Colorado-based startup RxRevu, which specializes in using machine learning for prescription decision support, has landed $15.9 million in Series A funding. UCHealth led the funding with participation from the University of Virginia LVG Venture Fund, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Inception Health/Froedtert Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, UnityPoint Health, JAZZ Venture Partners and existing investors.
As part of the announcement Dr. Richard Zane, the chief innovation officer at UCHealth and Dr. Toby Cosgrove, executive advisor at Cleveland Clinic, will be joining the board of directors.
WHAT THEY DO
The company’s platform, called SwiftRX, uses machine learning to help doctors choose which medication to prescribe for their patient, keeping in mind health and financial factors. In addition to a patient’s current diagnosis, the platform will let clinicians see their patient’s medical history, insurance information, and out of pocket costs. SwiftRx can also suggest drugs with lower cost alternatives, which have a clinically equivalent impact.
“We provide both Real Time Benefit Check (RTBC) information and therapeutic alternatives to allow clinicians to see if there are less expensive options or options that do not require a prior authorization," Carm Huntress, cofounder and CEO of RxRevu, said in a statement. "One of our goals is to eliminate the millions of pharmacy call-backs because the patient is surprised at the cost of their medication, or that it is not covered under their plan, which leads to unfilled prescriptions and higher costs for everyone."
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company said the new infusion of cash will be put towards growing the company’s platform and technology.
The conversation around medication price and transparency has been heating up of late. Medication cost has frequently been associated with adherence rates. But some startups are hoping to tackle this issue with transparency platforms.
Partner Health’s Pivot Labs teamed up with pharma company UCB to work on a platform for people living with epilepsy. The platform lets clinicians see side effects of different drugs and the expense. The idea is that a doctor and patient can have a conversation around the drugs that may work better with a patient’s life style, consequently improving adherence rates.
“Providers prescribe a medication with the best interest in mind. The patient goes to the pharmacy, realizes the medication is too expensive, and copay is something they can’t afford,” Dr. Kamal Jethwani, senior director of connected health innovation at Partners Healthcare, said last year. “They are too ashamed to tell the provider again, so they go back home without the medication. On our side we have no idea the patient hasn’t picked it up.
Blink Health, Hoy Health and GoodRx are all working on platforms that give patients access to lower cost generic drugs. GoodRx and Blink Health specifically cater to uninsured and underinsured people with high deductibles.
ON THE RECORD
“As a physician, former healthcare executive and current RxRevu board member, I see the issues facing healthcare today from every angle," Cosgrove said in a statement. "Like many things in healthcare, prescribing medicine has become very complex. New data sources combined with decision support tools like RxRevu's SwiftRx will enable providers to incorporate the latest treatment standards, national guidelines and patient cost into one simple provider-centered workflow, so they can focus on the patient."