Forward Health Group Awarded U.S. Patent

June 22, 2017

Forward Health Group Awarded U.S. Patent



MADISON, Wis. – June 21, 2017 – Forward Health Group (FHG), a leading population health measurement and risk analytics company, today announced it was awarded U.S. Patent No. 9,679,105 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent name is: System and method for the visualization of medical data.

The patent is the first of its kind in the population health data analytics industry and covers data processes and visualizations that solve the ongoing challenge facing health care—data interoperability and validity.

Forward Health Group’s patented method is the first to:

  • Solve the vexing challenges of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) interoperability;
  • Deliver accurate longitudinal medical data for any population, for any condition;
  • Leverage data from multiple payors, multiple health systems, multiple labs, and more into a consolidated view for a single patient;
  • Drive engagement via interactive screen output and style that is immediately trusted by users at any level of a health care organization using ordinary, universally understood tools of click-and-point data screen interfaces.

The company’s patented processes and technology are integral to its PopulationManager® and PopulationCompassTM platforms and other provider and payor modules that support population health management, risk management, network utilization analysis, and quality improvement efforts.

In the spring of 1997, John Studebaker, MD, Forward Health Group’s Chief Medical Officer and Michael Barbouche, Forward Health Group’s Founder/CEO, had a conversation on a road trip across the Southwest. The conversation can best be summarized in the following statement:

“It would be desirable to provide for better tools and techniques for improving the ability to easily and efficiently compare medical data in an automated, computerized system using a variety of visualization tools that can accommodate medical data sourced from various entities.”

That statement of purpose is now the closing paragraph in the “Background of the Invention” section of Patent 9,679,105. Other excerpts from the “Background of the Invention” section of the Patent further illustrate the depth and power of this innovation:

“With recent advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) and the widespread adoption of electronically-recorded medical data, there exist vast repositories of information related to the medical industry. However, these data are often sourced from many different entities. For example, medical practitioners, payors, insurance carriers, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, governmental organizations, and charitable organizations, among others, may record, store, or otherwise manage some aspect of data related to diseases, diagnoses, treatments, outcomes, symptoms, prognoses, or clinical studies, or even result-based data of individual physicians or hospitals.”

“Electronic medical records, for example, are typically prepared and managed by the creator of the record, generally a health care practice or facility. Diagnostic laboratories may prepare and manage data related to individual clinical specimens in order to determine information about the health of a patient. These data are often stored in a database separate from or in addition to the EMR record. Additionally, healthcare payors may prepare and manage data related to the financial side of the healthcare of a patient or the efficiency of effectiveness of the treating practitioner. Clearly, each sourcing entity has different objectives and motivations. There is thus very little continuity between the datasets of the above-described entities, despite the fact that the data may all be related to healthcare, and even the health care of the same patient.”

“In addition to a lack of continuity in dataset formats and sources from medical providers and payors, patients also contribute to the challenges of managing and present information about medical data and records. Patients may see different providers and obtain different diagnostics tests without the providers being aware that second opinions have been sought by the patient. Datasets across all of the providers and payors for a given patient can thus show conflicting information, even for the same patient in ostensibly the same circumstances.”

This illustrates why population health has been so challenging. For the past eight years, organizations across the United States have invested billions to implement health IT platforms. Despite these investments, clinician burnout is at record levels, quality of care is largely untracked, and patient satisfaction continues to decline. In this same time period, FHG clients have improved outcomes, overcame sticky management problems caused by problematic data, and realized an ROI on their significant health IT investments. FHG transforms its clients’ data into a powerful organizational asset.

“For more than 20 years, we have been focused on one thing—getting clean data in the hands of clinicians,” said Barbouche. “We began our application for this patent in 2012—years before most companies in the analytics arena even knew to use the terms ‘Data Quality’ or ‘Actionable Data’ when describing their solutions on their websites. This patent is yet another validation of our unique and successful approach, proven over the past eight years. Though health care data in all systems across the United States remains messy, complex, and fragmented, FHG produces measures and metrics that are increasingly recognized as the most accurate in the country. There is only one path forward to improve outcomes and performance in health care—accurate data. That is what we deliver.”

About Forward Health Group

Forward Health Group is a proven population health measurement company committed to delivering powerful platforms and advanced data strategies that improve health care and drive financial success. Through our patented data processes, we transform raw, transactional health care data into clinically intuitive visualizations that health systems use to measure quality, drive performance, motivate clinicians, and maximize financial incentives. PopulationManager®, our market-leading product, is recognized by KLAS and trusted by clinicians and organizations around the country. To find out more, visit, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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June 22, 2017