Cogent Health Solutions, a Vancouver-based provider of computerized systems for managing cancer care, raised $3 million in its first funding round. Yaletown Venture Partners led the deal, joined by angel investors.
Cogent’s Web-based system aims to help cancer, nutrition and counseling specialists better manage the long-term care of cancer survivors, who often face daunting health and lifestyle challenges following cancer treatment that frequently includes surgery and toxic radiation or chemotherapy. The system is designed to track patients regarding follow-up treatment, signs of cancer recurrence, long-term side effects of cancer therapy and quality of life.
Cogent says it is preparing to launch the system with “major U.S.-based healthcare providers,” and it will be interesting to see which big insurers agree to make what is undoubtedly a significant investment for a niche patient population. One of the main problems in adoption of healthcare IT is the fact that return on the investment in terms of healthcare cost savings can take a long time to materialize, and often may flow to other providers if the patient population “churns” frequently. Cogent appears to be betting that their system will offer a substantial improvement to the quality of care for cancer survivors, to the extent that it might convince patients to stay put when they might otherwise change health plans. I’m something of a skeptic on that point, but that would make it no less interesting to be proven wrong.