Banjo Health Quarterly Update – Q2 2021

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A Message from CEO, Saar Mahna:

Anniversaries are usually a good time to reflect. This quarter, Banjo Health celebrated its 2nd anniversary. When James and I started the company, we set out to improve patients' lives by streamlining prior authorization. In a short period of time, we have built world-class solutions and developed great partnerships which have allowed us to achieve this vision. I am grateful for, and, above all, humbled by this.

The quarter ahead will be a pivotal one for us. I am really excited to share these developments with all of you and even more excited for what they mean in regard to the future of prior authorizations.

What is happening at Banjo Health?

This quarter, Banjo Health has thought about what it means to be connected, and taken some great steps forward:

Connection is truly found in every facet of Banjo. We seek to build new, stronger connections between the various pieces of the Prior Authorization process with our products, such as our end-to-end PA management platform, Harmony PA. We have made the connection between a problem in our world, the current complications of the PA process, and a solution, AI technologies, which we utilize in order to alleviate the stresses within the system and increase efficiency and ease for everyone involved.

On an even more fundamental level, we also seek to connect with our clients, and with one another. This company has made it imperative to create a positive, growth-oriented environment in which each member is valued and known.

Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, noted:

“Most dazzling human achievements are, in fact, the aggregate of countless individual elements, each of which is, in a sense, ordinary.” Each day, we come together and work on these elements; each small step fits into the larger picture of Banjo Health’s mission to improve the PA process on behalf of all those whose lives can be changed for the better.

If you would like to learn more about Banjo, contact us at or visit

Employee Spotlight

Krzysztof Jagiello – Senior Developer

Q: What inspired you to join Banjo Health, and how did you feel it was a fit for your current and future goals?

I worked with several startups before Banjo. They all entered a crisis at some point. From the perspective of time, one could point to early signs that such an end was looming. After interviews with Saar, James, Gia, and Tom, I had a feeling that Banjo was taking conscious steps to address pitfalls that I observed in those other companies. One of the steps of the interview process was reading a brief but loaded book by Ryan Holiday, "Ego is the Enemy." The book addresses honing human traits important when facing challenges and helping to achieve success. I found the book very interesting, as "ego" was high on my list of pitfalls. Following a recap with James and Saar, looking at what Banjo was aiming to achieve, I knew that I wanted to join this team, no matter what. Covid tried to spoil it via all kinds of disturbances on the market, but ultimately failed! And it has been a great journey ever since.

Q: What makes you excited about the future of Banjo Health and its goal to simplify PA?

Let's give it some context. Today's healthcare offers state-of-the-art, 21st-century medication and procedures. Prior Authorization is a delivery mechanism that aims not only to save cost but also to ensure that these advanced treatments are administered properly and safely. Unfortunately, this mechanism fell behind, and still utilizes a mixture of antiquated approaches. Frustrations for healthcare workers and delays for patients are a direct result.

Banjo has a very appealing, holistic approach to integrating bleeding-edge technologies (cloud, computer recognition, artificial intelligence) which can address major pains in the PA process. It feels very good to be bringing out "cool" products that clients need and the like. Working with bleeding edge technologies is plain fun for us tech "ninjas" at Banjo. But bleeding edge tech has its name for a reason. So it is also very satisfying to be a part of a mature team that is not afraid of the hard work needed to conquer the often-unruly technology. In short, we make it all click, it makes us happy, and the sky is the limit.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of Banjo? Any hobbies?

Cooking, which requires sharp knives (in my book at least). I keep a set of handmade Japanese chef knives shaving sharp. While I enjoy all activities around the kitchen, my favorite one is grilling on my Big Green Eggs.

I love the outdoors and nature. Arizona, where I live, has a lot to offer because of its topology, from the Sonoran Desert in the south to ponderosa pine forests up north. Not in many places can one go snow skiing and pack up and go water skiing at a lake the same day. Sometimes, a trip will yield mesquite or juniper chips--great for smoking meat in the Egg.

Woodworking. The garage got turned into a woodshop, which is a great escape when I want to relax. Some wood scraps can be used for smoking food in the Egg.

Open Positions

Development Positions:

  • Software Engineer

  • Sales Engineer

Clinical Positions:

  • Pharmacist

Business/Operations Positions:

  • Account Manager

  • Implementation Manager

Data Positions:

  • Data Scientist

  • Data Engineer

  • NLP Engineer

If you would like to learn more about current and future positions at Banjo, please visit the careers section at

Market Prospective

The Long Run Advantages of AI for Prior Authorizations

Artificial Intelligence (AI) lends itself to learning; over time, AI will continue to improve in efficiency, making AI an excellent investment in the long run, especially for the changing world of Prior Authorizations.

Over time, outcomes produced by AI will become more reliable and AI will require less oversight as it continues to learn. We’ve discussed previously how AI differs from traditional decision tree algorithms, and this is one of the key differences; while traditional decision trees remain static in nature, requiring the same amount of resources and producing similar levels of results, AI continues to learn and improve its processes in order to produce better results requiring less oversight.

Building AI engines now is important, as the more the AI learns, the more efficient it will become, and the earlier these AI engines are developed, the sooner we will have access to more accurate and effective AI solutions for use in aiding Prior Authorizations.

How does AI become more efficient over time?

As AI begins to learn and encounters more and more examples, it will begin to shift over from working similarly to data-heavy bottom-up style processing to something more akin to top-down reasoning, which more closely resembles how humans approach problems. Instead of using data and information input to individually devise meaning in order to produce outcomes, AI will begin to be able to use patterns, schemas, and connections to even more efficiently make sense of data and produce outcomes. Consider that instead of asking itself “What is this?”, AI will be able to ask, “Is this like something I’ve seen before?” and proceed from here.

Being able to rely on a previously constructed base of knowledge means that AI will be able to operate much faster. Having more knowledge and information means that AI will be able to learn and adapt, and will be able to construct schemas, patterns that categorize information and the relationships among them. In addition to requiring less oversight, this will also allow for faster identification over time.

This is very applicable for Banjo Health’s Virtuoso AI, which extracts clinical information from Prior Authorization requests, compares the clinical data and information against the payer’s clinical criteria, and presents with justification whether the request should be approved or denied. The more Prior Authorizations Virtuoso processes, the more it will be able to learn, adapt, and improve.

One of Virtuoso’s key strengths is its ability to transcend simple decision support and present justifications for approval or denial, which helps to provide transparency to the Prior Authorization process, one of Banjo Health’s essential goals. The fact that Virtuoso has the potential to adapt and improve on itself over time means that its decision support and explanations will only continue to improve. If you would like to learn more about Banjo’s thoughts on the PA landscape, please contact us at or visit to Get In Touch.

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