Former Execs From Datavant & Grand Rounds Create Health Data Startup

A new healthcare data company Launched last week with $3.4 million in initial funding. Two healthcare industry veterans founded the San Francisco-based startup, named Crescendo Healthto improve the way patients contribute data to clinical studies.

“In music, ‘crescendo’ is a term that signifies a state of transformation into something grander,” said Sam Roosz, Crescendo’s CEO and co-founder. “Our approach in the clinical trial space is much the same — building on the fantastic work that has been done before to bring transformative change that ultimately magnifies the positive role that medicine plays in our lives.”

This is not the first time Roosz has co-founded a healthcare startup. In 2017, he co-founded datavant, a company focused on secure and compliant health data exchange. The company merged with CioxHealth in a $7 billion deal that closes in 2021.

To create Crescendo, Roosz teamed up with Michael Glassman, who led product development at the care coordination company Grand rounds, In 2021, Grand Rounds merged with Doctor On Demand to form Included Health,

Roosz and Glassman came together to found Crescendo because they believe researchers need more access to real-world data when conducting clinical trials.

,[Researchers] often must rely on information gained while the patient is at a clinical research site and what the participant self-reports — which is often prone to error,” Roosz said. “However, what happens to patients outside of the four walls of a clinical trial site is just as important as the data gathered onsite. This is especially true as we try to understand the true long term impacts of new treatments.

But patients’ health data is fragmented and difficult for researchers to access. Crescendo steps in by providing software tools that make it easier for patients to assemble their own health data and then contribute it to the study they’re participating in, Roosz explained.

Once a participant enrolls in a trial, Crescendo provides a 10-minute online form to collect basic personal information from them, as well as obtain their informed consent to gather data from various sources — such as insurers, providers and electronic health records. Once consent is given, Crescendo uses APIs, partnerships and other collection methods to gather participants’ longitudinal health information.

The startup then curates this data and provides it to researchers in a format that works best for their trial. Crescendo also makes that data available to each participant in the form of their own personal health record.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device makers, biotech companies and contract research organizations are Crescendo’s main customers, Roosz said.

“The researchers can then use this data to validate the efficacy of a new intervention, monitor for side effects and build the health economic value story for the treatment,” he declared.

But Crescendo isn’t the only company that promises to make healthcare data more accessible for researchers — there’s also companies like Care Access and Alcanza Clinical Research,

Roosz said that Crescendo’s approach is different, and it has “only recently been unlocked via advances in data interoperability.” The startup gathers data from places that have historically been siloed and challenging to access, such as payers, various providers’ EHRs and other clinical trials. In Roosz’s view, Crescendo’s primary competition is the status quo in clinical research.

“Clinical trialists are rightly conservative in adopting new tools and methods in human subject research, and so our path to grow is one of building trust through continued validation of our product,” he said.

During Crescendo’s early-access period, the startup conducted validation studies with life sciences organizations. Both before and after the study enrollment period, Crescendo was able to gather information on thousands of participants’ health events and quickly relay them back to researchers, Roosz said. He claimed the ability to reliably capture comprehensive and longitudinal data is “invaluable” to researchers.

Investors are already beginning to see the value in Crescendo’s services. The startup’s initial investment came from Define Venturesas well as the founders and CEOs of several healthcare companies — including Collective Medical, Newfront Insurance and Fathom Health,

Photo: Natali_Mis, Getty Images

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