Rhino Health is a company that enables AI/data science developers and medical researchers to collaborate without sharing data or compromising data privacy. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Rhino Health co-founder and CEO Dr. Ittai Dayan to learn more.
Dr. Dayan’s Background
Dr. Dayan’s career has been at the intersection of business, academia, and clinical medicine. “After practicing as a physician, I joined Boston Consulting Group’s healthcare practice. There, I led advisory projects on how to transform the healthcare system, serving both the provider and biopharma industries. I then went on to lead the Center for Clinical Data Science at Mass General Brigham, developing and deploying AI solutions in collaboration with leading industry players,” said Dr. Dayan. “During that time, I also published in leading peer-reviewed journals and began experimenting with federated learning. After seeing a need to unlock healthcare data silos in the market, I went on to co-found Rhino Health.”
Formation Of Rhino Health
How did the idea for Rhino Health come together? “At Mass General Brigham, I led the EXAM study, a global federated learning project in partnership with Nvidia and 20 institutions around the world to predict COVID-19 progression. This project helped me realize that in order to really achieve the potential of AI in healthcare, AI developers needed a ‘Federated Computing’ platform that streamlined the data collaboration process with a combination of edge computing and federated learning,” reflected Dr. Dayan. “The historical paradigm of centralizing data just wouldn’t work – healthcare organizations and regulators are justifiably fierce protectors of patient data privacy, so freely sharing the type of complex multi-modal data needed for AI development was challenging – and expensive. I realized that the combination of edge computing and federated learning to process and then train models on distributed data was the best way forward.”
What are some of the challenges you faced in building the company and has the current macroeconomic climate affected the company? “There are so many potential applications of Federated Computing that we have had to be laser-focused on serving our core customers in healthcare. We have done that by building our product with many early-adopter design partners at our network of over 20 healthcare organizations who provided critical feedback that allowed us to serve them, and many others. Despite macroeconomic headwinds, we’re actually still seeing our customers in healthcare organizations and biopharma invest because Federated Computing solutions actually help them generate returns elsewhere, for example making drug discovery less expensive or improving the success rate of clinical trials,” Dr. Dayan acknowledged. “We are encouraged by these early successes and strategically expanding our user group and use cases.”
What are Rhino Health’s core products and features? “At our core, we let AI developers work with data without ever taking possession of the data. We do this with our Federated Computing platform, which allows AI developers to perform data discovery or exploratory queries, execute foundational data engineering, train & validate models, and monitor the ongoing performance of models all on data sitting on their collaborators’ servers behind their collaborators’s firewalls,” Dr. Dayan explained. “This means that ‘infosec’ teams are happy because their data remains protected in the way that they would like it to be, and developers are happy because they get access to the broad sets of complex data needed to help AI achieve its potential.”
Evolution Of Rhino Health’s Technology
How has Rhino Health’s technology evolved since launching? “We offer a more stable, more secure, and more powerful experience today than when we first launched – combined with the network effect of a global network. We have continued to streamline the user experience based on early adopter feedback, doing foundational things like squashing bugs but more importantly reducing the time to value for developers,” Dr. Dayan pointed out. “We have also launched a revolutionary ‘secure remote desktop’, where users can securely deploy ANY code they want, in a secure way, unlocking new modes of collaboration for users without risking other collaborators.”
What have been some of Rhino Health’s most significant milestones? “Some big milestones in our history so far: seeing the first projects completed independently by users, installing in our 20th healthcare organization, getting our first paying industry users and getting our first industry customers to grow their portfolio of Rhino solutions” Dr. Dayan revealed.
Customer Success Story
Upon asking about a customer success story, he replied:
“One of our marquee projects to date has been collaborating with the American College of Radiology, who represent roughly 40,000 professionals across the country. Our collaboration brings Federated Computing capabilities to each of these member’s sites – letting members participate in distributed registries, AI model training, validation, and monitoring, all with data remaining secure behind local firewalls.”
The company has raised about $14 million in capital to date and they are generating notable revenue.
Total Addressable Market
What total addressable market (TAM) size is Rhino Health pursuing? “We want to see a Rhino node at every hospital around the world and in every industry and public sector data science team,” Dr. Dayan assessed. “This type of collaborative network would unleash a tidal wave of value from improved diagnostic algorithms, personalized medicine, more responsive public health monitoring, and many more.”
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates Rhino Health from its competition? “Our biggest competitor is the status quo of attempting to centralize data, which is emerging to be unsustainable – healthcare organizations and regulators don’t like the idea of moving data around en masse and so the admin & regulatory hurdles are huge,” Dr. Dayan emphasized. “Developers have started to then break their teeth on ‘DIY’ orchestration of federated learning, but are realizing that there is a benefit to having an enterprise-hardened product to take care of all the nagging details. Beyond that, there are some other federated learning-focused companies, but they cannot offer the same multi cloud (i.e. GCP AND AWS AND Azure), multi modal (i.e. images AND free text AND tabular data), ability to run ANY code on distributed data and the breadth of our global network of partners and customers.”
Future Company Goals
What are some of Rhino Health’s future company goals? “We aim to become THE standard platform for data collaborations. To do this, we will continue to grow our network of participating healthcare organizations around the world, providing the ‘network value’ to all participating sites,” Dr. Dayan concluded. “We also hope to achieve scale with our industry partners as they incorporate us into their tech stack to enable the manifold applications of AI in biopharma, medtech, and SaMDs. Last, we want all of these to culminate in advancing medical science. We believe AI has tremendous potential, and we want to see that realized.”