Skip to main content

Optimizing Patient-provider Communication through Machine Learning Analysis

Bill Tan (Transcendent Endeavors), Maurice Collins (Vocatta, Inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

What if it were possible to apply data analysis and machine learning to improve patient-provider communication? In this discussion, we will present our ongoing efforts to transform patient-provider interactions into a machine-readable format.

The Problem: Evidence shows that 25% of patients are non-adherent to prescribed treatment, leading to poor patient outcomes and an annual $290 billion burden to the healthcare system. While medical professionals recognize the positive correlation between patient-provider communication and patient adherence to treatment, the persistent non-adherence figures starkly display the failure of the current one-size-fits-all solution.

Our Solution: The Communication Genome Project is the first comprehensive database of communicative elements or “genes”, which can be correlated with patient adherence outcomes to shed light on the previously opaque riddle of communication. The Project’s methodology is based on accomplishments in other industries, which use cutting-edge machine learning, data mining, and predictive analytics techniques to break down complex concepts into manageable pieces. For example, the Music Genome Project has captured music at its most fundamental level by stripping songs to their basic elements, and call optimization centers have customized phone-based service for individual caller personalities by employing speech analytics. We will describe some of the data analysis techniques we are using to examine health messages and how they correlate to actual health outcomes. The insights gained from the Project’s genes show great promise in ameliorating numerous actionable problem areas in healthcare, including providing more tailored communication skills education for providers and discharge instructions for patients. By improving patient-provider communication, we can dramatically increase the likelihood of patient adherence to treatment, which can in turn save the healthcare system billions of dollars and improve health outcomes for millions of patients.

Photo of Bill Tan

Bill Tan

Transcendent Endeavors

As Founder and CEO of Transcendent Endeavors, Bill Z. Tan is leading a talented team to address communication challenges in the fields of healthcare, social services, and education. The company’s products include clinical information systems (Starling Health), telehealth outreach platforms (Vocatta), educational offerings for working professionals (Canopy) and children (MiniMiti), and more.

Bill is the Principal Investigator of more than a dozen small business innovation research grants awarded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The NIH support has enabled the company to pursue a sweeping vision — the creation of an array of intuitive, elegant solutions that address complex, systemic challenges.

Bill received a bachelor’s degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he was elected President of the Entrepreneurs Club. He has previously held an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. Bill was named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 Rising Star, and was named by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a New York City Venture Fellow.

Photo of Maurice Collins

Maurice Collins

Vocatta, Inc.

Maurice Collins is the General Manager for Vocatta, Inc. Maurice leads the team on developing solutions focused on adherence and engagement outreach for Federally Qualified Health Clinics.

Maurice is a seasoned technologist with nearly 20 years experience building enterprise grade software. He has lead teams, as large as 80 members, develop software solutions that support populations of over 40 million participants. He has spent the last 10 years of his career in the healthcare industry, working specifically in the areas of continued care management, behavior changes interventions, and healthcare provider solutions.

Maurice holds a bachelor of science degree from Kettering University and a master’s of business administrations degree from Eastern Michigan University.

For exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at Strata Rx conference, contact Sharon Pierce at (203) 304-9476 or

For information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences email mediapartners

View a complete list of Strata Rx 2013 contacts