Q&A with CEO Wout Brusselaers: The Origin of the Name “Deep 6 AI”
First, can you explain the name “Deep 6 AI”? The reason behind it may not be obvious to everyone.
The ‘deeper’ meaning behind the name, was inspired by a conversation with our first client, in the U.S. intelligence community, before we pivoted into healthcare.
They stated that the true challenge was not a lack of data, but an abundance of it, which made it overwhelmingly difficult to understand and retrieve what was truly valuable at any given moment. It felt like an ocean of data with distinct treasures of information scattered in the depths, but hard to find and retrieve.
So that conversation inspired the nautical connection, correct?
Yes, in merchant marine parlance a certain amount of global trade across the oceans would fall victim to the weather or other circumstances. Statistically, some percentage of cargo would fall overboard. But as long as it wouldn’t sink below six fathoms – an old depth metric – it was considered retrievable, and efforts would be extended to save the cargo. Anything deeper than six fathoms was therefore considered irretrievable and given up on or “deep sixed”.
Our mission is to help our client ‘retrieve the irretrievable’ by mining and interpreting all their unstructured data in real-time, hence the name Deep 6 AI.
How does the name “Deep 6 AI” apply to what the company accomplishes today?
After many years and billions of dollars spent on digitizing medical records, the natural expectation was to have created a big data repository of clinical insights which could be mined, compared and acted upon to further both clinical research efforts and our care delivery.
Instead, we ended up with massive amounts of ‘little data’, locked and fragmented within each patient’s record, but with no ability to retrieve and analyze this data at scale. Most people consider it “too deep” – or too complex – to mine and analyze. So, after the massive investments in electronic medical records (EMRs), healthcare organizations now often find themselves lost in an ocean of data, looking for treasure: the right clinical insight at the right time.
To find this ‘treasure’, Deep 6 AI’s software goes deep into the unstructured data of EMRs. Traditional software only mines structured data, i.e., pre-labeled fields, but about 80% of the information in a medical record is unstructured. Very few companies can read unstructured data across an entire EMR and provide real-time results. Our natural language processing analyzes and uses clinical information in doctors’ notes, pathology reports, genomics data, lab reports, radiology reports, operation notes and all other unstructured text in the EMR.
This allows us to precision-match patients to multiple, complex clinical criteria, such as those used for clinical trials recruitment.
That context is helpful to understanding the company name. How about the logo? Is there meaning behind those bars too?
There is indeed. Our graphic designer, a poetic soul, likened the six bars that represent the “E”s in Deep 6, to waves on the surface of the ocean. It may not be obvious without an understanding of the ‘maritime semantics’ behind the name, but I’ll take the reference.
Flattening those bars in each “E” gives the logo that bold look and references genomic sequencing information, an important element of the unstructured data we use for many clinical trials.
So, as you can see, there is some ‘depth’ behind our name and logo. We’re a thinking person’s company [laughs].
If you’d like to learn more about how we help our clients retrieve unstructured data and precision-match patients to clinical trials, reach out.