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Metabolic syndrome is the precursor to metabolic disease, such as diabetes and hypertension
More than one third of country has metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that occur together, which increases the risk of heart disease and is characterized by high blood pressure, sugar levels, abnormal cholesterol and abdominal obesity. This is the precursor to metabolic disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, which are a leading cause of death for both men and women.
Metabolic syndrome is especially prevalent in middle America, where preventative health is lacking, specifically in rural areas of the country, said Brandi Harless, CEO of PreventScripts, a company that aims to reduce metabolic diseases by identifying them in the metabolic syndrome stage.
"This due to various factors such as little to no access to quality healthcare, burnout among medical professionals, and socioeconomic conditions that don’t make access to healthy living easy," she explained.
"The primary care, public health, and preventive sectors received a sliver of the $4.3 trillion spent on health in the U.S. in 2021. It's estimated that only 6% to 7% of total spending goes to primary care, half as much as comparable OECD countries, while only 5% goes to clinical preventive services and only 4% goes to public health."
PreventScripts aims to close this gap by clinically identifying those who are truly at risk for metabolic disease and now it will be able to expand its solution further into those populations who need it as the company announced a $1.5 million funding round on Tuesday led by Keyhorse Capital and iSelect Fund, along with "significant participation from a select cohort of angel investors."
The Kentucky-based PreventScripts delivers a digitized health solution for physicians to implement in their practice: its automated system identifies a clinician’s rising risk patients, their motivation, and their inclination to engage with the PreventScripts platform. Then, PreventScripts provides clinical decision support for the best patient-specific prevention intervention.
At-risk patients who are identified receive a “starter kit” in the mail, covered by their insurance, and instructions to download the PreventScripts companion app. The “Healthy Living Toolkit,” which is delivered right to their door, includes a Bluetooth connected scale, a time-motivating water bottle, a “My Healthy Plate” fridge magnet and a waist circumference measuring tape.
What sets the company apart from other companies who focus on metabolic diseases, specifically companies like Livongo or Lark Health that only treat diabetes, is that, "by focusing on patients with metabolic syndrome means we are covering a larger segment of the population than just those with elevated glucose," said Harless.
"These are patients who have the signals of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high lipids, and larger waist circumferences, which is an indication of adipose tissue."
While there is some overlap between PreventScripts and those other companies, as it oftentimes will capture patients who are pre-diabetic or even early diagnosed diabetic, the engagement model is also very different.
"We’ve digitized the 5A behavior framework and use that as the basis of our interventions with the underlying foundation built on the fact that it’s not all about losing weight, it’s about embedding small healthy living improvements into our daily lives," said Harless.
PreventScripts is currently working with 12 providers across four clinics; it has assessed over 650,000 patients and triaged nearly 4,000. For providers, the company is able to boost a care facility’s revenue, bringing in $130,000 to $190,000 in net revenue per year for every 100 patients, while also driving provider-led interventions that improve overall patient health.
"Primary care providers are burned out and can’t get their patients focused on prevention. PreventScripts reconnects doctors with prevention solutions for their patients. The data collected creates a powerful feedback loop between the provider and patient," Harless explained.
The new funding, which brings its total raised to nearly $2 million, will accelerate the company's growth into its core markets, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, where metabolic diseases are prolific. The plan is to partner with 1,000 providers by 2025.
"PreventScripts is leading the charge in preventative health care, as the nation grapples with a surge in metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension," said Harless.
"Our prevention management services provide patients valuable information in preventing metabolic conditions. Providers can capture new revenues within 30 days of deployment through our Software as a Service product that with customized software to fit within any clinical workflow setting."
(Image source: preventscripts.com)
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