Truveta’s big data healthcare project is pretty cool • TechCrunch
A few weeks back, TechCrunch caught up with Terry Myerson and others from the Truveta team to chat through an important product update from the company. This publication has covered Truveta for some time now, curious about its objectives as a business that has a strong public-health component, and because Myerson was a longtime Microsoft denizen that we were familiar with from covering Windows for years and years.
Our interest was also piqued late last year when Truveta raised $100 million, slightly more than doubling its capital base. With around $200 million in backing, Truveta had a roster of folks with whom we were familiar, and enough cash to bring to bear whatever it was dreaming up.
The Truveta concept is simple: Work with different healthcare groups to collect anonymized patient data, pool the information, and make it available to third parties so that they can see what’s actually going on in terms of patient outcomes in a more holistic sense. The potential public health and commercial applications are reasonably apparent, but what struck your scribe when chatting with Myerson and the team was that this sort of aggregated database of depersonalized information was not already in existence.
While having a private-public healthcare system has some advantages, centralized data is seemingly not one of them.
Back to the recent: Truveta has expanded the roster of health systems contributing to its dataset from a handful toward the end of 2021 to 25 today. More data is good when it comes to this sort of “healthcare analytics” work, so the additional 11 providers matter.
But more notably, Truveta’s software product launched earlier this month. Back in 2021, the company made a bit of a splash when it rolled out a COVID-focused product. Now, Truveta Studio is out, and I got a tour.
Something that Truveta has to handle is harmonizing information from disparate systems. This is something it’s tackling, allowing users to set up definitions in a computable format, and then collect results and graph them. The resulting wall of charts and graphs is exciting to look at if you, like myself, are a huge dork for data visualization.
The service is not something, from my run-through of it, that anyone with a passing interest in healthcare outcomes could use. But for an expert, it could pay off — our tour guide explained that, in his prior research environment, he would spend weeks executing what he can do in minutes with Truveta. That’s more than an order of magnitude of time savings. Provided that the service is sufficiently user-friendly for professionals, the company could be onto something.
The question now is how much people — customers — want to use it. Truveta’s early goals — getting its data ingestion set up, raising money, building a team, and then a product for regular use — have been met. Now we are down to the business brass-tacks of the effort. And there are nine figures of capital wagered that it will succeed.
Given that healthcare in the United States is exorbitantly expensive, opaque, and full of inequitable outcomes, folks working to make it a bit less impossible to parse are fine by me.