Every year, Modern Healthcare selects 25 rising stars in the healthcare industry as part of its Emerging Leaders program. We spoke with Dr. Michael Simonov, chief medical officer and vice president of product at health data and analytics company Truveta, about his career path from medical school to the field of clinical informatics.
Your undergraduate degree is in mathematics. When did you start thinking about medical school?
Ever since I was young I’ve had a deep love for math and thought about being a doctor. When I was an undergrad, I volunteered at a hospital, where I learned that I enjoyed the provider-to-patient, one-on-one experience. I appreciate the humanity that goes into healthcare and wanted to see if it was possible to combine my two passion areas.
What prompted you to consider clinical informatics after receiving your medical degree?
I love the opportunity to practice medicine. The cycle of meeting a patient, listening to their concerns and working with them to find a solution has always motivated me. I wanted to find a way to combine my interests in math, data and computer science, and healthcare. A few years into my medical training, I learned more about clinical informatics and found it immensely rewarding to work on large-scale problems and datasets, building solutions that could help many patients.
Can you describe your primary responsibilities at Truveta?
I lead efforts with the product management and clinical informatics teams, building the data and analytics solutions our life science customers and health system members value. I also work with our customer success team, bringing to life the research opportunities our customers are most interested in exploring. We’re motivated by the same mission—to save lives with data by ensuring we will accelerate research so our members can learn about the patients they seek to serve.
What excites you most about what you’re currently working on?
I’m excited about the artificial intelligence models we’re working with at Truveta. As a researcher, I spent a lot of time working in Excel spreadsheets and writing simple data queries. With the advanced AI we’ve deployed, we’re able to train models to do a lot of the manual work I’ve dreaded in the past. For researchers, this helps unlock new insights faster with high-quality, clean electronic health data that’s easy to use and ready for study.
In the long term, what’s one area of medicine where you believe Truveta’s research can make a major breakthrough?
Because our data is so robust and can be used to study so many areas of patient care—really any drug, disease or device—it’s tough to predict where we’ll see major breakthroughs. I’ve done a lot of research on kidney disease and heart failure, so I’m excited to see where we may unlock new insights there. As a doctor, I know the richest clinical insights are buried in notes. I’m most excited about unlocking notes data, combined with social drivers of health data, to develop a better understanding of patient journeys to know what is impacting patient care and outcomes.