Health IT

Macro-eyes launches Sibyl, which uses AI to improve patient scheduling

Seattle-based macro-eyes, a machine learning company, has unveiled Sibyl, a predictive scheduling solution that utilizes AI to find the best appointment time for the provider and the patient.

Seattle-based macro-eyes, a machine learning company, has unveiled a new solution: Sibyl, artificial intelligence aimed at refining the patient scheduling process.

“Scheduling is probably not the sexiest problem out there,” macro-eyes CEO Benjamin Fels said in a recent phone interview. “Scheduling is getting ignored, even though it poses this enormous set of problems.”

Sibyl, which works as an add-on to a hospital’s extant scheduling system, utilizes macro-eyes’ AI to analyze a patient’s appointment history as well as other data points on type of care, provider and location. It also takes each patient’s specific time constraints or preferences into account.

Through these capabilities, Sibyl allows hospital schedulers to see the appointment times that work best for both the patient and the provider.

The solution’s predictive capabilities come in handy when a patient has been to a certain health system before. But what about when it’s an individual’s first time at that clinic?

“It’s probably not going to be as robust in the sense that we’re not going to have a great understanding as to which times are best for you,” Fels said.

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But, he added, there are certain elements that enable Sibyl to do its job. Even knowing specific data points — like the type of care and the provider’s name — can play a role in predicting the best possible appointment times.

The idea of improving this facet of the healthcare industry is a no-brainer, especially given how problematic it is. Poor patient scheduling not only costs systems money, but also destabilizes operations and makes clinicians feel like they don’t have control over their day.

“This is a problem where we can make an impact today,” Fels noted. “And it has this far-reaching effect. An institution that has a predictive schedule can better match supply and demand.”

Indeed, during the initial phase of testing, the technology demonstrated optimization that would lead to about a 20 percent increase in utilization and access to care.

For now, Sibyl’s focus is on primary care, but macro-eyes is considering delving into other specialties as well.

The core Sibyl technology has been deployed at multiple locations, including a leading academic medical institution in New York City and a nonprofit system based in Southern California, according to Fels.

The solution is currently priced at $25,000 per site per year. But as Fels noted, that price tag is for small and mid-sized institutions. For large providers, the cost is going to be different.

Fels also expressed interest in taking on more risk in the future via working with channel partners. “We’re working with some partners in a couple cases who are senior figures in the industry and can help us get to a wider audience,” he said.

Photo: baona, Getty Images