These necessities, however, are not new. Yet, insurmountable challenges stand in the way of the ideal healthcare system.
According to Cristian Rocha, a tech maven and with profound AI expertise, one of the primary reasons behind this is the disjointed view that each stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem—physicians, patients, and healthcare tech providers— has when it comes to describing the ideal healthcare system. Their siloed viewpoints hold them back from putting together the ‘bigger picture.’ As a result, the entire healthcare system becomes overly expensive and convoluted, with a multitude of duplicate data and processes that are difficult to monitor.
This is where Rocha’s company, Laura—a Brazil-based health tech firm—brings a fresh perspective into the way the healthcare system should be designed. “We have three co-founders, and each highlights a unique point of view in the healthcare system. While one brings the vision of the patients, the other conveys the vision of the physicians, and the third person (me) showcases the vision of technology,” says Rocha, co-founder and CEO of Laura. “This combination of Laura’s leadership team is what makes us so different and holistic.”
To that end, even the inception story of Laura is a culmination of the three co-founders realizing the gaps in the healthcare system in their own ways, ultimately leading them to join hands and establish the cutting-edge AI-driven healthcare tech firm, Laura. On May 10, 2010, Jac Fressatto—another co-founder of Laura— was blessed with a daughter, Laura. However, the happiness was short-lived. Premature and debilitated, within 18 days of her birth, Fressatto’s newborn was taken away from him because of Sepsis. The doctors were unable to track the early signs of Sepsis, which caused such a catastrophic loss for Fressatto’s family. However, driven by the pain of losing his daughter, Fressatto researched far and wide on how such situations can be averted for others in the future. This search brought him close to Rocha and Dr. Hugo Morales, MD (Laura’s third co-founder). Not long after, in 2016, Fressatto’s patient-centric view, Rocha’s technology acumen, and Dr. Morales’ medical outlook, together, led to the inception of Laura. The company’s objective is to democratize health through technology and generate a positive social impact. “So that’s how everything started,” shares Rocha.
A 360-Degree Approach to Optimizing Healthcare
Laura’s flagship platform can be implemented inside and outside of hospital settings.
In a hospital setting, Laura acts as a clinical decision support system for the healthcare team. It can be seamlessly integrated with the electronic health record (EHR) to gain access to the clinical history of a patient, their vital signs, and lab exam reports, among others—all in real time. Then, using Laura’s machine learning algorithms, healthcare teams can analyze a patient’s condition and identify if the patient is at risk or not. In case it detects a risk, it immediately raises an alert for the healthcare team on their dashboards or apps.
Besides, the platform is also beneficial outside of the hospital setting for primary care and telemedicine, where Laura operates as a patient relationship management platform. Through the integration of Laura with all major apps and websites of healthcare institutions, along with communication channels like WhatsApp, a patient can get instantaneous access to healthcare services. Using natural language processing (NLP), Laura can comprehend what a patient is seeking and accurately detect and classify if they are at risk. Based on this data, Laura can even coordinate the patient for triage or connect them with the hospitals in case urgent medical assistance is needed. These features also make Laura an exceptionally helpful tool for healthcare teams looking to provide remote monitoring and telehealth services to patients with chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes.
The company’s objective is to democratize health through technology and generate positive social impact in scale
“All in all, the entire platform is designed with the intention of making care delivery more efficient, because if it’s not, it can be very expensive; it can cost lives,” says Rocha.
A Technology that Breeds Success
Since Laura prioritizes the needs of its patients and the physician’s end goal as much as the technology itself, it often goes beyond just modernizing healthcare systems; it brings tangible results. In the last five years, Laura has analyzed more than 11 million medical records. Based on some of the studies Laura conducted— to understand the impact of its platform in hospitals after implementation—it was revealed that Laura reduced mortality by 25 percent and patient stays in hospital by 10 percent. “Those are some really big numbers,” says Rocha proudly. “For one of the hospitals, we were also able to save costs by around $1 million.”
Owing to such productive outcomes, Laura’s growth in the healthcare tech landscape looks promising. Notably, the company has already demonstrated a magnificent growth rate in the last two years. “From 2019 to 2020, we had a growth of 250 percent. And this year, we have a growth rate of nearly 150 percent. We also just got our seed funding at the beginning of 2021 and are looking to raise series A funding in the middle of next year,” mentions Rocha.
Laura has also been recognized as one of the top 10 health tech companies in Brazil. Next month, the company is also going to participate in one of the most prestigious health tech event organized by Harvard University, John Hopkins University, and the New England Journal of Medicine. These accolades and growth figures only point to Laura’s increasing renown among patients, physicians, and technology mavens alike, for making the overall healthcare system more efficient, cost-effective, and value-driven.
The next step for Laura is to expand its horizon beyond Brazil, into the whole of Latin America. And through this progression, Laura wants to create a disruption in the way healthcare is accessed. “We should start thinking of healthcare way before we fall ill and need to visit a hospital,” says Rocha. “Promotion of preventive healthcare is something every stakeholder in the healthcare system should start acting upon. Our task in the upcoming months would be to guide the industry in the direction of preventive healthcare while the care providers remain at the helm of it,” Rocha concludes.