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When it comes to our medical records, most us probably only think of them in terms of doctors accessing them understand a patient's history to give them the best care. The truth is, though, that many industries that use health records for business beyond care, including legal, insurance underwriting and clinical trials. The problem becomes that health information remains scattered across systems, it's siloed, and it's still sometimes paper-based. Accessing, aggregating, sharing and putting health information to use can be very difficult.
Medchart is a company that's on a mission to reduce those barriers that stand in the way of easily sharing that critical healthcare information.
Its origins date back to 2013, when the father-in-law of James Bateman, the company's co-founder and CEO, fell ill with a chronic disease. His mother in law had to gather the necessary information to share across the entire care system, including multiple hospitals and providers. At the same time, his co-founder, Derrick Chow, was going through a similar experience with his aunt who was traveling overseas and needed emergency surgery. Derrick and his family spent many weeks trying to navigate getting medical records from Canada to China.
"I remember thinking that, of course, this process to data access should be easier. But can it be? Not just for patients, but also for organizations that request and share medical records," said Bateman.
"In the journey to get his data, no one ever said 'no' from any medical facility. Although it was an onerous process, it showed the power of consent and patient-authorized data which breaks down barriers to patient access."
In response to these incidents, Bateman and Chow created Medchart as a single place to transfer, understand, and use health data. And now the company has raised $17 million in Seed and Series A funding round led by Crosslink Capital and Golden Ventures, with additional funds from Vast Ventures, Union Ventures, iGan Partners, Stanford Law School, and Nas, an original backer.
Along with the funding, it was also announced that Matt Bigge, a partner at Crosslink Capital, has joined Medchart’s board of directors.
"Matt brings extensive knowledge in enterprise IT, infrastructure, and security, as well as decades of experience building leading-edge companies in these markets. Matt will offer expertise on business decisions. Although with others on the board, he will ensure accountability on the strategy, direction, and goals the company sets. Matt will also help with our recruiting and future fundraising efforts," said Bateman.
Founded in 2015, Medchart's platform reduces time-to-data and eliminates the challenge of locating and accessing medical histories. It also improve time-to-insights by aggregating and transforming data into useful information to solve customer problems.
"One of the main challenges in making patient health data work for businesses that surround, but aren’t necessarily a core part of a care paradigm, is delivering data in a way that it’s useful to the receiving party," Bateman explained.
"Traditionally, this has required a lot of painstaking manual work to obtain patient-authorization and pore over paper documents to find information that isn’t necessarily structured consistently."
More than 200 businesses and law firms across North America currently use the Medchart platform for a variety of different use cases. Law firms, for example, may use the platform if they are pursuing a mass tort or class action strategy where thousands of individuals suffer injuries due to a defective medical device, such as an artificial hip used in replacement surgeries. Mass tort law firms rely on Medchart for AI and ML-assisted claimant qualification for individuals who have suffered life-altering injuries, including almost 40% of all U.S. claimants in the ongoing Purdue opioid litigation.
The company also works with healthcare providers who require it to quickly and easily respond to patient-authorized requests for information sharing for non-treatment purposes under the recent Federal ruling of the 21st Century Cures Act.
Other clients include insurance companies, who require medical evidence to assess insurability and risk, which impacts the premiums, term and other conditions of the policy, as well as with researchers, including those in universities, academic medical centers, research institutes and private industry, such as pharmaceutical, medical device, contract research organizations and patient support programs. For example, clinical trial investigators will need access to patient-authorized information generated from all types of various medical encounters, such as from visits to a general practitioner.
As a result of using Medchart, its customers have seen 71% labor and time savings on health information sharing, 89% health information processing improvement, and 99% AI qualification accuracy for business outcomes.
"Where we’re building new systems of intelligence on top of aggregate data, they are fully transferable to making decisions around policies to gather real-world evidence for their phase three and phase four clinical trials. This will help those teams to understand the overall indicators, the preexisting conditions and what the outcomes are of the drugs under development," Bateman said.
"This area can really make an impact on lives. Or for an insurance company to gather the right data for someone who was in an accident so that person can get on the road to recovery faster."
The company says it will use the new funding to accelerate product innovation and to hire new talent; the company currently has 150 employees, and will be growing the product, AI/ML, and engineering teams to focus on new product development and health data connectivity.
"We have done well building the user experience seamlessly integrated into processes for decision making. We are making significant investments in AI and machine learning that will not only get customers the health records they need but will also contextualize the data to garner deeper insights that they can use for business differentiation," Bateman told me.
The company will also be expanding its product offerings in new verticals, including insurance, pharma and life sciences, in order to help them keep up with market shifts and regulatory considerations, which, he said, is the company's long term value, as it allows businesses to query the data much more easily to answer different questions depending on different business needs, without needing to re-parse the data each time.
The ultimate goal for Medchart is to empower the use of patient authorization to unlock health information for new and innovative applications. Its success rides on improving people’s lives by making it easier for them to share information with those they trust.
"There is a tremendous amount of digital transformation happening in healthcare and all businesses. We are helping decades-old processes go digital with the patient at the center. And we unlock the patient authorization, which is the key to success. Medchart is growing fast and seeing broad adoption in our markets. Medchart is solving real-world problems for businesses and consumers."
(Image source: medchart.com)
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