Written by Soraya Darabi
When Preveta co-founders Victor and Shirley Lee’s dearest friend, Becky Ramos, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, they saw her through every step of her care. The experience revealed an oncological healthcare system rife with delays, misdiagnoses, poor treatment, lack of planning, miscommunication, the list goes on. Becky died of ovarian cancer at just 41 years old, survived by her husband and two young children. Becky’s death is a tragedy in its own right, but it was made even worse by the knowledge that her death could have been avoided, or at least her life extended, had a broken system not failed her. So, Shirley and Victor set out to ensure that what happened to Becky never happened to anyone else.
Meet Preveta, a B2B healthcare coordination platform that enables medical assistants to better navigate specialty patient care, and TMV’s latest investment. Preveta’s platform significantly elevates the level of care that medical assistants can provide, empowering them to deliver personalized treatment information, coordinated care and nuanced data in a timely, effective process. This frees up providers to focus on diagnosis and treatment, fostering peace of mind for patients trying to understand their care path and paving the way for medical assistants to play a key role in streamlining and improving the entire patient journey.
From the start, Victor and Shirley saw Becky face every imaginable challenge, as well as long periods of waiting — for appointments, treatment plans and futile ER visits, (all precious time she didn’t have to spare). Blood work and diagnostics that should have taken at most a couple of weeks took 3 months due to incomplete referrals, delayed insurance approvals and fragmented communication. After their shared experience with Becky, Shirley and Victor remained struck by the significant work it had required to piece together Becky’s complete medical history, not to mention keeping it updated for each of her specialists. They recognized that it came down to standardizing the patient care process based on two critical needs:
- Complete and thorough patient data; and
- A streamlined way for medical assistants to surface missing data and communicate it to both patients and clinicians.
To illustrate the problem: a patient is recently diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. The patient is seen by numerous medical assistants, undergoes a battery of tests and visits multiple specialists, none of whom are communicating with each other or sharing data. The medical assistants are left without the proper technology to manage the process. The (often very ill) patient is left to summarize months of medical history, symptoms and labs for the doctor, the very person who, if a proper system were in place, would already have that information and thus be able to advise rapidly and thoughtfully on a treatment plan. Preveta levels up the role of the medical assistant to that of care navigator, empowering them to proactively call patients in-between appointments, stay up-to-date on how their treatment or recovery is progressing and enable earlier intervention for the doctor when necessary. In addition, this process engenders patient trust, making it easier to get faster answers from fewer sources.
Of the 610,000 cancer deaths each year, 152,500 are preventable if providers were given patient data earlier and a streamlined system were in place. So, Victor and Shirley decided to build one: enter Preveta.
Preveta’s platform aligns the patient’s diagnosis with their treatment regimen, taking into account all information and interactions through the patient journey, and enabling clinicians to lead the way. Preveta’s AI tools allow doctors to match patients with treatments and interventions that are specifically suited for them. This unique approach leverages clinical protocols that have been typically executed by the physician and automates them into simple workflows for the medical assistant, a process that reduces gaps in care and helps ensure that treatment plans are executed more safely, quickly and with better outcomes. Preveta’s workflows empower medical assistants to communicate cleaner and more complete data to clinicians, which in turn allows more thorough decision-making. And it’s working: the platform has shown to surface 16% earlier detection of cancer progression and has averted 104+ ER visits (~$1M in cost savings).
How It Works
Patient data is input into Preveta’s platform, which generates a decision tree to provide visual representation of the patient journey based on their condition. The platform proactively identifies missing patient data, alerts staff and builds a plan to collect it. Preveta then helps the medical assistant guide the patient through any number of existing barriers to get test results and publishes a complete patient profile that clinicians need to make informed decisions. Not only does the data that Preveta gathers throughout this process streamline patient care and improve outcomes, but it’s also extremely useful for pharma partners who are developing treatments. Existing data sources (e.g., claims data) only provides insights on who is experiencing inadequate care. By integrating data collection into the care navigation process, Preveta is also able to collect insights on why: why are patients struggling with their treatment regimen? What can help them best navigate existing barriers?
B2B healthcare solutions are dramatically behind other industries when it comes to leveraging data and technology to personalize the healthcare experience, which is especially tricky in complex specialties like oncology. Preveta provides a necessary advancement that has already proven to lead to better patient outcomes and reduced cost of care.
Preveta and TMV
TMV’s investment in Preveta fits squarely within our Care Economy thesis and supports our commitment to broadening access to healthcare and fostering better results through digital innovation. According to the Health Systems Financial Management Association (HFMA), over the next three to five years, innovations in clinical care delivery and healthcare business processes have the potential to reshape the competitive landscape in the industry. Why? The confluence of three constantly evolving trends: rapidly advancing tech, increased demand for better patient care processes, and an influx of VC funding.
It is critical that health systems and physician practices advance their clinical care models. We’re seeing a range of emerging tech redefining the competitive healthcare landscape, including machine learning, AI, mobile apps, biomedical engineering and genomics, all designed to deliver care more efficiently and improve both the patient and provider experience. And, within the clinical care space, these innovations create the opportunity to deliver more targeted and timely care, (e.g., cancer therapies tailored to an individual patient’s tumor, remote monitoring of people with chronic conditions — all in a more cost-effective way.)
Preveta’s platform includes modules that focus on Prostate Cancer, Enlarged Prostate, Bladder Cancer, Overactive Bladder, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. The team has future plans to expand while continuing to surface meaningful insights for their pharmaceutical partners.
Words of Wisdom
We asked Victor and Shirley what advice they’d give to other founders just starting out. Here’s what they had to say:
“Stay close to your mission. Live it every day. And when it gets hard, remember the individual stories of the people you’re working to help.”
TMV is an early-stage venture firm that invests in purposeful startups reimagining the future. If you are building an innovative business of the future or if you are an investor who believes in the power of community and operational commitment, we want to hear from you. Find us at firstname.lastname@example.org