Zus Health (“Zus” pronounced Zoos like the father of Athena), a Jonathan Bush-founded company focused on creating the industry’s first shared development platform backed by a shared data record, today announced its launch and the close of a $34M Series A financing led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). F-Prime Capital, Maverick Ventures, Rock Health, Martin Ventures and Oxeon Investments also participated in the round.
The funding comes at a time when the forces that have long held healthcare innovation back are teetering. The intersection of information sharing friendly policy in the 21st Century Cures Act; never before seen levels of investment from private equity and venture capital into digital-first healthcare companies; and the catalyst of the pandemic; have, in sum, created a thriving young healthcare movement. Zus will use the funding to grow its engineering team and invest in the platform, tools and products that support the digital-first healthcare builders with whom Zus partners.
“Healthcare isn’t a three trillion-dollar market. It’s thousands of billion-dollar markets for which the all you can eat buffet technology we used has never been quite a perfect fit. The software needed by a neurologist, a surgeon and a digital health app are all very different. Yet today we try to jam them all onto one thing. We think healthcare is ripe for a platform company that lets everyone write their own front ends, while sharing appropriate data in the back,” commented Zus CEO and Founder Jonathan Bush.
Bush continued, “Created for this magic moment when capital, policy and urgency are colliding all at once, Zus hopes to be an accelerant to the tectonic industry change we are seeing; from creating the means for healthcare’s young builders to share health information on our platform to providing the tools for those same builders to develop their offerings at considerably greater speed and less cost than on their own. As more modern-day healthcare companies arrive on the scene each will now benefit from the presence of the other, and the overall health system benefits from the arrival of this next-generation community.”
The story of healthcare has long been about too much time being spent on waste and duplication – efforts that drive up costs and are so ingrained in the industry because of a failure to share information. Primary to Zus’ reason for being is to eliminate redundancies.
Zus plans to offer tools/capabilities across the tech stack in areas including:
- Healthcare Workflows — A growing library of software tools and services for patient relationship management and provider workflow apps, allowing digital health companies to build their own unique experiences and iterate with ease.
- Data Acquisition and Enrichment — A data aggregation service for pulling together, cleaning and logically joining medical records, claims and other data whose sharing are required. With complete access to codes, data and more, it’s suddenly so much easier to create and maintain a comprehensive understanding of any patient.
- Data Platform –The world’s first industrial-strength, multi-tenant health record infrastructure. A FHIR-native, exhaustively maintained, never overwritten, patient-centric source of truth, it is also paired with the ability for builders to store their own proprietary data in a way that is secure and logically joined to the patient record.
- Patient Identity and Control — A unified record giving patients power over their health data, by enabling authority of personal information across disparate sources of their healthcare journey.
The company launches with four builders on its platform including Cityblock Health, Dorsata, Firefly Health and Oak Street Health. The builders will start to use Zus as an “information sidecar” and then proceed to build proprietary apps for consumption and sale over time.
David Fairbrothers, Co-founder & CEO of Dorsata commented, “Time and resources are the two most precious commodities that startups have. Spending either rebuilding “dependencies” in the healthcare stack is a distraction at best or a death wish at worst. We need to spend every minute and every dollar innovating solutions to real problems facing providers, patients and health plans and not reinventing 50 individual wheels. Much like how Amazon Web Services ushered in an era of internet innovation where launching a company only required a single laptop and nearly zero capital, Zus Health will drastically lower the cost of health care innovation and will speed our ability to solve important problems facing our health care economy.”
Mimi Liu, Chief Technology Officer of Firefly Health, lent additional perspective as a builder in the marketplace, “At Firefly we are driving towards providing best-in-class healthcare that is both half the price and still twice as good emotionally and clinically – we believe Zus can be critically important to that calculus. Zus will help us build out the large expanses of our infrastructure that are more commodity than unique in weeks to months rather than years, saving us notable costs, accelerating time to market and enabling Firefly to resource instead against building the truly distinguishing technology that powers Firefly. At the same time, Zus will improve our clinical value proposition through the downstream network effect that comes as a result of information sharing with the overlapping patient populations represented by fellow builders on the Zus platform.”
“Zus is the very embodiment of our core thesis on the digital health tech stack. By collapsing multiple layers of the stack — patient data retrieval, identity management and workflow automation — into a single platform and creating a community of digital health builders, Zus will enable an entire generation of healthcare developers to spend their time building value at the clinical and experience layer, versus reinventing the infrastructure over and over again,” said Julie Yoo, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and newly added Zus board member.
Bush added, “A huge thank you to the brilliant investors that are following me on my second journey to connect healthcare. I learned a great deal with athenahealth, and with all these great partners and the benefit of macro-momentum, I’m confident we can accelerate the arrival of true patient-centric healthcare.”
Creating the industry’s first shared development platform backed by a shared data record, Zus aims to bring about a better health data reality by empowering a wave of new, digital-first healthcare builders who will create digital health technologies and services that are cheaper, more customizable and more personalized. This new digital health vanguard is NOT composed of data hoarders who seek to monetize access to proprietary information, but rather those who believe in the network effect of data sharing. The new community of innovators assume as fundamental that the greatest potential comes from using modern technology not just to help with care, but to revolutionize it. This vision drives Zus to proactively connect the largest array of traditional medical providers to novel health data sources so that health data becomes frictionless to use.
For more information, visit www.zushealth.com