Olive is a winner of FierceHealthcare's Fierce 15 awards. See our other honorees here.

When Sean Lane and his team deployed Olive in 2017, they set out to tackle the high-volume, repetitive and manual tasks healthcare workers do every day—only faster and more accurately.

Using artificial intelligence, Olive is able to uncover waste, track down efficiencies, and highlight human potential. 

"The healthcare industry was flooded with software and none of it worked cohesively," Lane told Fierce Healthcare. "This siloed data hurt the patient experience and created a mammoth backlog for healthcare employees, turning humans into “data routers” that spend their days entering manual data. It's a multi-trillion-dollar problem and it’s a problem that artificial intelligence can effectively solve."

Today, more than 600 hospitals use Olive's AI-enabled solution to assist healthcare workers with time-consuming tasks such as prior authorizations and patient verifications.

Lane said Olive also operates by the belief that no hospital should have to solve the same problem twice. So, the company draws on past experiences to find new connections and opportunities to improve healthcare for organizations.

It's been a big year for Olive. 

In December, officials at the company announced they raised $225.5 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global and General Catalyst, Drive Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. It brings the company's overall funding to $445 million since the company was founded, including a $106 million round in October and a $51 million round in March.

They acquired Verata Health, a provider of artificial intelligence software, as part of a plan to tackle the costly issue of prior authorization. The company also launched its Olive Helps platform, which works hand-in-hand with healthcare employees to provide real-time intelligence throughout their workday.

Fierce Insights from Sean Lane, CEO of Olive

CEO Sean Lane (Olive) 

What is your best piece of advice for launching a healthcare company that challenges the status quo?

It’s important to adapt quickly and target the most critical challenges at hand. The end goal should be to find opportunities to make the healthcare experience more efficient and to tackle the operational problems keeping the industry from true innovation.

What is the failure you’ve learned the best lesson from?

If there’s a problem on a macro scale that you’re equipped to handle, no matter what the industry, answer it. I try to embrace change and instill that in my team at Olive. For more than a decade, we knew that we wanted to change how hospitals fundamentally operated and we saw a dire need to create efficiency, so we iterated product after product until we built the exact right solution for the job. Some might consider those moments of failure, but they actually allowed us to throw out the ideas that wouldn’t create the impact we were after and quickly pivot to the ones that would.

What is the one book you recommend to other healthcare leaders?

UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, by Hemant Taneja, Kevin Maney and Stephen Klasko.

What is the biggest change to watch for in the healthcare industry in 2021?

The healthcare industry has worked under tremendous pressure in 2020 and it’s required hospitals to prioritize only the most essential investments and technologies. AI technology has become a key infrastructure investment for hospitals and will become an even more crucial tool as the industry balances increasing demands and the need for cost savings during a critical time for humanity. 

In light of the national conversation that’s happening right now, what advice would you offer to healthcare leaders seeking to make a real impact on systemic problems of racism?

In order for our healthcare system to meet the needs of our diverse nation, the decision-makers have to be diverse too. My advice to fellow healthcare leaders is to ensure your technology, and your people, are accountable and take ownership over achieving the common goal of equity in health tech. When our leadership teams and employees more accurately represent the populations we serve, the solutions and outcomes we generate together will be stronger by design.