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A new health data company launched last week with $3.4 million in seed funding. Two healthcare industry veterans founded the San Francisco-based startup called Crescendo Healthto improve how patients add data to clinical trials.

“In music, ‘crescendo’ is a term that means a state of transformation into something greater,” said Sam Roosz, CEO and co-founder of Crescendo. “Our approach to clinical trials is much the same – building on the fantastic work that has gone before to bring about transformative change that ultimately increases the positive role that medicine plays in our lives.”

This isn’t the first time Roosz has co-founded a healthcare startup. In 2017, he was a co-founder Datavant, a company focused on the secure and compliant exchange of health data. The company united with Ciox Health in a $7 billion deal that ended in 2021.

To create Crescendo, Roosz teamed up with Michael Glassman, who leads product development at the care coordination company Big circles. In 2021 Great Circles united with Doctor on demand to form Health included.

Roosz and Glassman came together to found Crescendo because they believe researchers need more access to real-world data when conducting clinical trials.

“[Researchers] they often have to rely on information obtained while the patient is in the clinical research setting and on what the participant self-reports — which is often prone to error,” Roosz said. “However, what happens to patients outside the four walls of the clinical trial site is just as important as the data collected on site. This is especially true when trying to understand the true long-term effects of new treatments.

But patient health data is fragmented and difficult for researchers. Crescendo steps in by providing software tools that make it easy for patients to collect their own health data and then feed it into the study they’re participating in, Roosz explained.

After a participant signs up for a trial period, Crescendo provides a 10-minute online form to collect basic personal information from them, as well as obtain their informed consent to collect data from various sources – such as insurers, providers and electronic health records. Once consent is given, Crescendo uses APIs, partnerships and other collection methods to collect longitudinal participant health information.

The startup then curates that data and makes it available to researchers in the format that works best for their trial. Crescendo also provides this data to each participant in the form of their personal health record.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, biotech companies and contract research organizations are Crescendo’s primary customers, Roosz said.

“Researchers can then use this data to confirm the efficacy of a new intervention, monitor side effects, and build the health economic value story for the treatment,” he said.

But Crescendo isn’t the only company promising to make health data more accessible to researchers — there are also companies like Access to care and Alcanza clinical studies.

Roosz said Crescendo’s approach is different and “has only recently been unlocked through advances in data interoperability.” The startup collects data from places that have historically been siled and difficult to access, such as payers, multi-provider EHRs and other clinical trials. According to Roosz, Crescendo’s main competition is the status quo in clinical research.

“Clinical investigators are rightfully conservative in adopting new tools and methods in human studies, and so our path to growth is building trust through continuous validation of our product,” he said.

During Crescendo’s early access period, the startup conducted validation studies with life sciences organizations. Both before and after the study’s enrollment period, Crescendo was able to collect information on thousands of participants’ health events and quickly transmit them to the researchers, Roosz said. He argues that the ability to reliably capture comprehensive and longitudinal data is “invaluable” to researchers.

Investors are already starting to see the value of Crescendo’s services. The startup’s initial investment comes from Define businessesas well as the founders and CEOs of several healthcare companies—including Collective medical, Newfront Insurance and Fathom Health.

Photo: Natali_Mis, Getty Images

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