, that's

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at least it's like there's n number, x number of formats,

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and and and and it just And, you know, people

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of this show know, like, that is that is a huge,

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barrier. Like, that's a and that's a big

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That alone is it will will block it. And you kinda look at it like,

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can't this be better? And, you know, and I kinda see, like, oh, yeah. You're

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still using fax machines. Wow.

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Yeah. So so it's kinda interesting where when I

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was talk talked to you about How how we start and what we're doing

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around this equities of care thing. And

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what's going on in this space is

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It's very similar to Frank, Andy, how you describe

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on, your website around the what's

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going on with data Related to the old what

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went on with oil. Right? So when we think about

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equities of care, when we think about the health care Space.

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What you guys describe around the data opportunity

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is incredible. I think about it on a couple different levels. Number

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1, You can tell I'm passionate about what I'm doing. Right? Absolutely. And

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you can tell that hopefully,

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you Stan, right, I'm on this program because data is really important to me. But

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it's super important to me for a different reason than it is to you guys.

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And I think But there's some similarities. Right? Where Oh, sure.

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Data make data makes a freaking difference. Right? And so for me,

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to sit here and tell you my story, Or to sell into life science, or

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to sell into a provider, or sit on another podcast that I was

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on yesterday and describe how we're impacting the market,

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I have to have data to tell the story to be able

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to prove that I can, actually, in my company, right,

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can improve the likelihood that a patient's gonna get on therapy, and we do.

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Right? To make sure that we're demonstrating with what we do, we're getting patients on

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therapy quicker. We're getting patients on therapy and maintaining them on

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therapy. So in everything we do, we're constantly analyzing

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the data to demonstrate that we're doing those things. But, Frank, I

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think you said something earlier, or maybe we're talking offline about, like,

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the the whole idea of well, no. You just said it. Right? Like, the

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cumbersome nature of the paperwork Process. Yeah. Right? I think

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about some of the things that we do. Right? We wanna we wanna get rid

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of the spreadsheets. We wanna get rid of the paper. But sometimes we

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can't do it fast enough. Right? So We're constantly

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iterating on our technology. So the iteration in our

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technology has to include machine learning and AI and RPA.

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And you know what? You don't invest in that heavily, if you don't understand it

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deeply, then you're gonna spin and spin

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and spin. And then, ultimately, my unit economics Don't improve because I got

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people doing stuff that they shouldn't be doing, processing paper or

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manually entering something in the system that should be

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automated. So I, anyway, besides the fact that I'm really

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passionate about what I do, when I started to read about you guys and listen

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to some of your podcasts, you got me, you got me all fired up. Now

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I wish you Oh, cool. This Friday because I was ready to roll. Oh, that's

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awesome. Thank you. Thanks for that feedback, Joe. And I know I've had

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a Couple of experiences that I could, you kinda

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relate to what you're talking about. 1, I, worked for

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Unisys for a couple years, And we did Medicaid,

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systems, MMIS systems. And so you've got

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kind of that it it's a bit of a fringe element or at least people

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kinda think of it that way. It's not quite like,

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the big insurance companies and stuff, and I I've done work on their data as

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well, helping them with data engineering there. That's that's what I

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do. But it was very eye opening to

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see, You know, to see and hear the stories and

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managing a team that grew to 40 people. That was new

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for me as well, but the key was Picking a story and

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going with that and saying it was a it was a pharmacy story. And

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it was sometime in the future after we deploy this,

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Some grandmother is gonna go and try at 10 minutes to 5 on

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a Friday, afternoon, and Monday's a holiday. She's

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gonna try and fill her prescription. And if she doesn't fill

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it, she doesn't know this, but if she doesn't fill it, she's not gonna make

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it till Tuesday. And so our job is to make

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sure that that grandma gets her prescription in plenty of time before

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the pharmacy closes at 5, and that she gets to live for

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however long she's supposed to and enjoy her life and have her children and

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grandchildren, you know, enjoy her life. And

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Pausing in the middle of a presentation of that and just watching

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the, you know, they, at this point, we were all remote

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watching the faces on the screens And everybody kind of got that

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and it resonated. And it's your the stories you're

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telling, I I feel are in alignment with that. You're you're focused

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on the outcome. And the outcome is people's lives are

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better or longer or both. The other personal

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story is my my dad passed away in 2019, and

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he lived in Appalachia, so a couple 100 miles west of

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here. And, you know, I've I've done,

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I've been very honored to to be able to go and do

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missions work in Honduras. I have few few mission trips down

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there. And that area out there is not it

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it's it's way closer to Honduras than it is to where I was. I've been

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in Farmville. It's just It's neglected,

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almost. And and people are struggling even now,

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and they were back then as well. And but yet and still,

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there were there were good hospitals there. There were doctors there that were caring. I

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met with them, talked with them. They were doing their level best. But

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When I mentioned that I did data after we had, had

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built a little bit of trust, when I I worked on data, they they

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kinda opened up to me, and they were describing Problems similar to what

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you're solving. The EHR systems that they just

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hit a blocker. And and this is not a complaint. Everybody's doing their

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best. It just wasn't there yet. And

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what you described sounds like a big part of the

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solution that a a conversation I had with 1 of dad's docs.

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So that's it's amazing. I think that there are companies out

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trying to solve that. And the technology has gotten so

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ubiquitous and connectivity, so ubiquitous and and the

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tech's so cheap that it's while it looks

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like a large jump from filling in the forms or typing in Excel

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To working on a tablet, it's really not anymore. So Well, I

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I I I I would take the contrarian point of view of that because, like,

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it Okay. It

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I I I wonder, like, it's very easy as a technologist,

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right, to just assume everybody's gonna Comfortable with technology. Right? You're not wrong,

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Andy, but it's just about the patients, mind you. My dad, Andy, my

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tablet? No. Probably even the medical even the doc,

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The medical field is a field that is driven has always been driven

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by data. Right? Like Yeah. You know? But they are not Data

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driven. And, you know, that's not a plug for the podcast, but, like, it just

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it's like you know, for instance, right, and and a more lighthearted thing. Right?

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This that's not life and death. Right? I have a Fitbit. I I I track

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my heart rate. I I I, you know, I I track a lot of data

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and track my weight. I go into my doctor and,

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You know, I show it was like a group practice. I showed her, like, you

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know, this is the data, like, you know. Because, you know, you look at my

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profile, my age, my height, my weight, like, You know, but I'm like,

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here's my resting heart rate. Here's all the data I have on my heart rate.

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Yeah. And she just looked at me like I was insane. And I'm

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probably you're definitely an you're not insane. But you are an anomaly, I think, that

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you not only track it, but you present it, to your

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doctor. So But, you know, you think of that you know, it just seems like

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some doctors, I think, are more open to the idea.

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Well, I guess there's multiple angles to this. This is probably why it's a difficult

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problem to solve. Right? Because there there's there's Yeah. So many players, but everybody

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has their own different systems. Right. And, you

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know, I I just I just can't I mean, this is there's so much to

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unpack. Right? Like, because I can't imagine Yeah. You're getting a some kind of

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Bad diagnosis, and

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that's a life changing event. And then you're thrown all of this stuff, like, you

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know, like like like, all the things that That Joe had said, it's just like

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Yeah. You know, how I mean, on a normal like, just a

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like, I had a knee surgery, like, 10 years ago. I mean, the the knee

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surgery, was 3 months from, you know,

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doctor said you need to do it to what was done. And then, like, 3

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years later, I'm still getting paperwork, Like, oh, this has to be paid. Like and

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it's just like, I I just can't imagine,

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like, it just I don't know. Like, that just blew my mind. Like,

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3 years later, like, I I I I I half expect to get email

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at mail at the new house, like, hey, you still owe us $5

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and A $50 processing fee, which, again, like,

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is so bizarre. It's it's interesting too

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what's going on in the space, so So, actually, to both of your points.

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Right? So we've come very far. Mhmm. I just think about some of the

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things that the federal government does that's A colossal failure, and then I think about

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some things that are favorable. So let's stay positive. Right? Sure. So as it

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relates to system and it relates to data, You know, the

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federal government launched this meaningful use thing

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years years ago, and the health care system

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battled. Providers battle over this, being forced

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into using an electronic chart system,

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right, versus This paper, you still go into

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these practices and you still see they've got their manila folders up

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on on the wall. And, ultimately, they

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it was initially a carrot, and then it became a stick, and there was a

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lot of complaining. And there was some heavy economic toll. Right? Because the

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amount of money that the federal government was giving through meaningful use wasn't

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meaning. Right? Mhmm. But provider organization struggle for what we're all

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better for. We all are better better for it, and

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we're better for it because of data. But we still struggle. Right? Because if

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you're not capturing this data in a way Through or the data

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is an input in fields? You guys know. Right? You're not

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capturing structured data. Right? You're capturing Right. Free text notes. What the hell do

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you do with that? And I don't care how good you think you are at

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natural language processing. There's still people you gotta apply to it and still

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ineffective. Right? Right. So I just think about that movement

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and and how it's getting much better, and we are trying to force everyone to

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think about forcing this in the field. Let's understand the fields. Right?

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Because the next level of what the federal government has done

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very positively, again, is interoperability. So meaningful

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use became interoperability. Now everybody's talking about shell

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sharing health care data that we used to put walls

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around. And that's, yes, such crap They were putting walls

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around that, and the primary reason was because people wanted to make money. Right?

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Mhmm. So the federal government has decided that this health care data is the patient's

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data. Let's figure out a way to share data through a standard

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API approach. Right? And Right. Although we're way far from that,

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It still has actually made the conversation easier. It's made it

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easier for Nexus Health to do the data

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thing To allow us to do what we do from a tech and services

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perspective much easier and much better because I'm talking to these EHR

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systems, these rev cycle systems, these pharmacy dispensing systems,

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these data aggregators or institutions or whatever it may

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be, and where they may have sat in a place where they're like,

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no. You can't come anywhere near my data because I would have

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monetized it, and they had no interest in changing the world. Right.

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But then Right. To change the world by putting money in their pockets so they

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could go spend it somewhere else. Right? So now I think the the industry is

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looking at it a little differently, And it's opening

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up. I think getting back to the original point that I wanted to make, though,

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I think things are getting better. I think it's light new day

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Different than it was, like, 10 years ago, but we still have basic challenges.

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Right? Like, I think about one of the things that we're facing right now,

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where I need to create a

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better system by which we connect with charitable foundations

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because it's really bulky, what we're solving for there. The charitable

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foundations are a five zero one c three. They don't have the people, the time,

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the FTEs to engage in some basic conversations.

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Like, we make things really easy. And if anybody's listening from charitable

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foundations, please contact Sunexis Health because we can make your life

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easier. We could make you do better at what you do. You're gonna get more

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money in because that we improve it, and we're gonna cost you less money by

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the way you process things. But ultimately, people are resistant. There's not a lot of

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time. So I'm trying to RPA things. Right? But if I've got an

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unwilling participant because They think it's gonna be too much,

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or they think there's gonna be security risks. And they're not even willing to

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have the conversation that if I wanna do The really clean,

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easy way without their participation, they got

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stuff blocking my box. And alls I wanna do is the right

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thing for the patient. Right? So, yeah, we can we can solve for that and

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do that. But guess what? You know how much money we're Spending to solve for

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this and iterate on this thing. And ultimately, every penny I

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spend on that kind of crap, and it makes it more expensive for me,

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Then it makes it harder for me to impact patients. So there's

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Every cycle every cycle you spend doing that is a cycle you're not

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spending. Sorry, Andy. I got you off. That's okay. No. And and you've got

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some well intentioned regulation, HIPAA,

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And and just other privacy concerns, just general,

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personally identifying information type stuff that that's out

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there. And it all collides, I think at at medical

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data. So, you know, I while I understand some of

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the resistance that you're seeing and I and I kinda get where it's coming from

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and and agree with that Part of it, there's ways

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to de identify data and and go after aggregates,

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especially if you're Trying to do what you're trying to do. You're trying to smooth

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out the system for everyone. You're not while while it will

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benefit individuals, you're not going after individual data.

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So and there's other things. Right? Like, you just gotta make sure. And you do

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have to put some time into it. Right? Like, isn't excess help legit? Right?

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Well, there's things that can understand if they're legit or not. Are you SOC

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2? Are you HITRUST? Right? So there's things that we are

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doing from a regulation perspective That make it easier for us to

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trust those that wanna prevail in the data. So do you think

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that people or organizations hide behind regulations

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by saying, like, oh, that's that's HIPAA. We we can't do that, or

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it's too much of a risk. Is that is that a thing? It was like

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I think, we I think we can all agree that HIPAA has been has

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its use. Right? It has its purpose, but I don't understand. Has that been a

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has that been a have people used that as blockers? For Unequivocally,

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yes, Frank. Unequivocally, yes. Yeah. And and I and

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it might it could be It's anywhere. It's

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anywhere. It it is and and I think about the segments of our business. Right?

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So working with a large Health system

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or institution. Right? And and my people are

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dealing with 3 lawyers, 2 security

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folks, 3 compliance folks, 4 regulators, and

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Wow. They all have a really important purpose in this. Mhmm.

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But If their purpose is to say no

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and Mhmm. Say no, hiding

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behind Regulations

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and policies versus Yeah. Understanding the reason for that

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regulation and Policy and being solution oriented? Oh my

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gosh. Yeah. So it blocks or cost time and money at the

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provider on the same thing in the life science world, Right? Where

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you have lawyers that they're there to do the job. They they have to.

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Right? Because no life science company OIG coming down on them for

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whatever the reason, but you have to be solution oriented. You gotta look

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at the organization. You gotta make sure that organization is

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actually doing what it's saying it's doing, and there's

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ways to test that and look into that, versus saying no. And and and that's

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like, you can you can hear, Frank, The passion and my answer on that question?

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Oh my gosh. I've spent so much time and so much money

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getting through Those that sit in a seat that they're hiding

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behind something because it's easier to say no than to work to a

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solution. Yeah. That is that is true.

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What are your thoughts about the fire? The, f

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h I r. Is it pronounced fire or is it fear? Because I've heard both.

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I say fire, and I'm using the authority on the way things are

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said. But what's

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fascinating is so so the previous job, I, you know, I

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I was, technology architect for data and AI at at

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at one of the MTCs, Microsoft Technology Centers, And I had never heard

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of fire. Right? I've been out of the, electronic health record space

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since 2006, and so I it was completely

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new to me, and I would blow my mind. It shouldn't blow my mind, but

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it was like, wow. This is actually a couple things blew Wow. People

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actually in this space got together to work together? That blew

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my mind. 2, it was both, Java's, JSON

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and XML compliant, Which I thought was pretty pretty cool.

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Has that helped? Is that is that been a good kind of kind of having

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a common language for these systems to talk to one another?

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Yeah. So I think, generally speaking let's just step back. So so fire,

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I think there's a lot of conversation around it because that's how the federal government

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has decided to put language around the standards. Right? The

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standard for communicating. So fire API. So I think just the

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API Approach is yes. It's

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all good. Right? So let's standardize the way we're gonna share

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information in a safe private matter. So, yes, it has changed the

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game, but the whole discussion around FHIR and creating FHIR APIs and

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standards of communication has opened the door

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incredibly to this

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idea that we should be really investing

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in sharing data and we can't Sit in a

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position of hiding behind something or just being scared to death. So Yeah.

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I think that the the the conversation, And I think the

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work being done and I think the work being done, and then, absolutely, the

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application. Right? So whether we describe that we're Using

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a FHIR API or we're using an API approach

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that we've created the specs around or we're working with someone else's

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specs, A whole idea that you can communicate between between

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with these application programming interfaces is

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Life changing. Right? Because there's still a lot of stuff that we're doing through h

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l seven, ADT feeds. There's stuff that we're absorbing in a

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flat file. Right? And I can't wait for the day that all of it is

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through API. Why? Right. Because it's gonna be better. It's gonna be cleaner. It's gonna

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be faster, And it's god, I hope gonna be less

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expensive. Well, yeah. I mean, you're right. Go ahead, Frank.

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Sorry. No. Anytime you say flat file, it's kinda like,

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Yeah. I started to sweat. I said it. I start my palms are sweating.

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Right? I I had those sinking feeling in my stomach. So I'll get the

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task Andy's memory. We had a guest that made an analogy, and I only remember

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part of it where it was basically Data data professionals

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were, used to be kind of guardians or

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gatekeepers, and now they're shopkeepers. I forget who said

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that. That's Donald Farmer. That's what I thought.

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I wasn't sure. So so we had a show, and he's like he kinda has

Speaker:

wax is very philosophical because data at one point was Hidden

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within an enterprise. There were silos were considered normal. But I think

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now what you're talking about with all these different parties, like Like you said,

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they have to open it up. They have to be like a store almost. Obviously,

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with HIPAA and things like that, there has to be some constraints, but Yeah. But

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I think it's a mindset shift. My mindset shift. I didn't

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say that. What I was gonna say. Yeah. It's definitely a mindset

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culture switch. And I like you, I cringed a little bit

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when I heard an EDI, you know,

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specification. And I believe h l seven was one

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of those. I've it's been a while, but, yeah, those were hard those

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are hard to load. And I just did a recent blog post related

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to that. I I titled it h, sorry, XM held.

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XM held. This

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is, you know, give me anything, something,

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anything other than XML. But But that but as we're

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having that conversation, The different formats and the ways that we, the company,

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a data company so we're we're a health care solutions company, but we're a

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data company at heart. Right? Right. So I think about

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How we wanna be better every day around ETL. Right? So

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extract, transform, and load. And and I just think about

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the pain that we've been through, The process that we've been through,

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but the whole idea is that if we're gonna do this data

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thing right, Right? Yeah. And we are there's gonna be

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individuals. There's gonna be companies that are gonna invest in this. Like,

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there's a lot. There's a lot to doing this. There's a lot to being in

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this game for us, right, as data people. And I'm

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not a real data person. Right? I'm a I'm a I'm I'm

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a I'm a change the world geek, and and so you guys ask questions, I

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think, typically, in our website, like, what brought you to data? It's because

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data is the only way that I wanna prove that we can change the world

Speaker:

and then how we do it better. But this whole idea that we've gotta invest

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so much money And extract, transform, and load.

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Right? I don't care. Like, I'm I'm gonna I'm gonna say this to demonstrate I

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don't know what I'm talking about. But the amount of money we're investing in palaces

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and lakes and Rivers and whatever the hell that is for ETL.

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Right? It's crazy. Like, let's just get ourselves wrapped

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around the fact that Figuring out the best way

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to share data, figuring out the best way to ingest

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data and be able to study it in a meaningful way Yeah.

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Changes the world, and that's what I wanna do. And I that's why I love

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what I see that you guys are doing. Right? Oh, thanks. Well, thanks.

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Yeah. This is an awesome conversation. We can go on for another

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hour, but, probably good times. Yeah. It's all fun at the

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moment. Well, I'm on these guys

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So you kinda touched upon the first question we asked, which is how did you

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find your way into data? Did you find data or did data find you?

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You know what? And and and I I let out some of the stuff that

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I pre prepared, but, like, literally all good. Yeah.

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Literally, I, for the longest time, knew I

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wanted to change the world. I just didn't know how the heck I was gonna

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do it. Right? Yeah. So as I started to think about things and I started

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to look at things, data points are really like, I think

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in bullet points. I think in spreadsheets. Not even knowing that I was a

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data guy, I tell our data scientist lead all the time that,

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you know, that's what I wanna do next. I want to learn how to be

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a data scientist. Right? Because I'm nowhere near that. Like, I gotta go to probably

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50 years of slow learner, 50 years of schooling to to be that. But it

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was it was this this thing that's changed the world geek inside of

Speaker:

me that let me know I was constantly absorbing data

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points. And so once I cited or

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once God laid on my heart what I actually wanted to do. Right?

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Then it became really clear to me

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The data is the way to do it. Right? Data is the way to decide

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what you wanna do. Data is the way to decide you is the way to

Speaker:

decide How you build it better, how you structure it. Data is the way

Speaker:

you prove what you've intended to do is working, and then

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data will tell you what to ship and what to change to. So, Anyway, I

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was brought to it, but I guess in my heart, I always was that kind

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of data geek. I just need to learn a lot more to be as cool

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as you guys. Oh, We're constantly learning

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too. It keeps changing on us, Joe, so it's all good.

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Our second question is which go ahead. I love the story. I love the

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story in data. Right? Oh, yeah. There are there are stories in

Speaker:

every data point. Ab absolutely. And that's a really good way to

Speaker:

kinda get everybody on the same page. We've been listening to stories

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since, you know, we were kids, so, you know, that helps.

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Our our second question is, what's your favorite part of your current gig?

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When I go back to the stuff I'm saying over and over again, it's making

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a difference. Right? So It's good. I told you guys I was a

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capitalist, through through. But it's not about

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making money. I've done a bunch of different things in my professional life and

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made money. Right? That I, Andy, when you're talking

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earlier, I don't get satisfaction fulfillment

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from my job, There's professional satisfaction

Speaker:

that comes along with your work, and, ultimately,

Speaker:

I get that satisfaction through making a difference. So I just feel like,

Speaker:

man, I'm and and I guess I shouldn't be putting this out there, but

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at 57 years of age, I had no

Speaker:

intention or no idea that I'd be working the kind of hours that I'm working,

Speaker:

but I can't wait. I'm a real early riser, and it's because I can't wait,

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it's not because I'm stressed out, it's because I can't wait to get to work

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and make a difference. That's fantastic.

Speaker:

Awesome. So we have, 3 complete the

Speaker:

sentence, questions. When I'm not working, I

Speaker:

enjoy blank. Interesting.

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Surfing. Cool. So you're on the East Coast you mentioned just a minute ago.

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Yeah. Where do you surf? So I have a place in

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Bethany Beach, Delaware, and so I'm storm chaser. I'm a hurricane chaser,

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but I will you know, I'll I'll find ways to get to places

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that have really good waves on a regular basis. Awesome.

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Awesome. Our next our next fill in the blank,

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is I think the coolest thing in technology today is

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blank. The pace of change. I think that,

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Andy, you guys were Frank both were talking about this

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earlier, and I think we were talking about it through the conversation, like, the differences

Speaker:

that we've seen. And I think that, like, you you use the analogy

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of oil. We can also use the analogy of the

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industrial revolution and, like, how things change so rapidly.

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Everybody talks about the technology revolution. I mean, I think we should be talking about

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the data revolution, right, about what's going on and how fast it's

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all changing. So I I think that, ultimately,

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It's really cool. It's really cool no matter what frustrations I express,

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no matter what, you know, ripping off on

Speaker:

about, you know, the fax machine. The pace of change is really cool right

Speaker:

now, and I'm wired that way. Right? Like Nice. I think I love

Speaker:

what I do every day because it's not predictable, and it changes

Speaker:

Very rapidly. It does. Yeah. So, Frank, we need

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a new order for a t shirt. So, we've got Data is the

Speaker:

new oil That's right. And which, listeners can pick up and

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help the show out. We need one for the, data

Speaker:

revolution now. I think Joe inspired me. Yeah. I think, I think I'll

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be I'll be hitting up Photoshop later today. But

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the, Or maybe even DALL E. Who knows? I may I don't even have to

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do the actual artwork. So that's an interesting

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point because there was there was something you talk about data and and how it

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can transform it's Transform everything. Right? So one of the stories I heard was

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this is regards to staph infections, and I forget,

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speaking of rogue AI, Alexa, stop.

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She's like, She I don't know how what I did to trigger her, but

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the the short of it is is that there was a story about a, a

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woman lost her child Because he had some kind of staph infection

Speaker:

or whatever, and she mentioned the notion of

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data leakage. Right? So it turns out, Again, I'm getting the details

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wrong. But, basically, if you track your heart rate or heart rate var

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variability, There's a signal in that

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in that data that there's some kind of massive infection,

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but most times, you know, when you're in the hospital, they only check your

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pulse but so often. So that I think that's a good example of how

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data can transform medicine. And is

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that is that something you've seen or heard of? Or

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or just getting the fundamentals right is just so is the process right

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now. So I think that, you know, I

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was involved a little bit more on the clinical side at different

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roles in pharma because But right now, I'm so focused

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on the administrative and logistical challenge

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associated associated with The

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care journey, I would say, I'm sure. There's example

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after example of that. Right? I think about some things that I've

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seen, right, in terms of Very similar things

Speaker:

where, I just was exposed to something recently about

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suicides, and the The the the

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epidemic in the way certain groups are

Speaker:

deciding to to to do this, and

Speaker:

There's data in it. Right? Like, there's there's blood markers

Speaker:

that are telling for okay. What happened? And what are

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we looking at? Why did that happen? That we can act more quickly.

Speaker:

Right? So Yeah. To to help that that that

Speaker:

person. So I think, absolutely, we probably could Bring somebody clinical

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line and talk to that all day long. But I can tell you the thing

Speaker:

that I see that's really meaningful where and this will have an

Speaker:

impact on health care. Right? The cell and gene Area

Speaker:

is crazy with logistics. So these personalized immunotherapies, I don't know if

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you guys have heard much about that, where basically, You're

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having a patient go get blood drawn,

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have their t cells spud off, or sending it to a manufacturing

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Right. Then they're creating a personalized therapy for

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that patient, then it has to be shipped to a treatment

Speaker:

which is not typically where the primary care is going on, and then that patient

Speaker:

has to have things set up for the logistics around the 30 day inpatient

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stay, the care I just hit on a few things, but the

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logistical challenges in all of that, if you improve

Speaker:

one thing that typically there's, like, 20 to 30 steps in

Speaker:

that And they all take dates. If you can use technology to

Speaker:

shrink those elements down, wow. These

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things are Curing. These personalized immunotherapies, we're not

Speaker:

calling them cures yet, but I'm telling you, like, no evidence of disease. It looks

Speaker:

like it's curing patients Where they were on 4th line of therapy, and they were

Speaker:

gonna be dead in a month. It's having real impact, and

Speaker:

technology Process improvement

Speaker:

can really impact health care, and those are the things that we wanna study. When

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I think about data, like, I wanna be able to study that Time in motion,

Speaker:

and how are we having an impact in the cell and gene space? I absolutely

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love that. Just just that the whole concept of reducing the

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steps. And if you can move you got somebody who's

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been diagnosed and and given a month to live. You're

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You're changing the you're moving the needle significantly if you

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can stop it from being Monday morning and make it Friday

Speaker:

afternoon. I mean, that's significant, and

Speaker:

that's amazing. It sounds like, oh, you're shuffling papers. Well,

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if you wanna look at it that way, knock yourself out. But I'll

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guarantee you, you know, that person is having that starfish

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experience where, you know, there's a kid on the beach picking up Starfish and

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throwing them back into the water, and somebody walks up and says, you know, what?

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You're this is useless. You're you know, they're just gonna wash back up

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again. Doesn't mean anything, and a kid says it means a lot to that

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one. He just chunked. For sure. Well,

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actually, getting back and think about getting back back getting back to Trife's point. Right.

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You think about these staph infections. Right? But let's think about it

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in the word way of, like, a blood infection, like sepsis. So,

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like, you get a blood infection, you're gone quickly. Right?

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So identification, diagnosis, Improvement

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in how things are being processed and identified through technology and

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through data will have a Critical

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impact on some of those things that are really truly urgent in the

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moment. I I love it. Wow. We went down a rabbit trigger here

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off our question. But that's that's what we do. I'm not even sure what question

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we are. I think we kinda It's u and number 6.

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Okay. I look forward to the day when I can use technology

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to blank.

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Totally off script, Brush my teeth and floss because that takes a lot of time

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for me throughout the day. But beyond that, I I actually am

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always, Jotting notes, and sometimes those

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notes become more formal documents and outlines and

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wireframes for The the next thing. Right?

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I'm still a very young 57. I tell my kids I'm biologically

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31. So I got 2 or 3 or more gigs in me.

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And so I look forward to using technology

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to solve for food deserts. I look forward to using

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technology to solve for a comprehensive

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approach approach to health care insurance alternatives. I think our

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insurance industry our health care insurance industry is totally broken.

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Right? The way we approach it, the way we just approach

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insurance, right, through the standard brokerage approach, through the standard

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markets approach, I think we need to open that up, and I think we can

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open up through SMEs. Right? So subject matter

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experts applied to technology. So those are the things

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Besides flossing and brushing my teeth, I would love to apply type 2.

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That's funny you made that because there was a TV show called Farscape,

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Like, in the early early 2000. And and one of the one of the plot

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points I forgot was, like, they they they have, like, little nanite,

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robots that clean and floss your teeth for you. Forget that that came up. Yeah.

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Yeah. Yeah. That's a great idea.

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So our next, thought is we asked to asked that you

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share something different about yourself. You already mentioned surfing.

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So, but it, and we remind all our

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guests, not just you, to, remember it's a family podcast, and

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we wanna hang on to our clean rating.

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I think that I don't

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know how different this is, but I think my obsession

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Is what makes it different? I am obsessed with challenging the

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norm and expected behavior.

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I think that I think that too

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many of us in this world

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I've settled in the fact that this is what

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it's expected. This is what is the norm. This is what

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we're told to do, and this is how we're told to do it. Yeah. I

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think that there are more people That it could have

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a major impact on others if they would in the right way.

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Right? This is family friendly. I'm not talking to do things to to do

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things that are Harmful or nefarious around challenging norms

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and expected behaviors, but I think in a healthy way, my

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obsession with it is sometimes unhealthy, but I think that's a little different

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and maybe even a little off with me. Interesting.

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You know, one of, Frank and I, follow,

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success coaches, and and the one I'm thinking of, I know it went through

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Frank's mouth whenever we hear the word obsess, is, Grant

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Cardone. And he has a book called Be Obsessed or Be Average.

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And it's, it was a very challenging, listen for, for

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me. I know Frank Got a lot out of it as well. And,

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I I don't think there's anything wrong with being obsessed. I I think,

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yes, Like anything, it can be taken to an unhealthy

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spot. But it I don't think that that spot out you know,

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the word that popped into my mind first was extreme. But I'm not so

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sure extreme is the definition of unhealthy there. I think there

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are 2 different spots and I can hear the passion, in your

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voice, Joe. And for those listening to the audio, you can't see Joe's

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face. Here we are recording this as video, but then we usually Strip

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out the audio because we got more listeners, listening than

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watching. But I I get it. I can see

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that in your it's a good passion. It's not unhealthy at

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all in my opinion.

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Interesting. Okay, Frank. I lost track now. No. No. No. No. I think it's you.

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I think you're not And I'm going to do the audible one, then we'll ask,

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the final question, which is where people can find out more. So do you do

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you do audio books or or or, Or not. If you do, can you

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recommend a book? So I I typically don't do audio.

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I love to read, because I love words, But I

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typically love to read to take me away,

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because of my obsessed approach to things. I'm always

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on. So I have one that I can

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recommend that I read years years ago, and I still think it was one of

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the the the the more Thought provoking take

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me away books that I read, but I I do need to say first

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that the book I recommend to everyone is the bible. So that's the

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one that that I actually read every day and

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I find important as it relates to guidance, advice,

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And how I should be approaching things from a foundational perspective, but it

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also reminds me daily of my failures in trying to accomplish that.

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The other the book that I I would recommend,

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is The Genesis Code by a pseudonym

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John Case. And it's a biological thriller. So thought

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provoking, some cutting edge, interesting blending of that could

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be possible, Not possible type type stuff. Interesting.

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Awesome. Audible is a sponsor of Data Driven. If you go to the datadrivenbook.com,

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I'm sure I know that there's multiple readings of the bible. My

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my, my wife uses Audible all the time because I see it come through. There

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you go. Oh, very cool. Yeah. I I am the

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heavy user. I I use my wife's credits because we're on the same account. So,

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I don't know if that's that ranks in the share Netflix password thing, and somebody

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from Audible's gonna give me a call. I don't know, but we'll find out.

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That's what data science is all about. I have Hypothesis, I do it.

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Mhmm. Sometimes I plan the hypothesis. Sometimes it just comes out of my

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mouth. So on that note, before I say anything

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else stupid, Share something. No. We did that. Where

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can people find out more about you and your company? The best place to go

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is our website, anexus, a n n e x

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US. And by the way, a Nexus is

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for connectivity in Latin, and you guys heard through the stories

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today Yeah. That connectivity is really to what we do, so ennexushealth.com.

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Okay. Excellent. Well, thank you, and we'll let Bailey finish the

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show. Thanks for listening to Data Driven.

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If you have any suggestions for future episodes or topics you'd like us

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to explore, please reach out to us. We value

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your feedback and strive to address the needs and interests of our

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listeners.

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