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Jean Drouin co-founded Clarify Health in 2015 with the goal to utilize the latest analytics technology, successfully applied in other industries such as banking or retail, to improve health care delivery and outcomes for patients.   

Prior to founding Clarify Health, Jean was a Senior Partner at McKinsey, where he led the Healthcare Digital and IT practice and built and served as the founding Head of McKinsey Advanced Healthcare Analytics (MAHA). Drouin spent several years in the UK, where he helped set up the hospital regulator and served as the Head of Strategy for NHS London, a $15 billion organization which oversaw London’s hospitals, primary and social care.

Health Evolution interviewed Drouin about his inspiration for co-founding Clarify Health, his greatest accomplishment as CEO and what he thinks are health care’s greatest challenges in the coming future.

What is the inspiration fueling Clarify Health or its origin story?
For years, health care has faced many deep challenges – specifically around how health care is delivered and paid for, which has forced providers, payers and life sciences companies to evolve. That said, health care remains stuck behind other industries when it comes to using precision analytics and longitudinal consumer insights to drive smarter decisions, fuel greater efficiency, and most importantly, improve outcomes.

These challenges that have plagued the industry for years are exactly why we started Clarify Health. We operate on the belief that by applying the latest analytics technology from industries such as banking, manufacturing and retail, we can dramatically improve health care delivery and ultimately be a driving force in powering the Quadruple Aim: better outcomes, more delightful patient experience, lower costs, and improved physician satisfaction.

When we founded the company, we deliberately brought together three core elements: a deep understanding of health care, big data engineering power from the financial services field and cutting-edge data science expertise. This allowed our team to build a technology platform powered by the largest and most integrated data set in health care, that empowers providers, payers and life sciences organizations with actionable insights to help them deliver more effective and efficient care – and will bring our vision of better coordinated and more personalized care to life.

Almost seven years into our journey, I’m even more energized and passionate about our mission to power better care. I believe through our enterprise system of intelligence and our digital value-based payments platform, we will achieve our goal of improving outcomes for all, simplifying the health care experience and reducing overall health care costs.

What should prospective clients expect in the next 18 months? The next 2-3 years?
Clarify had a breakout year in 2021, doubling revenues and serving over 75 of health care’s largest and most innovative organizations. We look to keep this momentum going in 2022 by delivering the most actionable patient journey insights to help payers, providers and life sciences companies deliver better care, therapies, and outcomes. We’ll build on the unique position of trust we have earned with these stakeholders to advance health equity, increase diversity in clinical trials, and accelerate the adoption of value-based care.

As we work toward greater adoption of value-based care, we believe the key to increasing payer-provider collaboration, improving health outcomes, and creating significant savings is the ability to incentivize behavioral change. In the next 18 months you’ll see us fully incorporate and bring to bear the power of the behavioral change platform that our acquisition of Embedded Healthcare has brought into the Clarify family of capabilities.

Two years from now, we hope to have significantly expanded our footprint of organizations that we serve so that we can further grow the impact that our delivery has in health care. There is also a role for us to become the Switzerland between payers, providers and life sciences organizations, and enable value-based care by dramatically reducing the friction that exists amongst these stakeholders today.

Which accomplishments are you as a CEO and founder most proud of?
What matters most are two things — the impact which we help our customers to achieve, and our ability to attract, retain and develop an exceptional team.

At Clarify, we are enabling our customers to solve critical business problems and seeing them deliver truly remarkable stories of impact — which for me, as CEO, is extremely rewarding. I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done with organizations like Highmark, Horizon, Pfizer, Hackensack and many others to not only pinpoint improvement opportunities, but more importantly, provide actionable insight into how they can solve those challenges while driving growth and supporting access and affordability of care.

In March 2022, KLAS evaluated our solutions in its Emerging Technology Spotlight report and the results speak to the success and value we bring to our customers. Specifically, 100 percent said they would buy our products again and are using Clarify’s precision analytics to answer business questions and/or drive strategy and execution. Additionally, 64 percent said they saw outcomes within 6 months, and 86 percent within 12 months. These proven results speak volumes about what we are striving for at Clarify.

Ultimately, our ability to deliver the technology and solutions that power the success of our customers depends on our team. Here, we lean heavily into the very same values that guide many of our partners — trust, humility, empathy, courage and learning. I am proud to say that seven years into this journey, I still wake up every day feeling incredibly grateful to work alongside a great team and equally inspiring partners.

What is the most difficult challenge you have overcome on the road to success?

Scaling new innovations in health care is incredibly hard. Just today, a fellow health care growth company CEO called to ask if I could listen to his recent struggles. He wasn’t looking for advice – just for someone to listen. It can be a lonely road to be CEO of any organization, let alone one that is trying to create a new market or establish itself. In health care, existing payment models and incentives are very entrenched. Finding a way to scale while meeting the realities of the existing system has required creativity, tenacity and the goodwill of customers who were willing to take a chance on us.

What advice would you give to other CEOs and founders?
For me, the most important lessons to remember as a business leader are:

  1. Be humble – don’t underestimate the challenges you’re tackling and the ones that may arise.
  2. Center on your mission and vision for change – as a leader, your organization needs a north star, and you must exhibit that leadership and vision from the top down.
  3. Listen to your customers’ needs – be sure to clearly demonstrate the impact you can deliver toward their goals, all while being a strategic partner built through trust and transparency.
  4. Keep good company – surround yourself with incredibly passionate and impact-driven colleagues to bring your mission and vision to life. The camaraderie you instill within your organization will carry through all aspects of the business and will make for happier and more successful teams.

What do you see as health care’s greatest challenge? 

Value-based care programs are proven to reduce the cost of care and improve quality and outcomes. Yet these programs are struggling to scale because contracts are too complex, incentives are misaligned, and performance is difficult to forecast. To date, siloed data and disparate systems have made it extremely difficult to build the trust and transparency needed to accelerate the shift to value. This disconnect hinders the success of value-based programs because ultimately these stakeholders must work together to ensure success.

We believe that the industry must fundamentally re-think the way health care is both paid for and delivered. That’s why we built a platform that connects clinical performance to financial incentives – to deliver a transparent source of truth and enable the transaction of value-based payments. The results are proven, and our customers have been able to simplify contracts, make performance transparent, identify opportunities to improve care, and incentivize provider behavior change.


We believe that over the next several years we may be able to use proteomics to directly support clinical decision making. As we continue to work with health systems, we hope to be able to pinpoint, or at least hopefully narrow, the treatment choices most likely to lower risk instead of guessing. Roy Smythe, SomaLogic



What are you looking for in potential partners for SomaLogic?
 We have already initiated many partnerships and there are others we need in order to take a new clinical product into the market. We have five health systems so far in our Proteomics for Precision Health Initiative: Intermountain Healthcare, CommonSpirit Health, UPMC, University of Colorado and Emory. That’s just a start. These health system partners will be evaluating this new class of diagnostics: Do they make clinicians more efficient? Do they save money today? Do they improve clinical care? We are also conducting these utility proof studies with health systems to help create a dossier of information for FDA and other regulatory submissions.

There are a lot of business partnerships we can create to combine proteomics with tests that are already out there. Proteomics combined with genetic testing, gives us a window into 90-plus percent of human disease. We’re in discussions with some companies that make genomic tests and applications to address this market.

We believe that at some point in the future we’ll have a direct-to-consumer opportunity because we have tests that can characterize or predict not only acute disease, but health and wellness measures as well. We have a test in development for sleep quality. We’re working on a cognitive function test and another for frailty. The direct-to-consumer opportunity will likely require partnerships to acquire the competencies we need to make this a reality.

What would an ideal use of the SomaLogic technology look like in preventative care?
 I’ll give you a few scenarios. One is the ability to predict someone’s likelihood of an acute event or worsening of disease in the near future in a traditional doctor-patient relationship. In this scenario, the doctor will run a battery of tests to tell what your chance of a stroke is in the next four years, or your chance of renal failure or kidney function over the next four years. These tests are also sensitive to change, so if a person makes lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight, we can repeat the test to determine how their biologic risk is changing. It’s huge to be able to track progress in real time because currently it’s really messy to try to predict these things.

I believe that telling someone their actual biologic risk of disease will have a very powerful impact in direct patient care. I was a practicing clinician for 20 years and witnessed how human beings have this incredible innate ability to sublimate risk. If I told someone they had a lung cancer so they probably need to stop smoking because the chances of having a recurrence of lung cancer are dramatically higher than baseline, the guy might say, “Well, my uncle had a lung cancer and he kept smoking and he was fine.” We all believe that we’re exceptional but we know from another context – genomic testing – that if you give someone a BRCA1 test, they usually act on that because it’s immutable data about their body.

We also think there’s a huge benefit to populations and for people who are managing populations. Let’s say we’re working with the national health service in Spain — we’re not yet but we’d love to — and we tell them we have a test that can identify which subsets of people with diabetes are at risk for a secondary complication in the next four years. One can then imagine the impact of that downstream. Let’s say it’s 2 million people that actually have diabetes in that population and we can identify for them the 20,000 at highest risk, they would focus most of their efforts and deploy resources next year for those people because they know where all the money is going to be spent. Then we can ask how many clinicians do we need? How many clinics do we need to support this?

There are plenty of companies doing this using EHR data and claims data, extracting insights indirectly from that information and some of them are pretty good. We think we’re going to blow those applications out of the water for populations because we will be telling you what the population’s risk is based on individual biological data that just hasn’t existed previously.

Now, let me just give you one more example. We also believe that over the next several years we may be able to use proteomics to directly support clinical decision making. As we continue to work with health systems, we hope to be able to say, “Okay, your risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next four years is very high and based on your protein expression pattern, and this is the treatment you should have.” We’ll be able to pinpoint, or at least hopefully narrow the treatment choices that are most likely to lower your risk instead of guessing.

What should existing and prospective clients expect in the next 18 to 24 months?
On our life sciences side, supplying to researchers and biopharma, they’re going to see a diversification of the sorts of products and services we offer. Currently, it’s mostly giving them data back from the samples they send us on what proteins are there and in what relative amounts. We will begin providing bioinformatics services and analytics services to those customers, and we’ll be diversifying the types of measurement tools we give those investigators. In fact, we just launched disease-specific measurement and custom measurement panels in addition to our large-plex offering.

On the clinical side, we believe the developing market will see validation and utility proof studies that show how our diagnostic tests are novel, unique and impactful. We’ll be rolling out another 5 to 10 tests from our pipeline over the next 18 to 24 months as well.

There are many interesting clinical trial use cases for our diagnostic tests in pharma. An epidemic of fatty liver disease is occurring around the world, and we have a test right now that can tell you about NASH, which is Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis. Currently to diagnose NASH, you have to do an invasive liver biopsy, but we have a test that can diagnose it with 90 percent sensitivity from a blood draw. We can also tell you if your treatment is having an effect without having to repeat the biopsy.

And in cardiovascular disease, our tests could be used to assess cardioprotective drugs for diabetics with small vessel disease. It’s really difficult to know, a few months into a trial, if anybody is getting any biologic benefit. Instead, you’re waiting to see who has an MI and who doesn’t. We could tell you in the first two or three months if this person’s health status is changing.

What advice would you offer to other CEOs and entrepreneurs?
 Everything’s contextual. The one thing I would say is that my personal philosophy is that even though everybody says “people are your most important asset,” I actually take that to another level: Companies are nothing but the people that constitute them. They are nothing else.

Focusing on people, talent and personal development cannot be underestimated and if you want people to perform over time and perform at the top of their abilities, you need to appeal to their higher order values. There is a ton of social research that says people work much longer and much harder if they believe they’re working for an ideal or a belief versus working where they’ve been threatened with some type of punishment for not performing or simply offered more money when they do. CEOs often don’t take the time and effort to think really hard about what they can do to inspire employees, make them think that what they are doing every day is really important – that it is is going to be impactful and that the work really matters. In health care that should usually be easy but it’s always shocking to me how little time some leaders spend on that.