A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, so devastating patients abandon treatment. Maybe they don’t want to tell their spouses, leave their families with the bills, or admit they can’t afford the recommended treatment.
Now, through the use of artificial intelligence, these patients are being identified after their diagnoses and connected to philanthropic programs that can give them the help they need.
“Hearing the stories of the lives that we reach on a daily basis is really humbling and empowering,” explains Tim L’Hommedieu, Atlas Health’s Senior VP of pharmacy and solution architecture based in Tampa. “We are on a mission to secure financial aid to as many patients as possible.”
, which has been working behind the scenes with Tampa General Hospital
for the last nine months, now has received an undisclosed amount of funding from TGH’s innovation center and venture capital fund Innoventures.
The money will be used to broaden access to the company’s services in the Tampa Bay region and across the country.
The patient assistance program, which works similar to scholarship programs, uses Atlas Health technology to identify patients and assistance programs available. It is the Seattle, WA-based company’s goal to be seen as an extension of the healthcare system and providers, so providers receive the goodwill.
“If you were a patient, you wouldn’t even really know that we exist,” he says.
Atlas Health, whose motto is No Patient Left Behind, is one of a growing number of firms supported by TGH’s $15 million venture capital fund dedicated to supporting innovative companies.
Under the leadership of TGH Vice President for Innovation Rachel Feinman, formerly executive director of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator, Innoventures also has partnered with New York’s Enroute, the first in its Co-Lab.
Enroute is working to improve patient transport logistics in the hospital.
“It’s incredibly helpful to us. We’ve identified a key partner,” Feinman notes.
Approximately one-year-old, Innoventures made its first investment in Virtue, a healthcare-focused venture fund based in Austin, Texas.
“We’re really excited about partnering with them. They’re helping us to access next generation innovative healthcare companies,” she explains.
The fund will assist in identifying partners, modernizing healthcare, increasing efficiency and improving patients’ experiences overall, she adds.
“I think it’s very important for startups to see that the corporate environment is supportive in whatever it is that they are building,” Feinman says. “The fund is important to the connectivity we need in this region to really grow the healthcare and tech sectors.”
The goal is to encourage other corporations and corporate ventures funds locally, nationally, and even globally to follow in their footsteps, she says.
Feinman works out of an Innoventures office at Embarc Collective
, a startup hub fostering Tampa Bay Area startups from its downtown Tampa office at 802 E. Whiting.
“We look at ourselves as the entry point in particular for startups and emerging tech companies that are looking to engage with Tampa General Hospital,” she says.
“We see a lot of value in working with companies like this. Those companies are solving really significant problems in healthcare,” Feinman adds.