Transforming Healthcare: Mandhir's Quest for Affordable Medical Access with AI

9 May 2024

Every year, people around the world find themselves unable to cover basic medical costs. In fact, about half of U.S. adults currently have trouble affording healthcare. This is caused by issues like the high cost of hospital care and a lack of pharmaceutical price transparency, resulting in a faulty system that continues to leave millions out.

However, industry experts like Mandhir seek to address these issues. As a senior lead engineer at Elevance Health, Mandhir has been instrumental in using patient data to create a unique, AI-powered system that helps users access personalized medical services. He’s also worked to establish a broader vision of patient care that not only considers physical factors but also takes into account social, behavioral, and mental elements.

Learn more about Mandhir’s work and how he’s worked to make medical costs more affordable for millions of people worldwide.

The Current Challenges in Healthcare

Most problems in the American healthcare industry can be traced to a lack of transparency. Under the current system, patients have no way of knowing the full cost of their treatments until the bill is already due, whether it’s hospital fees, prescription drugs, or insurance coverage. This leaves patients susceptible to surprise medical bills that can quickly wipe out savings.

Additionally, most facilities don’t have the proper infrastructure to store and organize the massive amounts of patient data that the healthcare industry generates every day. This makes it difficult for providers to access vital records, but it also means they can get inconsistent or incomplete data, making it harder to get the full picture of a patient’s health problems.

Without a unified communication system among providers that keeps data synchronized and all in one place, patient care suffers as doctors inaccurately assess their needs (due to a lack of good data). It also leads to conflicting reports and unnecessary additional expenses, significantly contributing to a healthcare system that’s already rife with disparities in price and quality.

Advocating for Transparency: Mandhir’s Commitment to a Better Healthcare Ecosystem

Mandhir has understood the importance of healthcare accessibility since he was a child. Raised in a remote village in Punjab, India, he saw firsthand how families around him struggled to afford basic health treatments, even going as far as to sell their property. When he moved to the United States, he was impressed by many advancements in healthcare, but he was even more surprised that healthcare was almost just as inaccessible despite its innovations.

After receiving his Bachelor of Technology from the Punjab Technical University, he worked for over 13 years as a technology architect for the second-largest Indian IT company, Infosys. During this time, he worked on claim adjudication systems for Anthem, one of the largest health companies in the US, and gained great insight into the inner workings of the country’s healthcare sector.

This experience eventually led Mandhir to work directly for Anthem, now called Elevance Health. As a senior lead engineer, he’s used his position and talents over the years to spearhead significant developments in data-driven healthcare technology.

How Mandhir’s Work Uses AI-Driven Data Systems to Improve Patient Assistance

Fueled by a passion rooted in personal experience, Mandhir began addressing healthcare’s shortcomings by incorporating concepts like machine learning and artificial intelligence into Elevance Health’s patient data systems.

Some of the ways he’s contributed to a better healthcare system include:

  • The Implementation of Data-Driven Decision-Making: Mandhir created an AI-powered system that generates insights and recommendations for providers based on patient data. This has helped physicians get a better sense of their patients’ situations and use more personalized approaches. As a result, Elevance Health saw a 20% improvement in data quality.

  • The Creation of the Health OS Platform: Mandhir was also the lead behind the Health Operating System (Health OS), a virtual platform that integrates patients’ health information into a single “lifetime” patient record. This system streamlines tasks like filling out paperwork for each different provider by having all relevant information in one centralized place. It also allows health teams to better plan a patient’s treatment over time, aided by the system’s insights.

Thanks to these efforts, Mandhir has worked toward making medicine more affordable. For example, the insights gained from data-powered health monitoring allow patients to start precautionary treatments earlier and reduce unwanted expenses like hospital stays. They also help providers calculate costs more accurately based on a patient’s health plan.

Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Healthcare Data

Improving the quality of patient health records was only the first step toward making quality medical services more accessible to patients.

Mandhir has tailored his machine learning systems to fit the “whole health” approach to healthcare. Whole health is a mindset that recognizes that a patient’s health consists of more than just their physical condition — it includes their mental well-being, behavioral conditions, and social factors like their living situation. Additionally, according to this philosophy, all of these factors should be considered when addressing a patient’s access to health services.

To this end, Mandhir assisted in developing the Whole Health Index, a tool that gathers patient data from multiple sources (like health records, surveys, and community organizations) and creates a thorough overview of a patient’s health profile and financial situation.

This holistic approach has been key to enhancing patient-provider communication. By understanding what the patient can and can’t afford, both parties can work to find a cost-effective, high-quality treatment option. Not only does that build patient trust in the healthcare industry, but it also leads to improved health outcomes.

Mandhir’s Continued Efforts to Bridge Gaps in Healthcare Delivery

By seizing the latest developments in emerging technology like AI, Mandhir plans to reinforce data security and privacy in platforms like Health OS to build further trust with providers. He also aims to make the whole health approach a fixed industry standard to change the public perception of the healthcare system. Mandhir also keeps an open dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders to advocate for price disclosure and accessibility as a broader societal change.

Mandhir believes that healthcare should not be a privilege but a right. And with his technical expertise, in-depth knowledge of the healthcare system, and personal life experience, he’s dedicated his career to turning this vision into a reality.

This story was distributed by Jon Stojan Media under HackerNoon’s Brand As An Author Program. Learn more about the program here: