22 of the 25 leading pharmaceutical companies use HumanFirst to provide connected products for clinical trials
One of the biggest issues in healthcare over the past year has been the rapid move towards digital care; this is in large part thanks to one Increase in FDA approvals for digital health products and high investments in technology. This means that care is no longer limited to a 15-minute visit to the doctor, but can be provided around the clock and from anywhere.
While this has accelerated the adoption of connected tools in both clinical trials and routine care;It was not without controversy, Andy Coravos, founder and CEO of decentralized clinical trials startup HumanFirst, said announced a new name on Tuesday, along with a $12 million Series A financing round.
“During my time as Entrepreneur in Residence in the Digital Health Unit of the FDA, it became clear to me that our healthcare system, like pharmacies that evaluate, prepare and dispense drug components, needs an infrastructure to enable networked reviews, preparations and dispensing of technology components”, she said.
“Questions about the security, accuracy, and preload in the data from wearables have led researchers and developers to face the complexity of bringing these technologies to market. “
Founded in 2017, tThe company’s Atlas platform helps its customers, which include 22 of the world’s 25 largest pharmaceutical companies, deliver connected products for clinical trials and remote patient monitoring by leveraging the company’s data set of 1000+ connected sensor technologies. It has over 3000 digital clinical actions divided into over 150 categories and over 300 medical conditions spanning 25 therapeutic areas.
For example, meThe company’s main customers last year were pharmaceutical sponsors who had to relocate their studies at home. Most often, HumanFirst works with study teams who believe decentralized experimental approaches could accelerate studies, reduce the burden on participants and provide more valuable and patient-oriented information. For example, a team might believe that a connected sensor is the best way to measure what’s important to patients and want to better understand how their drug affects quality of life metrics like sleep and activity.
“The team has questions like: How do you best measure sleep? Which wearables can accurately measure sleep? Which sensors have already been used successfully in a clinical study? The interactive measurements and technology reports provided through the Atlas platform enable these questions to be answered, “said Coravos.
Another use case could be that a customer carries out a landscape analysis / portfolio strategy for a certain therapy area in order to understand which digital measures are in a certain area, e.g. B. Immunology or Neurology, have been well studied. In these cases, clients hypothesize and develop queries using the Atlas dataset to identify therapeutic areas and also technologies that are best suited for digital interventions.
HumanFirst can also be used to catalog digital measures and technologies that were previously used in the company.
“The adoption of digital endpoints has increased fivefold during the pandemic, and many teams are struggling to understand what measures and technologies have been used in their organizations. We have an API-driven platform that makes it easy to track sensor deployments and integrate with larger systems as needed, “said Coravos.
The growth in digital adoption is on why it is important to help companies deliver connected products safely, effectively, and fairly for clinical trials and remote patient monitoring, she told me and his one of the reasons the company spearheaded the creation of the Digital Measures Playbook of open access best practices for capturing patient signals and reducing the risk of deploying, managing, and monitoring connected products in the home. “
HumanFirst’s tools are based on the playbook and follow a three-stage process: measures, technologies and operations. In terms of action, the Atlas platform helps researchers and providers build an evidence base for the concepts they want to measure. After building this evidence base, the second step, technology, makes it easy to look at a product’s evidence, including peer-reviewed papers and clinical studies, usefulness / usability, security features, data management, and economic considerations.
The company has already taken those first two steps and is now planning to use the new funding to achieve step three, operations, by helping more at home selling sensors.
The few funding rounds were led by Maverick Ventures together with Lux Capital, Arkitekt Ventures, Boost VC, SV Angel and Village Global. Threshold Ventures and over 30 angel investors, including Alice Zhang, Alyssa Atkins, Ariel Dora Stern, Ashley Yesayan, Beth Turner, Chris Hsu, Chris Mansi, Christina Cacioppo, Deon Nicholas, Dina Burkitbayeva, Ellen Chisa, Ellen Da Silva, Elliot Cohen, Evan Coravos, Felicia Cucuru, Ginny Fahs, Howie Liu, Jamie Gates, Jessica Cole, Josh Hannah, Julia Austin, Khaled Kteily, Laura Behrens Wu, Linda Xie, Lisa Marrone, Nat Turner, Noah carpenter, Katie and Reade Fahs, Samuel Whitaker, Ted Leonsis, Tom Janssen, Yuval Gonczarowski, and Zach Weinberg. This brings the company’s total funding to $ 15 million.
Part of the plan for the future is also expand in new product offerings, including the historic technology catalog, while expanding the team through recruitment in product, engineering, operations and commercialization.
Ultimately, the company’s goal is to give people more control over their health and wellbeing by ensuring that healthcare at home is as reliable and trustworthy as it is at the hospital or research site. This lowers healthcare costs, keeps people healthier and keeps them away from the hospital.
The company’s new name comes from this idea, Coravos told me.
“HumanFirst was a company value from the start. As a team, we strive to reduce human suffering by taking the time to understand those who use, make and are supported by our products, ”she said.
“Our name change from Elektra Labs to HumanFirst is intended to reflect the company’s focus on enabling healthcare operations at home. Through this process we give individuals more freedom of choice about their health and wellbeing. We are all human, and if we do our jobs well and move to more preventive and value-based care, we may be able to reduce the frequency with which we become patients. “
(Image source: gohumanfirst.com)