Clinical data analysis company Covera Health has raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Equity Group Investments (EGI). Additional undisclosed strategic and individual investors also contributed to the round. This is Covera’s first round of institutional funding.
What they do
Covera Health uses data analytics to help its payer and employer customers choose the best providers and procedures for their members. But unlike many companies in that space, they also work with providers to help them improve their quality.
“We’re partnering with providers, starting with the field of radiology, to work with them to understand ‘How do we objectively measure quality?’” CEO Ron Vianu told MobiHealthNews. “Because quality is kind of an amorphous thing that people throw around but nobody really knows what it means. So we’ve dedicated a lot of time, resources, and data science and clinical partnerships to work with providers to define quality as it relates to improving patient outcomes and diagnostic accuracy — and then figuring out, at the end of the da,y how to deliver that information back to providers so that they can improve the quality of care they deliver to patients.”
The current focus of the company is to help radiologists improve their accuracy and reduce misdiagnoses.
“We started in the world of radiology because radiology occurs very often at a very pivotal juncture in a patient’s care. If you think about the healthcare ecosystem, most patients who have minor symptoms, a lot of those things resolve over time," he said. "If they don’t resolve, typically the next step is some sort of objective test— in the world of radiology, to take a picture of a patient’s body to see what’s wrong. And getting that correct [is] fundamental in making sure the patient goes down a correct treatment trajectory.”
What it’s for
Vianu said the company intends to invest in growth, research and development. The company plans to grow its current team of 40 employees to around 70, and to improve the state of the science to help serve existing customers better and bring additional customers onboard.
“A lot of understanding quality is about peeling back layers of an onion, [and it] becomes more and more precise,” he said. “So at some point in the future we’ll be able to match a particular physician to a particular patient based on a particular type of injury and say ‘This doctor fits with this patient for these specific reasons’.”
The company has no immediate plans to move beyond radiology, though Vianu says their approach would certainly work in other specialties.
“We’re kind of hyper-focused on radiology and while we recognize there are other opportunities, those aren’t opportunities we’re considering at the moment,” he said.
A number of companies are using data analytics to help payers optimize healthcare spending. For instance, Lumiata raised $11 million for payer-focused health data analytics last year, and healthcare shopping tool maker Vitals moved into that space last summer.
On the record
“An accurate diagnosis is fundamentally important for formulating the right treatment plan. That is why we started in radiology. All too often, patients are misdiagnosed at this pivotal juncture in their care, hindering their ability to get better,” Vianu said in a statement. “Our approach to improving outcomes is premised upon partnering with providers to better understand how to measure and deliver quality care, ensuring each and every patient has the best opportunity for recovery.”