Physician consultation service Atropos Health raises $14M

Steven Loeb · August 5, 2022 · Short URL:

The company also appointed co-founder Brigham Hyde as its new Chief Executive Officer

In healthcare there is something called the evidence gap: while clinical trials guide and inform patient care, 70% of the US population is systematically excluded from those very same trials, even though 65% of the spending is on this same population. That includes people with comorbidities, certain racial and demographic groups, women, children, and rare disease populations.

Atropos Health looks to solve this problem by providing physicians with personalized, real-world evidence at the point of care in under a day. That allows doctors to provide personalized care based on strong evidence, instead of extrapolating from trials that would have excluded those very same patients. 

On Thursday, the company made two announcements: a new $14 million round of funding, as well as the appointment of co-founder Brigham Hyde as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Hyde was previously Chief Data Officer at Decision Resources Group, and a healthcare partner at the AI venture fund Symphony AI, where he led the investment in, co-founded, and operated oncology RWD company Concert AI. Most recently, he served as President of Data & Analytics at Eversana. 

"I have been involved with Atropos Health from day one. First as a co-founder and seed investor, and for the last two years as a Board member. As CEO, I bring a strong operational start-up track record to the company at a time when growth is accelerating, having founded and built Concert AI through a nearly identical phase. I am also extremely passionate about the company's mission and feel lucky to get the chance to lead it," he told VatorNews.

Founded in 2020, Atropos' platform aggregates data from millions of patient charts so it can answer physician questions, and then generates a report, which it calls a Prognostogram.

Here's an example of how it might work: if a pediatric cardiologist is seeing a new patient with an incidental diagnosis of atrial septal aneurysm, they might want to find out about the need for anticoagulation. However, the existing literature might not be helpful for a variety of reasons, either because a study answering the question hasn't been done yet, the available evidence is unreliable, or the evidence doesn't apply to their patient.

When a physician poses the question, which can be done through their EMR or from the company's online portal, it cleans up the data in the electronic health record and then uses a novel search engine to generate patient cohorts and perform statistical analyses to provide an answer.

The Atropos team works with the physician to refine the question, perform the analysis, and to provide an interpretation of what the results mean for their patient. Atropos' clinicians will also discuss and clarify any follow-up questions.

"We answer questions across any specialty and any care setting, but there are a few areas where we have seen a lot of demand. First, we answer many questions in Oncology and Hematology, where patients are at high risk, and late-stage trials are often limited," said Hyde.

"Second, Atropos Health helps tailor the process of care – i.e., is this imaging required? When should we release patients who have COVID from the hospital, etc. And lastly, Atropos Health offers critical tools for improving health equity. We can help answer doctors’ questions about how to provide the right care spanning intersectionalities of race, ethnicity, and sex that are underrepresented in clinical research. Where trial evidence is limited, we are a great solution."

In order to get those answers, the company leverage the data already within the healthcare institutions so it doesn’t leave their four walls, while also partnering with national and specialty datasets including, most recently, a partnership with ASCO CancerLinQ.

"Our federated multi-tenant technology allows a question to be matched to the appropriate unidentified dataset to answer it, and thereby allows the data to remain safe and secure with the institution that protects it," Hyde said. 

The company has already seen significant ROI for patients, physicians, and healthcare institutions, he said, including reducing drug costs, readmissions, and unnecessary procedures to the total cost of care.

This benefits physicians, as they are able to make better cost decisions, and patients as well, because getting more personalized answers encourages adherence through empowerment, Hyde explained.

"Physicians also love the service and the experience of ordering and receiving our eConsult. It offers large benefits with low impact on their time and day-to-day pattern of care."

Currently, the company has focused primarily on AMCs and large health systems, but Atropos will be rolling out a direct-to-physician model soon as well.

New funding round

The $14 million Series A funding round that Atropos announced was led by Breyer Capital with participation from Emerson Collective and Boston Millennia Partners.

In conjunction with the funding, the company is gaining two new board members: Matt Bettonville, Director of Venture Investing at Emerson Collective, and yet to be named member of the team from Breyer Capital. They will be joining the company's existing board members, which include President Neil Sanghavi; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saurabh Gombar; and co-founder Nigam Shah.

"Both lead investors bring great integrity, a long-term vision, and a mission orientation to disrupting healthcare; they want to do big things. We couldn't ask for better partners," said Hyde.

The company will use the funds to expand its team, which currently consists of 20 team members, with plans to doubling that number. by the end of the year. It will also be used to support the launch of its oncology offering.

"We are building on our base offering and our partnership with ASCO CancerLinQ. We will add additional omics interpretation and other precision medicine dynamics like pathway comparisons and value-based navigations," said Hyde. 

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