Syapse Looks to Expand Precision Medicine Partnerships With New CEO

Ken Tarkoff, formerly at RelayHealth, is joining Syapse as its new CEO.

Ken Tarkoff is joining Syapse as its new CEO. A health technology industry veteran who has held leadership roles at several cutting-edge companies, Tarkoff comes to Syapse from RelayHealth, where he was the COO.

A health information technology (health IT) company, Syapse develops software platforms that support clinical implementation of precision medicine in oncology via genomic data integration, decision support, care coordination, and quality improvement at point of care. They have partnered with several healthcare systems, including Intermountain Healthcare, Providence St. Joseph Health, Stanford Cancer Institute, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health, Henry Ford Health System, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which totals 285 hospitals across 25 states.

“Precision medicine has the power to transform health care, delivering better treatments and better outcomes. I’m excited to join Syapse, a company uniquely positioned to drive this transformation,” said Tarkoff, in a statement. “With its innovative model and unmatched network, Syapse can help more physicians offer effective and cost-efficient treatments so that patients get better, faster.”

Founder and president of Syapse, Jonathan Hirsch, views genomics as a transformative force in cancer care, a “wedge.” During a panel discussion at the Patient-Centered Oncology Care® (PCOC®) meeting in November 2016, Hirsch emphasized that interoperability can help avoid the frustration for care providers to extract data from different systems. He added that oncology has been one of the worst practice areas for health IT because patients have so many encounters with so many parts of the health system, over an extended period.

Syapse offers a robust platform that brings together fragmented clinical, molecular, and outcomes data within a physician’s workflow that are needed to deliver cancer treatments at scale.

“What we’ve done at Syapse is we’ve built integration capabilities with the major electronic medical records out there, so that we can effectively pull the right data on cancer patients from those medical record systems and then make it usable. But, let’s make no mistake, there’s a lot of work to do,” Hirsch told The American Journal of Managed Care®. He explained that the company wants to ease physician burdens, not add to them, by paying attention to provider workflows and making it easier for them to gather and deliver information.

“Effectively treating cancer is one of the greatest—and costliest—challenges in health care,” said Syapse Chairman Gary Kurtzman. "Precision medicine can change that, and scores of health systems and providers are rushing to integrate it into their care. With Ken’s leadership, Syapse will help make precision medicine the reality for more health systems, providers, and most importantly, more patients."

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