Engineering Spotlight: OM1
Founded in 2015, OM1's mission is transforming healthcare by reimagining how it is measured and delivered. The company has built an intelligent data cloud to enable different healthcare stakeholders to cost-effectively access, analyze, and use outcomes data in an accurate and vigorous manner.
With such a robust platform, OM1’s engineering team is hard at work to deliver results for healthcare stakeholders.
To give our readers an insight into the company’s engineering team, we connected with OM1’s Head of Engineering, Nick Brachet.
Also, OM1 is hiring! Check out their BIZZpage for all the company’s openings.
Quick Hit Details
Year Founded: 2015
Number of employees: 50
Number of engineers: 12
Can you share a summary of what OM1 does?
OM1 is a digital health company focused on solving the problem of determining and understanding the true results of healthcare. We believe that a value-based healthcare system requires a much more complete view of patient outcomes than has been available until now. We leverage a state-of-the-art technology platform, a world-class team of scientists, clinical experts, and software engineers, and a committed network of organizations to create a new standard for health outcomes information.
What does the product planning process look like and when does engineering get involved?
We use an Agile process with two-week sprints with a traditional sprint planning meeting to finalize commitments for the upcoming sprints. Prior to that Product Owners groom the backlog with Engineering. In that grooming, engineers work closely with product owners to understand the value brought to users and can offer their creativity.
How are cross-functional teams structured?
Rather than formal cross-functional teams, OM1 leverages a collaborative work environment where people from different teams or functional areas get together as needed.
What are some of the different technologies that the engineering team gets to work with and at what scale?
Our Engineering team leverages various technologies such as Spark (Scala and Python) as well as analytical databases such as Snowflake.
What are some of the interesting projects that the engineering team is tackling?
Healthcare data is notoriously messy and this problem is amplified when collecting data from various sources. One of the interesting challenges that the Engineering team has to tackle is to normalize all this data into a usable repository. Another aspect to our work is Patient Linking - the ability to identify patients between data sources in a HIPAA compliant matter is a very complex and challenging problem being researched and fine-tuned in academia.
Defining and calculating patient outcomes at scale is an inherent challenge to OM1’s mission.
We also tackle how to visually represent that patient data in a repeatable, insight-driven way that is digestible to end users.
How is testing handled - manual or automated?
Testing is automated as much as possible.
Does your engineering team have a chance to work on projects outside of their day-to-day responsibilities?
Yes! Engineers do get to work on skunk work projects and get to contribute back to some open source projects. We are very open to engineers experimenting and investigating tools that will best serve our purposes.
What can someone expect during the interview process?
We have a very straightforward interview process with the usual phone screen and in-person interview. You’ll have a call with our Head of Engineering which is more of a conversation than a deep technical screening. You’ll have a chance to meet with different members of the team as well as our CTO and Head of Engineering when you come into the office. Something that really sets us apart is our speed and readiness to hire. We move at the candidate’s pace!
What is the culture like at OM1 for the engineering team?
Culturally, we’re not prescriptive for how an engineer should build! If an engineer can provide evidence for why he or she believes this approach is best, the engineer can go ahead and try it out. We often approach our challenges almost academically, providing a proof of concept prior to executing that plan across the systems. This allows us to iterate quickly through ideas, and it’s exciting to have that flexibility. We have a great Slack culture for asking questions and getting help, and we like to “fail fast.”
What does your team do for fun outside of work?
We are a very tight-knit group. A couple times a week someone will Slack something they are planning to do that evening and invite the group along. We do drinks every couple weeks outside of the office and are religious about our trivia on Wednesdays.
Rapid Fire Q&A
What’s on tap?
Let us know what you like and it will be in the fridge!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
iPhone or Android?
Coffee - hot or iced?
Depends on time of year.
What music is playing in your office?
Anything and everything.
"I joined OM1 because I was inspired by the simple vision to transform healthcare by leveraging massive amounts of data. In my family of physicians, when they discussed how to measure healthcare quality, they largely referred to measuring processes. For example, “Did John Smith receive aspirin as soon as he arrived at the hospital for chest pain?” verifies that providers executed on existing procedure, but “What is the optimal treatment for a patient like John?” questions the status quo. The innovation at OM1 would allow for the latter type of exploration, which I believed was urgent for patients’ quality of care. I have had incredible opportunities to grow technically and professionally here. Every day, my hands are in different parts of the stack, from prototyping a new web feature on the front-end and developing APIs to tackling critical performance bottlenecks. Our culture encourages teaching, experimentation, and investigation, and I have learned so much from the talented people here about how our technologies and processes can be state-of-the-art, which I have particularly valued being earlier in my career. What’s more, it’s an environment where there are few, if any, barriers for taking ownership, and if I am interested in diving into a challenging problem we’re facing, I can take the plunge. Plus, I work with folks who make me laugh every day (although it’s still a source of contention that I’m a Ravens fan!)"
Senior DevOps Engineer
"As a DevOps/Infrastructure Engineer coming from a large enterprise shop, I was ready to join a team where I could see the impact my work has on a daily basis. When I found OM1 it was a perfect fit. I am able to bring my existing knowledge and skills to the table, helping the business grow while at the same time I have the opportunity to learn every day."
Images courtesy of OM1.