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TMC-backed fintech platform announces collaboration to digitize health care expenses

This Texas Medical Center startup is digitizing employee expense management within health care. Photo courtesy of TMC

The Texas Medical Center announced a partnership with San Francisco-based Bond Financial Technologies Inc this month on a platform that will bring an embedded financial solution into the realm of health care expenses.

According to a statement from the companies, inefficiencies make up about 35 percent of the $5 trillion annual health care expenditure in the U.S.

To find a solution, TMC Innovation launched its own fintech company, Tanaflow, which aims to digitize health care expense management through applying machine-based learning. Bond Financial launched Bond Treasury in tandem to facilitate the innovation.

Together the products will first aim to tackle the often paper-based and cumbersome task of employee expense reimbursements, which accounts for an estimated $300 million a year at TMC, according to the statement.

“TMC’s Tanaflow will use Bond Treasury to embed financial services into our software applications to save time and money so we can refocus on serving the more than 10 million patients we see annually,” Odero Otieno, founder in residence at TMC and CEO of Tanaflow, says in a statement. “Over time, we expect to expand into other non-clinical tasks and transactions, such as payment acquiring, treasury management, and credit. Bond has the technology platform, talent, and vision to be our long-term partner and we are incredibly excited to partner on this new journey.”

The Tanaflow technology will be integrated across TMC's 61 institutions and 21 hospitals.

This will be Bond Financial's first foray into the health care industry. The company, founded in 2019, aims to create, launch and scale embedded financial experiences across industries at an enterprise level through its API platform. Investors include the likes of Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.

"We’re seeing tremendous interest from enterprise businesses that want to embed purpose-built financial products into their software applications, and are excited to partner with impactful organizations such as TMC to bring more efficiencies into the healthcare vertical,” Roy Ng, co-founder and CEO of Bond, adds in a statement.

The TMC is also currently underway on its 250,000-square-foot, $186 million TMC3 Collaborative Building, which will house research initiatives and foster collaboration among academic health care institutions and industry partners. Slated to open in the fall of 2023, it's also designed to support strategic initiatives and investment from life science-focused firms and national venture and equity and partners.

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston-based Melax Tech has developed multiple Natural language processing tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations. Photo via MelaxTech.com

Melax Tech Partners, a leader in natural language technology processing, announced a new partnership with the University of California at Irvine that will help researchers derive insights from the UCI Health Data Science Platform’s electronic health records system and improve patient care.

Melax will implement its signature text annotation tool LANN to pull information from clinical notes, and its CLAMP product to develop natural language processing customizations through the use of AI, according to a statement from the company.

“There has been a strong desire among UCI researchers to have the capability to analyze free-text clinical narrative data using cutting-edge NLP technologies," Kai Zheng, chief research information officer at UCI Health Affairs, says in a statement. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Melax Tech to deploy their AI-driven annotation and analytics tools to help our researchers advance their research agenda by leveraging the vast amount of free-text data that our health system has accumulated in the past two decades.”

Natural language processing, or NLP, allows organizations and healthcare groups to sift through and analyze massive amounts of data at a rapid rate through the use of machine learning and AI. Houston-based Melax Tech, founded in 2017, has developed multiple NLP tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations, according to its website.

In addition to the recent partnership with UC Irvine, Melax has also recently partnered with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Western Pennsylvania on similar clinical projects.

Melax has also used its platforms to pull vital information from datasets relating to COVID-19, in both medical and social settings.

In March 2022, it was awarded a Phase 1 NIH Award, valued at $300,000, to develop informatics tools based on COVID-19 datasets with the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego. The tool aims to help researchers better understand vast amounts of virus-related data and connect findings with other similar results.

In August, Melax also received another $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop NLP-based algorithms that will "model, extract and synthesize vaccine misinformation from multiple popular social media sources," according to a statement. Melax will also develop a visualization that presents its findings on the misinformation into a compressible format.

"This is a very real topic affecting culture at present," Andre Pontin, CEO at Melax Tech, says in a statement. "And shows that we as a collective business and group of experts continue to be on the cutting-edge of science in the NLP and AI domain."

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