Truveta's big data healthcare project is pretty cool

A few weeks ago, TechCrunch caught up Terry Myerson and others from the Truveta team to talk through an important product update from the company. This post has has been covering Truveta for some timecurious about its goals as a business that has a strong public health component, and because Myerson was a longtime Microsoft resident who we were familiar with from covering Windows for years and years.

Our interest was also piqued at the end of last year when Truveta raised $100 million, slightly more than doubling its capital base. with about $200 million in supportTruveta had a list of people we were acquainted with and enough money to fulfill whatever she dreamed of.

Truveta’s concept is simple: Work with different healthcare groups to collect anonymized patient data, aggregate the information and make it available to third parties so they can see what’s really happening in terms of patient outcomes in -holistic meaning. The potential public health and commercial applications are pretty obvious, but what struck your scribe when talking with Myerson and the team was that this kind of aggregate database of depersonalized information doesn’t yet exist.

While having a private-public healthcare system has some advantages, centralized data doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Back to the recent: Truveta has expanded the list of health systems contributing to its data set from a handful at the end of 2021 to 25 today. More data is good when it comes to this kind of “health analytics” work, so the extra 11 providers make a difference.

But more notably, Truveta’s software product launched earlier this month. Back in 2021, the company made a splash when it released a product focused on COVID. Now Truveta Studio is out and I have a tour.

Something Truveta has to deal with is harmonizing information from different systems. This is something it addresses by allowing users to set definitions in a calculable format and then collect results and plot them in graphs. The resulting wall of charts and graphs is exciting to look at if you, like me, are a big data visualization nerd.

From my review, the service is not something that anyone interested in healthcare outcomes would use. But for an expert, it can pay off – our tour guide explained that in his previous research environment, he would spend weeks doing what he can do in minutes with Truveta. That’s more than an order of magnitude time saver. Provided the service is user-friendly enough for professionals, the company could be on its way.

The question now is how many people – customers – want to use it. Truveta’s early goals – setting up data adoption, raising money, building a team and then a product for regular use – have been achieved. Now we get down to the business brass of the effort. And there is a nine-figure capital staked that it will succeed.

Given that health care in the United States is extremely expensive, opaque, and full of unfair outcomes, people working to make it a little less impossible to analyze are fine in my opinion.

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