AI-powered Regard nabs $61M to find missed illness, boost hospital revenue

People in tech often say that data is the new oil. That phrase, coined by British mathematician Clive Humby, of course implies that data is valuable.

Data about a person’s health can also provide meaningful insights and improve outcomes, but only 3% of patient data is currently used by physicians, according to the World Economic Forum. Although doctors know they can glean useful information from patient data, they don’t have the time to review every detail in the medical record.

Regard, a digital health startup founded in 2017, wants to help physicians save time and increase the accuracy of diagnosis by analyzing patients’ health data using AI. 

Regard announced on Thursday that it raised a $61 million Series B round led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from Cedars-Sinai Health Ventures and existing investors TenOneTen, Calibrate Ventures and Techstars. The company is now valued at $350 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

The company’s software mines thousands of data points in a medical chart and presents data in a way that allows doctors to detect health conditions more easily.

“Doctors use our product because we help them make sure that nothing important is missed in the data,” Eli Ben-Joseph, Regard’s co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch. “Every single doctor we work with has a story about: ‘I used your product and I found something that changed the way I treat this patient.”

Ben Joseph said that Regard has helped one general physician catch atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) that the cardiologist did not notice. “She now feels it’s irresponsible not to use our product,” he said.

But doctors are not the only ones who find Regard valuable. Hospital financial administrators are also big fans, according to Ben-Joseph. Regard’s ability to identify new conditions creates new billing opportunities for medical systems.

The company has grown its revenue by 4.5 times in 2023 and is on a path to do a “similar amount of growth this year,” Ben-Joseph said. The company expects to reach profitability within the next two years.

Such fast growth has investors excited.

“We absolutely fell in love with [Regard] because it has a direct impact on physician productivity, burnout, proper coding and clinical outcomes,” said Nancy Brown, general partner at Oak HC/FT.

Brown, who has over 30 years of experience as an operator and investor in healthcare technology, has always dreamt that a computer would provide insights from patient information. “That dream has been foiled [over the years] by the lack of tech,” she said. That’s why when she met Ben-Joseph at a healthcare conference earlier this year, she instantly recognized that Regard is the technology she has been dreaming about.

Since launching its product in 2021, Regard has signed up a number of large healthcare systems, including Banner Health, one of Arizona’s largest health providers, Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare, New York’s Montefiore Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Some details of its latest funding round were previously reported by Business Insider.

The company’s competitors include Engage One, a product developed by multinational conglomerate 3M, and startup Pieces, according to Ben-Joseph.

Brown has no doubts that Regard is the leader in space. “They are a beautiful scaling company with great margins, and they are delivering a solid ROI for their clients,” she said. 

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