Akido Labs Launches Medical Network

Akido Labs is a healthcare provider turned medtech startup that redirected its growth strategy through a partnership with Pomona-based Chaparral Medical Group.

The partnership adopts Akido’s proprietary technology platform, which the company calls the Wellness Graph, and can be used on a medical network.

The platform is a software technology that predicts social or health outcomes to which a person may be susceptible given their medical history and life events, which Akido classifies as social determinants of health. It also caters to the needs of patients who already have chronic illnesses who visit specialist doctors on a regular basis.

Chief Technology Officer Jared Goodner gave an example of the platform’s use.
“As a patient, I may have recently lost my job, which I mentioned to my doctor. Because our system is trained to recognize markers, particularly social determinants that indicate potential disease progression and worsening, our system marks the job loss,” Goodner said. “And this results in an automatic sequence of events that are triggered based on that (mark).”

The software could also recommend additional screenings around pre-diabetes markers, a notification that the doctor and patient discuss food insecurity or send the patient a registration request for a nutrition program. Goodner added that the platform is designed to support doctors in their services, not make decisions for the patient.

“You are democratizing the ability to prevent further aggravation of illness by exposing (patient) intervention opportunities to a much larger market, some of which may be created by Akido and others that are entirely third party and to manage, whatever makes the most sense for the patient’s health,” said Prashant Samant, chief executive of Akido.

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Through its technology, the company has worked its way into the market for preventative care, as opposed to immediate care for patient conditions that have already developed.
Akido’s partnership with Chaparral Medical Group, which has more than 30 locations in the Pomona Valley, allows the company to bring more users of its technology, and thus, more revenue. It also marks Akido’s transition from a software provider for various healthcare clients to a bona fide healthcare provider backed by its own technology.

“(Chapparal has) a culture towards chronic illness management, and we can overcome that with our technology platform and infrastructure,” said Samant.

AKIDO 315 W 9th Street Los Angeles, CA
The company’s headquarters are in the middle of 9th Street.

Under the partnership, Dr. Prasad Jeeereddi, founder of Chaparral, with the operations of his group’s day-to-day medical functions and will assume the role of Akido’s chief medical officer. He will work closely with Akido’s Head of Business Development Sanjit Mahanti.

Mahanti said Chaparral is a good fit for the Akido business because of its focus on treating chronically ill people in a multi-specialty way, which he described as the best way to create a lasting health care business.

Basic competence

“We’re talking about endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pulmonologists and cardiologists, really those core subspecialists that we’re now looking at as the most important to take care of people with chronic illness,” Mahanti said. “We wanted to make sure we worked with an organization that had that core competency.”

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Together, Jeeredi and Mahanti have over 50 years of operational knowledge and experience in the multi-specialty care sector and will be key players in Akido’s expansion into new markets.

“I have always believed that patient care is as much art as it is science, and that the consideration given to create a symbiotic relationship between the artistic practice of medicine and the powerful technology of Akido will serve our patients, our doctors, our care teams and our communities,” said Jeeredi.

The partnership comes seven years after Akido was founded out of the University of Southern California’s D-Health Lab, around the time the company received early investment from tech startup accelerator Y Combinator.

Between that and the development of its new medical network, the company provided its services mainly to entities that needed help managing healthcare services. For example, Akido has used its platform for work with the city of Long Beach, the city of Santa Monica, the Moffitt Cancer Center and the American Foundation for the Blind, among other organizations.

In the case of Long Beach, Akido has provided a platform to help the city coordinate care across multiple health and social care services.

“Places like Long Beach work with populations that have very different cultural needs, right? It is a very multicultural city,” said Mahanti. “That means that as a doctor, care provider or social worker, providing support to meet the cultural needs of any particular person can be of great help, so we put a lot of work into the design of the system to do that to do.”

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Last year, the company announced that it had raised a total of $25 million in funding to scale its impact and its latest funding at the time was Future Communities Capital.

Akido followed an enterprise software business model, but with the transition to a healthcare business model the company generates revenue through patient care. That income is a combination of fees for service care and capitalized care. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, capitated care is “a payment arrangement for health care services in which an entity receives a risk-adjusted amount of money for each referral, per period of time, regardless of the number of services . that person seeks.”

With its own medical network, Akido is looking to further research the preventive care space. Samant said the company’s biggest challenge so far has been validating its presence in the space.

“It required a lot of validation from other parts of the business ecosystem, from insurance companies and government agencies to healthcare providers who wanted to work with us,” said Samant. “Like, ‘can you guys really be responsible for the rock here? Or, are you just people from Silicon Valley who are going to throw stones at software?’”

According to Samant, Akido is planning to increase its funding by 150% to 200% in the next year, mainly due to the business that will come from its partnership with Chaparral.

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