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Uppstroms: machine-learning app for electronic health records

by Joshua Vest

The machine-learning app uses data on the real drivers of health and comprehensive patient information to identify patients in need of services that address the social determinants of health
Indianapolis, IN United States AI in Medicine HIT Public Health AMIA challenge

All Team Company Hospital Mission Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: Health is mostly a function of individual behaviors and the environments in which we live, work, and play. Despite being the drivers of health, health care organizations are not well equipped to address these social factors. Doctors and nurses are not trained on how to address social factors. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are not organized to systematically screen for patients’ social needs. Screening for social needs is not always effective, time efficient, or useful. However, to improve health and save costs, patients' social needs must be addressed.

About our solution: Social risk prediction machine-learning app for electronic health records identifies patients in need of a referral to a social worker, behavioral health provider, patient navigator, medical-legal partnership and other services. Our approach is built using 7 years of BIG data on 84,000+ patients and incorporates data from multiple care providers, social contexts, neighborhood environments, and comprehensive behaviors. The app provides clinical staff insights into patients in need, so that patients can get the services they receive. Importantly this is implemented as an EHR neutral solution that is agnostic to the vendor.

Progress to date:

This has been implemented at Eskanazi health as a research project. It is currently live and operational every day at nine primary health care clinics. We will be taking the lessons learned as part of the research paradigm to deliver this to the healthcare community.

About Our Team

Creator: Joshua Vest

Location: Indiana

Bio: Dr. Joshua Vest is a health services researcher with an area of interest in the organizational determinants and effectiveness of health information technology and systems. As a former local public health practitioner, Dr. Vest has a particular interest in interventions that effectively improve the health of the public and patient populations.

Title: Founder

Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D.

About Team Members

Shaun Grannis
Founder, MD
Biography: The Clem McDonald Scholar for Biomedical Informatics, Director of the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics, and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After studying Aerospace Engineering at MIT, I pursued a career in medicine and medical informatics, joining the Regenstrief Institute in 2001. I co-lead the Informatics pillar for Indiana University’s Precision Health Initiative and collaborate closely with national and international partners to advance technical infrastructure and data-sharing capabilities. My research focuses on improving discovery and decision support in a variety of contexts by developing, testing, and implementing innovative approaches for data integration, patient matching, predictive modeling and other novel data science use-cases.
Title: Founder
Advanced Degree(s): MD

Suranga Kasthurirathne
Founder, Ph.D.
Biography: Writer turned Software Engineer, Open Source developer and Health IT Fanatic. Currently reading for my PhD In Health Informatics (IUPUI, USA) Passionate on Global Health Informatics and the application of Health Informatics at resource poor settings.
Title: Founder
Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D.

Nir Menachemi
Founder, Dr
Biography: Dr. Nir Menachemi serves as Chair of the Health Policy and Management department of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI where he holds the rank of Professor. He also holds an appointment as Scientist with the Regenstrief Institute, an internationally recognized informatics and healthcare research organization that is dedicated to the improvement of health through research that enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Specialties: Strategic Management, Health information technologies, Research Methods, Health Policy Analysis.
Title: Founder
Advanced Degree(s): Dr

Paul Halverson
Founder, Drph
Biography: Founding Dean and Professor of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus in Indianapolis. Proud to be joining a terrific faculty, staff and students at one of the nation's newest School of Public Health effective 5/15/2013
Title: Founder
Advanced Degree(s): Drph

About Our Company


Location: 1101 W 10th St, Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Founded: 2018

Twitter: @uppstromsai

Product Stage: Prototype/MVP

Employees: 3-5

How We Help Hospitals

This tool will be implemented by hospitals to address the need for referrals for social factors. By predicting or define those patients that have a need hospitals will be able to use their resources to the greatest affect. 

Challenge Mission


Regenstrief Institute, Inc. Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI

Key Milestones Achieved and Planned

We have a working minimum viable product in our research domain. This company will take the lessons learned and invest in creating a scalable solution that will impact patient lives. Due to having that framework we are also creating documentation to begin a sales cycle to describe what and how we can deliver.

Our Competitive Advantages

This is brand new technology designed and implemented by industry leaders, while competition may appear they will not be able to use the intellectual property protected by our affiliations at Regenstrief and Indiana University.

Barriers to Entry

We have filed for patents on our technology. Competitors will need to invest around our IP or license it in order to compete.

Funding, Partners and Alliances To Date

The research project was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Halverson/Vest).

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

IP Status has been filed

Clinical Information

Kasthurirathne, Vest, Menachemi, Halverson, Grannis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2018.

Assessing the capacity of social determinants of health data to augment predictive models identifying patients in need of wraparound social services.

Regulatory Status

Not applicable

How we will use the funds raised

This money will be used to help fund the infrastructure required to take the business to the next level proving that it has a viable path forward as a company.

Thank You

Please vote for us we are excited to take this product to market.



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