Charles Barnett, president of CognitiveScale's new healthcare unit in Austin.

Charles Barnett, president of CognitiveScale’s new healthcare unit in Austin.

CognitiveScale has announced the formation of a healthcare business unit and the hiring of Charles Barnett, a 30-year healthcare executive and former executive chairman of the board of Seton Family Healthcare, as president of the new unit.

The Austin-based startup’s new healthcare unit “will apply cognitive computing to improve the treatment and care of people with chronic health conditions including cancer, diabetes, respiratory conditions and stroke,” according to a news release.

“CognitiveScale’s new healthcare business group builds upon the great work already underway at large healthcare providers, healthcare insurers and strategic partners,” Manoj Saxena, chairman of CognitiveScale, said in a news release. “We’re delighted to have one of the industry’s most well-known and respected healthcare visionaries join our leadership team. Charles has already been instrumental in shaping our strategy and offerings in healthcare and has enabled us to deliver impressive results to clients and secure a strong foothold in the healthcare industry.”

The unit’s focus will be on making sense of increasing amounts of data generated from people who have chronic health conditions.

“CognitiveScale’s technology addresses these challenges by providing a holistic view of a person. This includes the creation of patient profiles that contain data from clinical and non-clinical systems, social, private, and public sources as well as socio-economic, behavioral and lifestyle elements,” according to a news release. “This enables care managers to better understand a person’s conditions and provide prescriptive, personalized advice and recommendations about their care, diet, activities, medication compliance, and appointments, all while protecting the individual’s privacy, enforcing data security and sovereignty, and adhering to HIPAA compliance.”

Barnett previously served as president and CEO of Seton Healthcare Family in Austin and in other leadership positions for other healthcare institutions.

“With healthcare costs continuing to escalate and the prevalence of chronic diseases on the rise, the United States will soon enter a phase where the trillions of dollars spent on treating chronic diseases each year will no longer be possible,” Barnett said in a news release. “Our new healthcare group is already making great strides in addressing these issues while making a deep and meaningful impact on individuals with chronic conditions and the healthcare industry as a whole.”

CognitiveScale officially launched in Austin last October after operating in stealth mode for 18 months.