#8 Navina: Optimizing your family doctor

Navina founders Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera  credit; Eyal Izhar
Navina founders Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera credit; Eyal Izhar

The company's system arranges data from medical records to save time for what really matters to the patient.

Founders: Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera
Investors: ALIVE Israel HealthTech Fund, Vertex Ventures Israel, Grove Ventures, and Schusterman Family Investments.
Year founded: 2018
Capital raised: $44 million

Navina focuses on improving the interface between doctor and patient. The company is attempting to solve one of the most painful problems for patients and physicians alike, by presenting doctors with all relevant information in a convenient, efficient manner.

Navina's product handles that moment when you enter a doctor's office, and are asked a lot of questions you’ve been asked many times before. By the time the doctor has finished asking all the already-answered questions, there’s hardly enough time to hear how you’re feeling, what brings you here this time, and what has changed since your last visit. By the time your doctor looks up from the computer, you’ve lost the desire to talk about how you feel.

Navina prepares information in advance before the doctor meets each patient. The company raised $22 million in a round led by ALIVE Israel HealthTech Fund, with the participation of existing investors Vertex Ventures Israel, Grove Ventures, and Schusterman Family Investments. In total, the company has raised $44 million to date.

Navina was founded in 2018 by Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera, who both served in the IDF signals intelligence unit 8200 and together founded and led the AI Lab of Israel’s Military Intelligence. In that role, they developed decision support systems, and they are now applying this know-how to the medical sector.

"After many years at 8200, when I left and Shay was demobilized, we examined the possible application of the knowledge and experience we had gained to the medical sector," says Lavi. "We recognized that data overload was a burden for doctors, but that ignoring this information could lead to lawsuits. Doctors are therefore suspicious of new IT systems. They appreciate the information, but they’re are also tired of it."

And so Navina was established to collect data from patient medical records, including information from scanned documents, and arrange it in a clear, concise, user-friendly way to generate insights, without missing details that could be critical. "The doctor can get to know the patient in 20 seconds to a minute," says Lavi.

Do the medical records that doctors currently have contain all the information they need to get to know the patient, or does your system also collect and integrate information from many other systems?

"We’re first addressing family practitioners in the American market, who, according to regulations, must retain all patient medical information. The medical record is very complete, but the infromation is unstructured. We enrich the record with additional information, for example information on welfare benefits, occupational therapy, and the like. We’re thinking about how to enrich these records even more."

From conversations with doctors, we have the impression that the intake process is very important to them. They believe that the process provides information that cannot be obtained from medical records, and is also an opportunity to create trust, and for patients to ask questions and express themselves

"That's exactly the point. The doctors really like the questioning, and they hate the bureaucracy and repeating themselves. When they have all the basic information in advance, they can get straight to the point and ask patients how they feel right now, what has changed, and what they feel they need help with.

"Today, family doctors are more and more required to do preventive medicine. They therefore sometimes need to know the patient beyond the details that the patient wants to relate about their current urgent situation. Our system allows you to see these things as well, and to initiate ways of dealing with them, together with the patient."

It sounds as though your system does part of the decision support system process. Where do you stand versus other companies in this field?

"Currently, our system does not suggest solutions to the physician, and only offers information, but this could change in the future. The pain point we see with doctors at present is not in their ability to make decisions."

The company does not disclose how much revenue it is generating, but it does say that its products are already installed in thousands of family doctor practices. "Navina’s growth has been remarkable," said ALIVE managing partner Prof. Ari Shamiss, who following the investment, joined Navina's board of directors. "They have managed to penetrate clinics and advanced primary care institutions in the United States. The company has been able to develop an innovative technology, deploy it on a large scale and build a world-class multidisciplinary team."

The Most Promising Startups rankings are part of the annual Enterprise Technology Summit held by "Globes" and JP Morgan.   

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 14, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Navina founders Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera  credit; Eyal Izhar
Navina founders Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera credit; Eyal Izhar
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