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Scouting Report-Ciitizen Acquired By Invitate: Empowering Patients To Take Charge of Their Care

The Driver:

In early September, Invitae, a medical genetics company, acquired Ciitizen for approximately $325M with a deal consisting of almost $125M in cash and approximately 7M shares of Invitae common stock. Ciitizen, a patient-centric tech company, offers a global platform for digitally collecting, organizing, storing, and sharing patient medical records digitally. By leveraging Ciitizen’s existing technologies, Invitae's acquisition broadens ts plans of combining results from genetic tests globally into a single, easy-to-use service to make genetic information accessible to everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Invitae will acquire Ciitizen for $325 million $125M in cash and 7M shares of common stock based on the average closing price before the agreement date.

  • Ciitizen had raised a total of $20M in two rounds of funding prior to the acquisition.

  • Most states do not require hospitals to retain patients’ records beyond 7-10 years.

  • Invitae has raised more than $1.4B in 2021 and this is its 13th acquisition in five years.

The Story:

Ciitizen was established in 2017 after the founder, Anil Sethi, lost his sister to metastatic cancer. While battling to save his sister’s life, Anil consulted over 23 different specialists across 17 institutions, and none of them had access to her complete medical history with life-saving data. When Sethi attempted to access his sister’s medical records, the clinical data were disorganized and not even digitized (ex: PDFs that had been scanned in). This experience with the difficulty accessing useful information inspired him to leave his job as a Director of Records with Apple to set up Ciitizen. “It’s tragic that in the most advanced healthcare system, because of a lack of connectivity, standards and even personal access, there’s no way for patients to fully arm themselves against cancer and other serious conditions,” Sethi said.

The Ciitizen platform is designed to transfer the control of health data to patients by collating patients' medical records in a convenient and easily accessible manner.

Following registration with Ciitizen, a patient can request health records after providing a photo ID and details of the healthcare providers. Over the next 2-4 weeks from the requested date, Ciitizen then acquires the patient's medical records, provides a personalized disease summary generated from the health data, and gives the patient access to use or share as they choose; empowering them to take charge of their own medical care.

Invitae’s acquisition of the Ciitizen platform will grant its users access to all their clinical and genomic information in a centralized location and streamline the process of collecting and organizing health data. While Ciitizen's services are completely free to the consumer, revenue comes from connecting pharmaceutical companies and advocacy groups with health data, contingent upon obtaining patients’ explicit consent.

In addition to Ciitizen, there are a number of other companies attempting to give patients improved access to their records including PicnicHealth, Medicalchain, and OneRecord. PicnicHealth is also a digital medical records system where you sign up, fill out some forms about your medical history and doctors’ information, then the PicnicHealth team will retrieve your records and store them in one area. You can access your records anywhere you have internet access. It costs $300 to enroll and then a $39 monthly subscription. You can even choose to de-identify your records and submit them for research. If a patient chooses this option, they will not have to pay any enrollment or subscription fees. Medicalchain a U.K.-based company has a very similar process, however, Medicalchain will place health records on a blockchain and use “medtokens” as a form of currency. “Patients will use the tokens to pay doctors for telemedicine consultations, and these doctors can then exchange them for fiat currency, or use them to pay their own or their family members' doctors.” Finally, Becker’s describes OneRecord as a digital platform used to access and share healthcare data through an app.

The Differentiators:

Patients diagnosed with terminal diseases often end up consulting multiple different specialists across the country in desperate search of a cure. In the absence of easy and convenient access to their complete medical history, generally including genetic testing results, previous treatment, and medical treatment, the health provider could miss out on vital life-saving information.

Ciitizen enables patients to exercise their right to access complete health records by using its technology to obtain patient records from different health providers and translating the data into a comprehensive and understandable summary. Ciitizen’s technology provides an easier, more convenient, and timely alternative for patients to access their complete medical records. Accessing complete medical records promptly increases the chances of survival, especially for patients with advanced diseases like cancer. Furthermore, Ciitizen uniqueness lies in its patient-centric orientation that ensures that patients' control who gains access to their health data. Ciitizen can only grant third parties access to a patient's health record after obtaining express consent.

The Big Picture:

When patients' have a convenient and timely means of accessing their complete medical history, it makes finding doctors easier and expands affordable and life-saving treatment options. For healthcare providers, accessing a patient's complete health history enhances continuity of care and reduces data entry errors and omissions. Consequently, adopting technological solutions like Ciitizens' platform could reduce or eliminate medical errors costing approximately $20 billion annually. The NIH estimates that there are as many as 7,000 rare diseases and an estimated 20-30M Americans living with a rare disease. Furthermore, the synthesized data created from collating patients' medical history will improve the biopharma industry’s ability to collect and analyze research potentially creating improving treatments and moving personalized medicine forward. In addition, collection and analysis of research of this type will generally improve medical research and efforts to advance medical knowledge and clinical care. Moreover, services like Ciitizens that can centralize a patients' complete medical history can improve a practitioner’s ability to view a patient holistically hopefully resulting in improved diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.


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