Truveta’s big data healthcare project is pretty cool

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.

Truveta’s big data healthcare project is pretty cool by Alex Wilhelm originally published on TechCrunch

Truveta is making progress towards building a living medical portrait of America

Truveta wants to collect privacy-safe medical data from around the United States on a regular basis, making it available for researchers to sift and parse. The company is making real progress towards that goal in product terms, and this morning said it raised another $100 million, giving it a capital base of around $200 million in total.

But the financial aspect, and the fact that Truveta has secured more partners in the medical world to supply it with information, are ancillary to the fact that the startup has started to make its platform available to external parties.

Truveta partners with around 20 medical providers, aggregating regular de-identified data from 42 American states and myriad patients into its collection. From there it has built a software service that allows researchers and other users to ask questions of the collected data. TechCrunch was given a tour of the Truveta product, which, as chart nerds, we liked.

But frankly, your local technology writer is not precisely the Truveta end-user. Instead, the product is aimed at individuals with their hands in the public health domain. To that end, the company’s product lets researchers include and exclude elements of the population, before dropping the user into a Jupyter Notebook, from where they can build a dashboard with data that updates daily.

Truveta has eyes on 16% of all clinical care in the United States, per CEO Terry Myerson, who formerly worked with Microsoft.

The company shared a grip of COVID-19 related material this morning that it has gleaned from its own product. It turns out that “adverse events” happen to fewer than 1% of folks with a full COVID-19 vaccine, with Moderna patients showing 40% more than those who received Pfizer. Given that I am a Moderna Man and my spouse is Team Pfizer, I was amused by that latter stat. Perhaps I’ll mix-and-match my booster?

Truveta is more interesting for its long-term potential than for what it has managed to learn thus far, in my view. It’s good news for our country that the company is starting to open up access to external parties, and has a product that can ingest mountains of data and share it in a privacy-safe manner. Our healthcare system is expensive, siloed, antiquated, and rife with inefficiencies. Truveta could make things a bit more open and, if we are lucky, clear.

What will prove interesting from this juncture is how Truveta converts itself from an interesting — and now operating — project into a business. It has a pretty firm anti-advertising stance, saying in its self-description that its service is “licensed for ethical medical research [and] not to target advertising to patients or physicians.” Fair enough, but do researchers have the coin to make the project work? Perhaps Truveta will sell its service back to its data providers, each contributing both data and regular fees to the company?

Truveta notes in its self-produced bio that it pays taxes. Hence, it isn’t a non-profit. That means at least an attempt at future profitability, which will keep our business model questions at the front of our minds. But with $100 million in new capital, Truveta is hardly about to run short on cash.

All told, Truveta has rapidly scaled its partner base and tech stack to the point of market viability. Let’s see what demand is attracted, and how quickly positive health and business outcomes can be ascertained.

Ex-Windows EVP Terry Myerson joins Madrona Venture and The Carlyle Group

More than half a year after splitting from a long time role at Microsoft, former Windows and Device EVP Terry Myerson is finally ready to talk about his future. In a blog post this morning, the executive discussed what he’s been up to for the past several months (running, learning the piano, strengthening personal relationships, and all that good stuff) and highlighted two new roles.

The 21-year Microsoft vet will be joining Madrona Venture Group as a Venture Partner. The Seattle-based firm has been having a good run of late. As we noted back in May, four of its portfolio companies — Smartsheet, Apptio, Redfin and Impinj —have managed to IPO in the last two years.

Myerson notes that Madrona Managing Director Soma Somasegar was among the first to reach out after his exit from Microsoft.

“Madrona’s core idea is that if you are going to really partner with a company from day one, especially during the very earliest phases of a company’s growth, that is best done locally so that you can support the new team,” Myerson writes. “This resonated with me as true – and being the leading Pacific Northwest VC, with the biggest fund to invest here, and the best track record from Amazon, to four IPOs in the past two years – this started to sound like a great team to be a part of. I really liked the focus on the Pacific Northwest and innovation.”

Along with that role, Myerson has announced that he’ll also be joining private equity firm The Carlyle Group as Operating Executive. “Whereas my role at Madrona challenges me to consider how to leverage the latest technical innovations,” Myerson says, “my role at Carlyle will challenge me to deliver software at scale in many diverse organizations. I couldn’t be more excited to work with the leadership teams of great Madrona and Carlyle companies to grow their businesses.”

Myerson clearly still has a soft spot for his old team, as well, quoting former boss Satya Nadella and noting that the whole letter was written on the new Surface Pro 6 (as a LinkedIn post, no less). Old habits, as they say, die hard.