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12 million cancer patients and their caregivers have used Jasper, which launched last year
Towards the end of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, my family got some very scary news: my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was lucky (if that's the right word to use) because, not only was it found early, so it could be treated successfully, but she also had a support system of people who had already been through the same thing. They help guide her through a stressful and scary process.
Not everyone has that kind of support or access to people with that kind of knowledge, but now they can, thanks to cancer care navigation and experience platform Jasper Health.
"Cancer impacts your whole life: Newly diagnosed patients are given enough support just to make it through treatment but no guidance around mental health, nutrition, and sleep. Cancer is a radical lifestyle shift that no one is prepared for," Adam Pellegrini, the company's co-founder and CEO, told me.
Before a single line of code was written on Jasper, he said, the team conducted over 2,000 interviews with patients and caregivers to find out what was missing. What they found was that 47% of patients said their primary challenge was improving their health and quality of life, and that 55% found it difficult to find relevant information to support them.
The system doesn't only fail the patient, but also their caregivers; the survey also found that more than 80% of supporters want to help, but often don’t know how.
"Along with these gaps identified by patients and caregivers, we know that the healthcare system is fragmented, filled with friction and lacks the infrastructure to longitudinally and consistently address the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and caregivers," said Pellegrini.
"This has a dramatic impact on a patients quality of life, mental health and has an impact on treatment outcomes & recovery,"
In addition to addressing the needs of both patients and caregivers, Jasper provides clinical tools to automate and scale empathetic psychosocial care at scale. And now the company raised $25 million to make its solution available to even more patients across the country.
The company's Series A round was led by General Catalyst, along with new and existing investors Human Capital, W Health Ventures, Redesign Health, and 7wireVentures. This brings Jasper Health's total funding to roughly $31 million.
"We are honored that General Catalyst, Human Capital and W Health are joining the journey and are entrusting us to build a truly transformational business. General Catalyst was our first choice for a lead investor, and we were thankful we were their choice as as a key investment in this space," said Pellegrini.
Launched last year, Jasper is an end-to-end cancer care solution that combines a patient-focused experience with a personalized recommendation engine.
On the patient side, it provides access to an engagement and orchestration engine, which can identify, engage and connect patients with personalized health services, including virtual emotional support and symptom reporting. Jasper also provides remote patient monitoring, as well as access to care experts via chat, video, or phone for guidance and navigation help.
On the clinical side, clinicians use a triage dashboard to see who needs care now, or who may need it in the future. Jasper Care Advocates use the dashboard to check in on members daily, and to proactively reach out if a member needs assistance.
"The deep healthcare and health technology expertise on the Jasper team make us uniquely poised to bring to life a company that transforms the lives of those living with cancer, in the way that they deserve, improving outcomes and health, and reducing expenses associated with complications," Pellegrini said.
So far, nearly 12,000 cancer patients and their caregivers have used Jasper, and the company says that 70 percent of its members report less stress and anxiety, while almost 80 percent report better medication adherence, and nearly all have said they now find it easier to track appointments.
The company says it will use the new funding to build out its team, specifically in sales and operations teams; currently, Jasper has 20 employees, including contractors and FTEs, and the plans is to triple that number in the next 12 months.
Jasper also plans to use the funding to expand its platform to payers, self-insured employers, and health systems that provide cancer care. The plan is to launch its first B2B implementation in early Q2 through its recently announced partnership with Employer Direct Healthcare, which gives EDH's client base of more than 2 million lives access to Jasper's platform.
The hope is to have three to five new large healthcare organization partnerships, including health plans and health systems, in addition to five to seven new employer customers by the end of 2022.
On top of the funding, Jasper also added two new members to its board of directors: Dr. Jennifer Schneider, Executive in Residence at General Catalyst and former President of Livongo; and Candace Richardson, Principal at General Catalyst.
"Dr. Schneider has deep experience creating digital health companies that drive clinical outcomes at scale. Previously leading the teams of Livongo, Dr. Schneider understands the vision of Jasper and will be a trusted adviser as we build out the clinical capabilities and value proposition to health plans and systems," said Pellegrini.
Jasper wants touch the lives of more than 1 million cancer patients and caregivers, which helping them "achieve amazing health outcomes while also dramatically reducing the friction they currently experience with a disconnected healthcare system," he said.
"Ultimately, our goal is to be their co-pilot all the way through remission, standing by their side in their journey when it seems nearly impossible to navigate."
(Image source: hellojasper.com)
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