Humedica Wants to Dose U.S. Healthcare Crisis with Clinical Analytics, Raises $30M from Investors

9/23/09

Imagine a national repository of detailed information on patient populations organized by their disease types, treatments received, and other metrics—similar to a U.S. Census for healthcare. Hospitals could use this trove of data to track the quality and costs of care. Pharmaceutical companies could gain new insight into how their products are consumed. Humedica, a new Cambridge, MA-based healthcare informatics firm coming out of stealth mode today, is creating such a repository with backing from a bevy of industry bigwigs and marquee investors.

Humedica, quietly formed in July 2008 to commercialize its clinical analytics software, raised $30 million in a Series A round of venture capital from Bain Capital Ventures, General Catalyst Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Leerink Swann last summer, according to the company. The startup has also formed a partnership with the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), a trade group representing 95,000 physicians in the U.S., and its healthcare informatics subsidiary, called Anceta. This partnership gives Humedica access to medical groups around the U.S. to build its clinical information repository.

Humedica’s plan for a national-level healthcare informatics system based on data secured from electronic medical records is ambitious. Some previous companies in this business have relied on electronic claims data from health insurers to construct a picture of how healthcare is consumed on a national level, but claims data focuses on individual transactions and lacks many details on patients’ overall health and medical histories. Also, the landscape of available data on patient care is evolving dramatically with the Obama Administration’s multibillion-dollar investment in mainstream adoption of electronic health records and new studies to compare the effectiveness of treatments. There will be an unprecedented amount of electronic data on patient care—including such details as how well treatments worked for certain patients, the costs of that care, and exactly where the patients were treated.

Humedica wants to be the first and largest company to secure the data in electronic medical records from healthcare groups all over the country, comb it with sophisticated business intelligence and analytics technologies, and then provide it to paying customers in the healthcare, life sciences, financial services, and government sectors, said Michael Weintraub, a founder and CEO of the company. The firm says it safeguards the patient data in accordance to laws that protect such information. There are firms that offer software and services to help healthcare groups create their own electronic warehouses of such patient data, but Humedica is taking a software-as-a-service approach to make its system available over the Internet to multiple stakeholders in healthcare.

“Nobody [other than Humedica] is mapping a large capability to analyze populations in common diseases and therapeutic areas and doing it in a way where it is a software-as-a-service model where the burden of implementation is not put on the local site,” Weintraub said. “We’re taking on that execution and implementation challenge.”

Weintraub began pursuing Humedica’s informatics platform while working for Leerink Swann, a Boston-based healthcare investment banking firm. He headed its Medacorp business, which supplies investors with insights and opinions from network of some 30,000 healthcare experts from around the world. Last year he led the spinout of Humedica (which was initially called Health Insight Technologies) from Leerink with several other employees. Leerink is a shareholder in the startup and its exclusive partner for providing its informatics platform to the financial services sector.

The long list of prominent people behind the startup includes its chief medical officer, Paul Bleicher, the founder and former chairman of the fast-growing Waltham, MA-based clinical trials software firm … Next Page »

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