Bivarus raises $2M for patient experience analytics program

By Aditi Pai
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Durham, North Carolina-based Bivarus, which offers a patient experience analytics program, has raised $2 million in a round co-led by Hatteras Venture Partners as well as existing investor Excelerate Health Ventures. Other backers that participated include NueCura Partners and Boston Millennia Partners. The company has raised just under $4 million to date.

Bivarus spun out of the University of North Carolina in 2012. The company was founded by Seth Glickman, now the director of the Office for Population and Value Care at UNC, and Kevin Schulman, who is a healthcare researcher at Duke. Bivarus CEO David Levin told MobiHealthNews that the founders set out to create a new software platform that was much more targeted in the types of measures and questions it asked patients. Glickman and Schulman aimed to only ask a few questions and make the questions more relevant to the encounter.

“As consumers we are inundated with providing feedback," Levin said, "and one of the challenges was, because of that burden, patients were less likely to participate. If we can shrink the latency of the actual encounter and when you ask for feedback, the more relevant the data is going to be, the more actionable it’s going to be.”

Bivarus helps healthcare providers collect patient experience data after an interaction, like a scheduling, registration, office visit, or surgery. Within 24 hours of the patient’s experience, they receive an email or text asking them to complete a survey with 10 or fewer questions.

“Our platform allows you to target specific questions, specific measures, based on who the patient is, what service is rendered to them, and the relative importance of a given measure,” Levin said. “The idea is once we know the patient likes the color blue, you don’t have to keep asking patients, ‘What color do you like?’ because statistically you know the answer. Let’s focus on the next important question.”

The company’s first customer was UNC Healthcare when Bivarus launched in late 2014. Since then, Bivarus has grown its customer base which now includes Covenant Surgical Partners, IVF New England, Johns Hopkins Hospital, RelyMD, and Texas Oncology.

Bivarus currently focuses on community hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and physician practices. The company also has products for some specialties including oncology, cardiovascular, IVF, and dermatology.

Levin said that while some providers have to track patient satisfaction for certain patient populations, there are a number of reasons to track patient experience.

“On the hospital and larger private practice side, they are mandated to collect and report patients' experience data,” he said. “There are certain government programs, CMS programs that they have to participate in. So there’s the mandated portion of this. But beyond that, our customers really look to understand how their customers — their patients — experience both their facilities and the people who work at their facilities to improve their practice. They want more patients to come and seek services at their organization. And then they also want to reduce patient churn. They spent so much time and energy building the relationship with the patient, they want to know if those patients are at risk for leaving the practice because they are consistently receiving a poor experience.”

In addition to building out its team, Bivarus will use the funds to launch a new version of its analytics and reporting program in the second quarter. This version will provide healthcare organizations with more visualizations. The company also plans to add predictive features to the product.

“We are sort of taking that Amazon, Netflix view, and saying, ‘How can we recommend specific changes?’, ‘How can we be prescriptive?’, ‘Look, these 10 patients are likely to leave your practice because they have had a consistently poor experience, if you want to keep them, here are the things that we recommend you do,’” he said.