Israeli startup TailorMed, which has developed technology and systems to help patients and healthcare providers tackle the financial challenges of care delivery, today announced a $6 million financing round. The funding was led by the Triventures fund with participation from Sanara Ventures, a digital health incubator whose franchise holders are Teva (NYSE: TEVA) and Royal Philips Electronics. TailorMed is a graduate of the incubator. The company has raised $8 million since it was founded.
TailorMed develops an artificial intelligence (AI) system for financial support of cancer patients. The company, which launched its product in the US in 2017, will use the money raised to accelerate development of its technology and penetrate the market with its product and services.
CEO Srulik Dvorsky and CTO Adam Siton founded TailorMed in 2017. The company developed a system to deal with "financial toxicity" - severe financial distress resulting from patients' inability to pay for treatment, to the extent that they forego treatment that could save their lives. The solution is relevant everywhere in the world, but especially in the US, where the financial system in health is much more difficult than in most other countries and the medical services are more expensive.
Dvorsky said today, "We are glad to cooperate with Triventures, which has vast experience and a profound grasp of the market. It shares our vision for improving treatment, while lowering its total cost through data-based solutions. We are delighted with the continued support we receive from the Sanara Ventures investment platform, which supported the company from its first days."
Triventures managing partner Netalie Nadivi added, "TailorMed offers a rare solution in healthcare - improving financial prediction for health concerns, while aiding patients. We are glad to cooperating with a company led by entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of the variables in the US health system, and who are offering a unique solution for the market that creates harmony between the patient's needs and those of health concerns."
Sanara Ventures CEO Asaf Barnea said, "TailorMed is a unique company with a unique concept, and above all with a unique team leading it. Digital health is an important element in Sanara Ventures' investment strategy. We are therefore looking for entrepreneurs and solutions like those of TailorMed that fulfill a true market need and exercise an important influence on patients' lives and health concerns through integration and monetization."
Dvorsky has previously told "Globes," Life-saving drugs and drugs that prevent disability have become significantly more expensive in recent years. The insurance companies and health funds roll far more than the cost onto the end consumer. This is a worldwide trend, but it is particularly prominent in the US. Barack Obama's health reform brought many more people into health insurance. In order to cope with this, insurance companies have raised their premiums and deductible amounts many times over."
Dvorsky says that the US payment system, in which patients do not even know how much they will eventually pay, makes it very difficult for them to compare prices for their entire treatment package.
There are now options for alternative financing for patients unable to make the payments, for example accessibility programs of pharma companies. The companies are sometimes willing to pay the patient's share in order to at least receive the share paid by the insurance company. There are also volunteer organizations and government programs, which open and close, and require monitoring. It is sometimes possible to switch to a more worthwhile insurance policy, even after the patient becomes ill.
"Hospitals have begun employing financial advisers for their patients. Their job is above all to understand how much the treatment will cost, verify that the patient can afford it, and then refer the patient to other treatment options. This is all done manually, however, based on the consultant's knowledge, like travel agents used to do before online booking. Our system selects the optimal package accessible to the patient, finds the possible financing sources, and fills out the forms for him or her for submitting requests for alternative financing," Dvorsky explains. The system includes human advisors, who assess the feasibility of the results and improve them.
According to Dvorsky, the system is technologically complex, because it also includes predictive options. "For example, if you have a background disease that increases the risk of complication in the planned surgery, it might be worthwhile for you to intervene in the background situation first. That might be more worthwhile," he says.
"Payment is collected from the hospital," Dvorsky adds. "It's worthwhile for them, because we reduce their bad debts - the cases in which a person received the treatment, but is unable to pay for it. Hospitals are usually unable to throw out patients. They treat someone who is already there, leaving the question of debt until afterwards. 7-10% of the debts to the hospital are therefore bad debts. According to our experience so far, our system can reduce the extent of bad debts by a large percentage, amounting to thousands of dollars per patient."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 6, 2019
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