Scouting Report-Caresyntax:AI-Based,Real-World Evidence to Improve Surgical Outcomes & Reduce Risk



The Driver:


This week, Caresyntax raised an additional $30M in Series C funding for its digital surgery platform that brings AI into operating rooms to assess and improve care by providing surgeons with their performance assessments rates and helping them reduce fatal surgical complications. This funding, which Bloomberg reports “was an extension of the company’s Series C round in April” brings Caresyntax’s total raised to over $130M. Investors include BlackRock Inc., specialty insurer ProAssurance Corp, Harmonix, Relyens Group, and IPF Partners. Investors from Caresyntax’s fundraising in April include Optum Ventures, Intel Capital, and Lauxera Capital Partners.

Key Takeaways:

  • Caresyntax has a database of over 10M cases and 50,000 surgeons that it uses to support its proprietary software and AI-based insights

  • Operating rooms generate approximately 50% of typical hospital revenues but also account for the largest percentage of deaths (70%) according to HIT Consultant.

  • Caresyntax is used in over 4,000 operating rooms worldwide and claims to have provided optimal care for over 2M patients and be supporting over 30,000 surgeons.

  • According to data from the National Institutes of Health, more than 1M people die annually from complications of surgery worldwide.


The Story:


Founded in 2013, Caresyntax allows surgeons to operate with the help of machine learning capabilities which reduces the rates of human error. According to the company’s website, Caresyntax uses data from over 10M cases and 50,000 surgeons and then applies its proprietary software and AI to “deliver insights that can be used immediately by the care team as well as longer-term by a variety of stakeholders” to improve patient safety and optimize utilization of the surgical suite. According to Bloomberg “Caresyntax’s platform is used in more than 4,000 operating rooms around the world and collects data before, during, and after surgery. It uses artificial intelligence and software to provide surgeons with insights, such as alerting them to blind spots or helping them determine why a procedure went wrong. The data can also be used to measure surgeons’ performance and assess why some teams have higher readmission rates-valuable information for insurers’ pricing risk or for investors seeking to draw conclusions about surgical volumes.” The company states their platform is HIPAA compliant and a US-certified Patient Safety Organization that has achieved ISO9001certification demonstrating its ability to ensure patient safety and confidentiality. The zero-footprint AI intervention in operating rooms takes form in various AI solutions including pre-op case planning, real-time case annotations, post-op case analytics, and more. All of these tools, when set in place, help surgeons reduce their error rates, assess their performance, and provide better care for their patients


The Differentiators:

As healthcare looks to continue the shift to practicing value-based care, Caresyntax is helping to position providers in value-based arrangements and where reimbursement is tied to quality and outcomes. For example, as noted by Bloomberg, “the company’s tools could help big insurers...and the government pay for performance” with reimbursements tied to meeting certain pre-defined standards of care. In addition, as demonstrated during the pandemic, elective procedures are very profitable for providers. By applying Caresyntax’s technology hospitals can better optimize the use of the surgical suite and can help them “achieve increased workflow efficiency, patient safety, and surgical performance.” Moreover, Caresyntax also allows surgeons to draw upon external resources to benchmark their performance and consult external experts. As noted by Bloomberg they “offer real-time access to outside experts, such as medical school instructors or medical device representatives through its digital platform.” As such Caresyntax was selected by the American Board of Surgery to provide a platform for its pilot program incorporating video-based assessments into their board certification process. Caresyntax has also partnered with the University of Iowa Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School to improve patient safety and quality of care through various initiatives.


Implications:

As highlighted by a recent article in HITConsulant, while surgery can be an incredibly profitable financial center for hospitals, often “accounting for as much as 50% of total revenue” it can also be a significant source of risk leading to “70% of cause-specific deaths”. Consequently, services like Caresyntax’s which help providers improve quality and outcomes while optimizing the use of the surgical suite can be quite valuable. With more than 1M people dying annually from complications of surgery worldwide according to the National Institutes of Health and an inpatient complication rate of 11% seen in surgeries, interventions like this are necessary and beneficial. For example, the introduction of a simple surgical safety checklist reduced the death rate by almost 50% (from 1.5% to 0.8%). Given the dramatic results with a simple checklist, tools like an AI-based model hold the potential for even more significant improvements in mortality reduction and benefits in quality. As pointed out by co-founder and CEO Dennis Kogan in the HIT Consultant, “a lot of development going forward is going to focus on proactive risk management: being side by side with physicians at the right moment in time giving them actionable insights.” In addition, for both clinicians and providers to be able to participate in value-based care and take part in contracts with two-sided risk they need to be able to benchmark themselves and reduce variability in order to be able to rationally enter into contracts and reduce variability in costs. As highlighted by Kogan, “for the system [value-based care] to work in settings like an operating room, though, outcomes and surgeon performance need to be measured at a more granular level.”


Caresyntax Gets BlackRock Investment in Upsized Funding Round, Caresyntax Raises $100M to Expand Digital Surgery Platform in Key Markets


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