Startups

How Oncora Medical’s CEO realized its product could help with healthcare burnout

The Philly-based healthtech company just brought on two new cancer center clients. Here's how else it's grown during the pandemic.

Oncora Medical CEO David Lindsay.

(Courtesy photo)

It’s not solving a new problem, but Oncora Medical’s CEO is finding that the company’s product has an unfortunate timeliness amid the pandemic.

The seven-year-old digital health company, which makes a software that provides documentation, workflow and data-capturing for cancer doctors, added two big names to its client list this week. Cancer centers Scripps Health and UT Health San Antonio both selected Oncora’s platform to improve their documentation efficiency, joining 2020-signed clients Northwell Health and MD Anderson.

The April deal affectively doubles the Philly company’s client list and number of patients it reaches.

Oncora’s patient care platform captures data about cancer patients, treatments and clinical outcomes so that doctors can learn from past experience to improve patient care. It integrates with electronic health records and other software systems commonly used in the oncology clinic for better workflow. The goal is to cut down on the stretches of time doctors spend completing clinical documentation and capturing data, and instead focus time on the patient experience and treatment.

CEO David Lindsay told Technical.ly his team met the two new clients through introductions from other health systems, and both had a desire to bring more ease to the way their oncologists documented their patient encounters. Before, adding workflow simplicity to patient interactions was a nice add, but with the trauma the pandemic has brought to the healthcare system, any way to make healthcare workers’ lives easier feels more urgent, he said.

“In the latter part of the pandemic now, when burnout really started to sink in for providers, sales have started to pick up as health systems have stopped looking at preventing burnout as a soft value prop and instead realized it’s become a much more acute problem,” Lindsay said. “Some folks are seeing 40% of their nurses quit and are realizing, ‘We really need to address this.'”

Oncora Medical’s platform. (Courtesy photo)

In 2019, the company raised $3 million and entered a partnership with a California-based medtech company Varian Medical Systems to further develop its suite of software tools around precision medicine in radiation oncology. The company now offers Oncora Patient Care, which helps with documentation and data, and Oncora Analytics, which aggregates structured information with data derived from clinical notes, medical images, and diagnostic reports to support clinical trial enrollment, retrospective research and predictive analytics to power personalized patient care.

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“Having access to comprehensive, structured data is critical to delivering high-quality cancer care to our patients,” Dr. Thomas Buchholz, chief scientific officer with Scripps Health, said of his company’s recent deal. “We look forward to deploying the new software at all of our sites of care throughout San Diego, La Jolla, Encinitas, and Oceanside.”

The Oncora team operates fully remotely, and sits at 10 employees, with a mix of product, software engineering and operations. Lindsay, who took a pause on his own medical degree to work on the company, returned to school and is set to graduate from University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He graduates in May with a Ph.D. in machine learning.

“It took me a decade, but it’s been 10 years well spent,” Lindsay said.

Companies: Oncora Medical
People: David Lindsay
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