Truveta’s big data healthcare project is pretty cool
A few weeks ago TBEN caught up Terry Myerson and others from the Truveta team to chat via a major product update from the company. This publication has covered Truveta for a while, curious about his goals as a company with a strong public health component, and because Myerson was a longtime Microsoft resident we knew from dealing with Windows for years.
Our interest was also piqued late last year when Truveta raised $100 million, slightly more than doubling its capital base. With approximately $200 million in backing, Truveta had a roster of people we were familiar with, and enough money to carry out whatever it came up with.
The Truveta concept is simple: collaborate with different healthcare groups to collect anonymized patient data, aggregate the information and make it available to third parties so that they can see in a more holistic sense what is really going on in terms of patient outcomes. The potential uses for public health and commercial purposes are pretty obvious, but what your writer noticed while chatting with Myerson and the team was that this kind of aggregated database of depersonalized information didn’t exist yet.
While having a private-public healthcare system has some benefits, centralized data is seemingly not one of them.
Back to the recent: Truveta has expanded the list of health systems contributing to its dataset from a handful by the end of 2021 to 25 today. More data is good when it comes to this kind of “health analysis” work, so the extra 11 providers are important.
But more specifically, Truveta’s software product launched earlier this month. 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 have a tour.
Something Truveta is dealing with is harmonizing information from different systems. This is something it addresses, allowing users to set definitions in a computable format and then collect results and create graphs. The resulting wall of charts and graphs is exciting to watch if, like me, you’re a huge data visualization sucker.
The service is not something, as I’ve perused it, that anyone with a passing interest in healthcare outcomes could use. But for an expert, it could pay off — our guide explained that in his previous research environment, he’d spend weeks performing what he can do with Truveta in minutes. That is more than an order of magnitude of time savings. Provided the service is sufficiently user-friendly for professionals, the company may be on to something.
The question now is how many people – customers – want to use it. Truveta’s early goals – setting up the data processing, raising money, building a team, and then a product for regular use – have been met. Now we are ready for the business tacks of the effort. And there are nine figures of capital staked that it will succeed.
Given that health care in the United States is exorbitantly expensive, opaque, and full of uneven results, I think people who work to make it a little less impossible to analyze are fine.