A big data healthcare startup based in Cambridge has come out of stealth mode with a $15 million funding round led by local venture capital firm General Catalyst.
The startup, called OM1, was spun out of General Catalyst by physician Rich Gliklich while he was an executive-in-residence at the firm. He was previously CEO of Outcome, a healthcare tech startup that was sold to healthcare giant Quintiles in 2011.
Gliklich told me OM1 is developing a big data analytics platform to predict the outcomes of patients so that hospitals, healthcare systems and other stakeholders can make better decisions about how to care for those patients.
Beyond the support of General Catalyst and other investors, OM1 has another important ally: Gary Gottlieb, CEO of Boston-based healthcare system Partners in Health, who joined OM1’s board of directors last year.
OM1’s software applies machine learning algorithms to clinical and other kinds of data on millions of patients to help physicians understand, for example, how a patient with a particular condition may recover after surgery or react to a certain kind of treatment. Beyond conditions, the software takes things into account like age, gender, work habits and social status.
“What we’re really trying to do is personalize healthcare and the way to do that is data-driven,” Gliklich said.
If a patient’s recovery is taking longer than patients with similar attributes, Gliklich said, the software can help physicians act sooner and find ways to prevent costly procedures.
Hospitals and healthcare systems are under pressure to deliver value-based care, which aims to lower healthcare costs while also improving quality of care. With cardiac care, for example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sets certain target prices for what they’re willing to reimburse for Medicare and Medicaid patients. If a hospital’s costs are higher because of things like patient readmissions, the federal agency can penalize the hospital by withholding some payments.
With OM1, Gliklich said, the software can help hospitals avoid costly events and stay within CMS price targets. “It’s a pretty clear opportunity to show that reducing high-cost events can give a big return on investment,” he said.
But OM1’s software isn’t just designed for hospitals and healthcare systems. Gliklich said the software is also intended for life sciences researchers developing new drugs and devices, patient association groups and healthcare payers. He said OM1 already has some customers in Boston and other parts of the country, though he wasn’t able to disclose any names.
The company’s Series A round brings total funding to $19 million, Gliklich said. Other investors in the new round include Glikvest, 7wire Ventures and Wanxiang Healthcare Investments. After the company was founded in 2015, it now has 45 employees, with plans to continue growing at that pace, Gliklich added.
Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst and OM1 board director, said the company’s software has the potential to be transformative. “Rich and his team are helping to turn that data into actionable insights and ultimately, to transform today’s healthcare organizations into dynamic, always-learning health systems,” Bohn said in a statement.