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Exclusive interview: THB co-founder and CEO Akansh Khurana

Akansh Khurana is the co-founder and the CEO of THB,
Akansh Khurana is the co-founder and chief executive officer of THB.

Recently, Health Issues India had the opportunity to interview Mr Akansh Khurana, co-founder, and chief executive officer, of THB.

THB (short for Technology, Healthcare, and Big Data Analytics), formerly known as “The Healthy Billion”, was founded by Akansh Khurana, Rajesh Pachar, and Rohit Kumar in 2015 to drive clinical insights and research that enables positive patient outcomes. The company is based in Gurugram, Haryana. The vision behind THB is to leverage fragments of valuable clinical data to generate insights into the population health and to deepen understanding of the healthcare ecosystem as a whole. At the core, THB is a B2B clinical intelligence company that offers multiple analytical modules to healthcare clients such as hospitals, clinics, labs, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and organisations responsible for good public health.

Some of the modules/offerings of THB include personalised patient engagement, evidence-backed clinical decision making support, epidemiological market intelligence, and clinical research. THB’s USP is its state-of-the-art ETL engine that automates the structuring and codification of the unstructured and non-structured clinical data sets. Subsequently, THB’s complex Big Data analytical models leverage the clean and structured data sets to drive novel insights for a variety of stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

THB expects to become the largest clinical intelligence platform in Australasia. The majority of its work today is in its home ground – India. It works with 100+ clients/partners across more than fifteen Indian cities. The company is beginning pilot implementations in Middle East and South East Asia.

To discuss THB and its mission further, we spoke to Mr Khurana. Please find our conversation below.

  • Could you introduce yourself and THB?

THB is a healthcare data-technology platform enabling healthcare enterprises to derive value from clinical datasets. 

THB’s solutions leverage data to drive personalized care for patients, real world evidence based clinical research, targeted doctor outreach, and data-based business intelligence. 

These solutions enable hospitals, diagnostic labs, primary clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and health insurance to offer data-driven care for their patients and consumers, and evidence-driven outreach for their doctor customers.

I am one of the cofounders of the business, with primary focus on customer and investor relationships. I have an extensive background in management consulting, and had worked for over a decade before starting THB in 2015 along with my friends.

  • What was the impetus for establishing THB?

Healthcare has historically seen limited adoption of technology and data based decision making. Most industries have had a digital and technology disruption, but healthcare has fallen behind. We knew it was about time that the healthcare ecosystem would fundamentally transform itself, and we wanted to be part of that journey. 

  • In your company profile, you state “the vision behind THB is to leverage fragments of clinical data to generate insights into the population health and to deepen understanding of the healthcare system as a whole.” What is the value of clinical data in improving health outcomes?

Clinical data is significantly contributing towards positive health outcomes. Here are two examples / use-cases

  1. Access and data-led care – Digitalisation of healthcare is creating enormous amounts of clinical data – which is improving healthcare access for patients given data enables remote care and facilitates data-based empirical treatment, thereby helping better, faster diagnosis and treatment initiations 
  2. Personalised care and retention – Clinical datasets are now being used to improve the patient care, not only inside the doctor chamber, but also outside. Clinical datasets are enabling personalized interventions and recommendations thereby ensuring improved patient experience, advocacy, retention, and thereby higher lifetime value
  • You work with a broad range of clients. How do your services benefit them?

Our solutions enable our customers – providers, pharma, payors – to drive full-potential value from data and technology, through a game-changing customer experience, which in turn translates into customer advocacy, higher lifetime value and revenue acceleration. 

  • Your unique selling point is, according to your profile, state-of-the-art ETL engine. Could you explain this?

One of the big challenges of emerging markets is non-standardised datasets. We knew this was the first piece we needed to solve. We created a proprietary healthcare dictionary fuelling our ETL engine that helps organise and standardise healthcare datasets, thereby making the data meaningful to deliver full-potential value for our customers.  

  • What is the roadmap for THB going forward?

We are currently focused on dominating the Indian market, and strengthening our global presence. We are also expanding our collaborations in health insurance, and across oncology, rare diseases, among 20+ disease conditions we currently work on.

  • How does your work benefit not just your clients but the layperson?

Every piece of work we do, eventually impacts the patients, i.e. a layperson. We enable our customers to deliver evidence-based medicine, and personalised patient experience – both of which help in delivering improved clinical outcomes. 

  • Do you have anything you wish to add?

We are currently working on establishing the real world evidence market in India and have taken a series of initiatives towards that. We’ve partnered with two of the top five healthcare provider chains, and are working with sixty percent of the top ten pharma companies. We have launched our own real world evidence journal, and have partnered with RSSDI (a leading diabetes association) to expand research generation. There will be a series of other announcements we will make in the coming months to ensure India becomes a leader in producing real world evidence based medical research.

Akansh Khurana is the co-founder and the CEO of THB, a company that generates clinical insights and research to enable positive patient outcomes. Akansh has an MBA from London Business School and is a Computer Science Engineer from IIIT Hyderabad. His ambition is to grow THB into the largest clinical intelligence platform in Australasia.  

Mr Khurana has worked as a Management Consultant with Bain and Company in India and Boston and as an investment professional with Helion Ventures, Abraaj Capital, and Ennismore Capital in India, Dubai and London respectively. His professional achievements include being on one of the fastest growth trajectories as a management consultant while working with Bain and Company. Also, Mr Khurana’s post graduation from the prestigious London Business School was sponsored by his employer at the time and was the result of his extraordinary performance. Furthermore, he was sent on an international transfer program solely on the merit of his extraordinary performance. 

Business runs deep in his families veins; his father is the proprietor of a furniture factory and is one of the largest suppliers to the Military Engineering Service (MES) in India. His wife was a consultant with McKinsey and Company and Arete Advisors. She has also worked with Suburban Diagnostics a leading Mumbai based diagnostics chain. His mother is a Reiki Grandmaster and a yoga guru who has been active in social activities. She also strives to empower women and to benefit the underprivileged. Mr Khurana’s sister is a supply chain professional working with Nestle in addition to being a yoga teacher. 

He is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club and enjoys reading, drumming and watching movies. Akansh is a die-hard dog lover.

Read more of Health Issues India’s interviews with thought leaders here.

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