Veta Health is a digital health company that aims to paint “a complete picture of a patient’s care journey enabling more personalized treatment and increased understanding between practitioner and patient.” Founded in 2016 by Tanvi V. Abbhi and Dr. Nora Zetsche, they’re currently part of the JLABS @ NYC life science incubator in Manhattan.
For this Startup Q&A, I spoke with both co-founders to learn more about how Veta Health aims to improve patient care.
Alex Culafi (AC): Tell me about your background. What was your career like prior to founding Veta Health?
Tanvi Abbhi (TA): My background is in the social impact space. Before co-founding Veta Health, I worked with high-growth companies and social enterprises across emerging markets, including launching one such social enterprise for female artisans in India. I also consulted with entrepreneurs and high-growth companies across the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, helping them to scale their operations. This experience was valuable as we started Veta Health.
Nora Zetsche (NZ): My background is in medicine. I am a doctor and was training as a radiologist in Munich prior to co-founding Veta Health. I received my medical degree in Austria and did my doctoral research at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, MN. Through these experiences, I saw a tremendous opportunity to improve how we deliver care and empower patients beyond my day-to-day medical work, especially in an increasingly connected world. Tanvi and I teamed up to take on this challenge.
AC: What’s the story of Veta Health? How did it get started?
TA: Nora and I have known each other since grade school, so we’ve always been in touch about different elements of our lives. When we would discuss some of the operational challenges that she was facing in practicing, we knew that there had to be a better way for clinicians to share information that would improve how we experience health care. We are fortunate to have a strong network in business, technology, and healthcare that we could turn to and get things started. Within three months, we had an MVP in the hands of clinicians and patients and we have iterated on that to build an elegant solution that transforms traditional models of care delivery.
AC: I’d love to hear more about the company and your healthcare data solution. In other words, for the uninitiated, what is Veta Health?
NZ: Veta Health is a digital platform that builds and deploys intuitive, user-friendly systems that transform how patient care is delivered beyond traditional care settings, resulting in a simpler and more transparent healthcare experience for all. The platform integrates data from existing health IT systems (EHRs), with patient tracking & support mechanisms such as digital biomarkers (integration with 400+ consumer wearables), medication adherence, condition-specific questionnaires/content & community support networks to ensure providers and patients experience a connection that is real-time and intuitive.
This patient-generated health data (PGHD), combined with previously-siloed medical data, rolls up into Veta Health’s Cognitive Care Assistant, which is an analytics layer that enables timely intervention and allows for patient-specific pathways and population-level management across conditions.
In combining Veta Health’s proprietary Care Plan Builder and its Cognitive Care Assistant, we optimize workflows for clinicians and iterate quickly on clinical pathways based on the information gathered through the platform.
AC: How has the company (and platform) evolved over time?
TA: When we launched Veta Health, we took a big bet on healthcare becoming part of the increasingly connected world we live in. While this holds true and will continue to evolve, we quickly learned that to reach patients in highest-need (who are also the costliest), we can’t solely rely on consumer Bluetooth devices, especially when targeting Medicare and Medicaid populations. Since then, we have evolved our strategy and product to cater to a more diverse patient group with multi-channel communications and more contextualized patient support mechanisms. We also made our technology fully bilingual (English/Spanish). In the last year, we noticed that there is a huge opportunity in the pediatric market to support children and their families and have made significant strides in addressing this often-overlooked population.
AC: Who are your core customers?
NZ: Under value-based care, we work with healthcare constituents that are aiming to reduce the cost of care while optimizing patient outcomes. The entire industry is shifting to focus on value. In fact, there was a major announcement last week by Andy Slavitt, the former Director of CMS, to transform Medicaid along with 17 major health systems. Solutions like ours are fundamental to reimagining healthcare delivery. Our client base primarily includes health systems and payers, though we are receiving increasing interest from pharma to implement stronger patient support systems alongside their drug therapies.
AC: What does the competition look like? Is there any?
NZ: While there are a number of digital health technologies in the population health space, what makes Veta Health unique is our protocol-based approach and workflow engine whereby we develop and iterate on care pathways that optimize for positive health outcomes. Our solution marries clinical data, patient-reported data, and workflows to automate care management and empower patients. With our proprietary care plan builder and our intuitive UI/UX, our platform is highly intuitive and customizable, catering to each client’s existing systems to instantly boost efficiency once implemented.
AC: What kind of success have you had so far?
NZ: Due to the company’s scaling operations and growth, we’ve been able to sign on multiple leading health systems and their affiliated outpatient clinics and practices. We are rapidly expanding our work in pediatrics with the explicit aim of reducing ED visits, and we have seen success in this area in an IRB study where we were able to reduce readmissions for heart failure patients by over 70%.
AC: How big is the team? Looking to hire any particular positions in the coming months?
TA: Based out of JLABS @ NYC, we have a strong engineering arm and, as we go to market more aggressively, are expanding the business side of our team. In the next few months we are hiring in sales and business development.
AC: What’s next for the company?
TA: We are beyond excited about the future of healthcare. There is so much opportunity to do better for clinicians and patients—particularly in the ambulatory space where we are focused. Over the next several months, we expect rapid growth in our current customer segments and look forward to continuing to innovate with key partners.
AC: Any final thoughts?
TA: We’ve been incredibly pleased with how the industry has taken to the concept of remote care and the positive response to our platform so far. It’s a true testament to our initial belief that healthcare needs clinically-driven solutions in outpatient settings to solve the challenges of skyrocketing costs and deteriorating health. We look forward to continuing to assist the healthcare community in providing patients with the care they need, when they need it, creating a culture that puts health first.