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Brown-founded Intus Care raises $2.3 million in funding for long-term health care

Latest seed round sees record $1.65 million in funding for the company, team plans on scaling up

Since taking first prize at the 2020 Brown Venture Prize competition, Intus Care, a data-driven analytics platform for long-term health care, has raised a total $2.3 million in funding from investors to grow the company. Robbie Felton ’22, Evan Jackson ’22, Samuel Prado ’22 and Alexander Rothberg ’22 founded the platform in 2018. 

“Intus Care is a health care data analytics company specifically designed for elderly care organizations to help them predict (which) ... patients ... are at risk for any number of things, specifically hospitalizations,” Jackson, chief operating officer, said. 

Intus Care services long-term care organizations that provide at-home care to elderly and disabled patients who would otherwise have to relocate to a nursing home or care facility. The company is currently partnered with PACE Rhode Island, a non-profit long-term care organization that provides services like primary health care.

Intus Care closed out its most recent round of funding in April with $1.65 million, the largest portion of its funding thus far. Intus Care will use these funds to continue developing its product while growing and scaling to reach larger customer bases, Chief Product Officer Prado said.

Building Intus Care

Organizations like a nursing home or care facility often “lack access to tools to leverage their data to improve the processes and the care delivery that they’re putting into place,” Felton, CEO, said. “It’s a space ripe for innovation.” 

Jackson and Felton started brainstorming the early iterations of Intus Care as first-years. They realized they were both in “a unique position” to innovate in the elderly care space given their family backgrounds in geriatric care. Felton felt familiar with the challenges long-term care organizations face through his mother’s career as a geriatric social worker and a board member of the National Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, also known as PACE, Association. Jackson comes from a family of geriatric nurses.

The team originally set out to develop an electronic visit verification system designed to track the care administered by nurses and prevent inefficiencies during patient home visits. Soon, the team realized the information they were collecting from these patient visits could be used to predict patient health and hospitalization risk — information much more valuable to caregivers and patients who want to minimize expensive and physically taxing emergency room visits, said Chief Technical Officer Rothberg.

From there, the team began developing a software platform that analyzes a patient’s medical and behavioral risk factors, along with social determinants of health, such as race and gender, to predict their risk of hospitalization, Rothberg said. Long-term care organizations can use this information to coordinate their care and prioritize preventative treatment for high-risk patients.

And although such predictive models already exist, according to PACE-RI Chief of Clinical Services Betsy Canino, they are “too clumsy” to accurately predict the needs of the geriatric population, members of which often suffer from multiple medical, behavioral and social comorbidities. The Intus team has worked closely with PACE-RI to produce a unique predictive model addressing these shortfalls.

Looking forward

Intus Care was selected as a finalist for MassChallenge in 2019 and placed first in the Brown Venture Prize competition in 2020. Winning these locally funded startup accelerator competitions was “pivotal” in the company’s development, Felton said. 

In addition to giving the team the “validation that we needed to make the jump to pursue this very seriously,” these achievements provided the startup with the connections and capital to build its product and attract several key customers, for whom it now analyzes the medical records of several thousand patients, Felton added. 

“It's pretty exciting to see an organization using our software and then starting to see less hospitalizations with their patients,” Jackson said. “Being able to see decreasing rates of diabetes or chronic kidney disease or falls confirms, for me, that this is what I need to be doing,” he said.

“Prior to this round of funding, we had a good initial cohort of customers that were growing with the product and were passionate about it,” Rothberg said. “Now we can use the money that we have to take their feedback, build all of it into place … and really scale out to a lot of different organizations.”

“They’ve come a long way,” said Nevan Hanamura, an advisor to Intus Care and research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He added that the team’s ability to thrive in health care — an area dominated by seniority in age and academic achievement — as young entrepreneurs was due to their passion, dedication and learned expertise in this specific area of health care.

Indeed, the team feels that their young age gives them an advantage to “think outside the box” in terms of technological innovation, Prado said. 

As for the team’s vision for the future, we “want Intus Care to be the product you look at whenever you’re taking care of an elderly patient,” Felton said. “No matter what care setting, where on the care continuum, we want to be that go-to data player for the geriatric space.”

Editors' note: The credit for the photo featured in this article has been updated to more specifically credit the photographer.



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