Reach out to Brett Calhoun, Managing Director & GP at Redbud VC, at email@example.com to learn about Redbud, and subscribe to our newsletter here. Continuing our Why We Invested series is Caralyst Health. Caralyst Health’s mission is to provide high-quality care by matching patients and physicians based on demographics, personal values, and social determinants of health, providing a better basis for building understanding and trust between the two. The platform will allow physicians to understand their patients as individuals, rather than simply a set of symptoms, to change the way that patient and physician relationships are built.
With Caralyst, patients of any background are able to find an ideal physician curated through a humanistic matching algorithm that prioritizes connection and compatibility. They provide personalized physician profiles to patients seeking a compatible doctor for longitudinal care and the best health outcomes. Every patient deserves a doctor who really understands them: Better Trust, Better Care.
While 89% of patients believe it’s important to have a relationship with their physician, 76% of U.S. patients are dissatisfied with their doctor. Patients and doctors both see the value of this relationship, but without adequate trust, we see an excess of 125,000 deaths each year due to nonadherence and significant delays in seeking vital care.
Physician turnover has climbed to record rates with 43% of physicians switching jobs during the pandemic. Physicians will be happier and more efficient when they can make deeper patient connections, while also reducing patient churn. . Physicians, in general, lack a strong feedback loop with patients. While there are platforms that are pioneering commentary in the form of reviews, they still lack authentic and intimate feedback. For example, Healthgrades allows patients to find physicians based on clinical experience, hospital quality measures, and patient feedback, but with one caveat: this info is already searchable via Google. This is data consolidation as opposed to data innovation.
Another example is the dozens of telehealth solutions and physician communication platforms (e.g., Artera or OpenLoop). These companies decrease time to care by solving logistical pains which can correlate with patient happiness. Many platforms lack a key foundation, delighting patients and physicians on a personal level instead of a business level. Healthcare is a sensitive topic that must be handled with care.
Caralyst is a digital platform that builds the patient-physician relationship based on shared characteristics. Both parties create profiles explaining their care preferences based on questions about communication and decision-making styles. A few of the many preferences include allowing patients to request physicians who are LGBTQ+- affirming or physicians who can provide culturally competent care to African-American patients. This enables patients from all backgrounds to get the care they deserve from a physician whose values and backgrounds align with their own.
Caralyst’s process is as follows:
Physicians on the platform indicate what traits they can best support through a physician survey. Patients joining the platform indicate what values and traits they would prefer in their doctor in a similar survey.
Caralyst runs a personalized and research-based matching algorithm to deliver personalized results. Users can browse each recommendation, filter based on distance or insurance plans, and see all the reasons why they are compatible.
Patients can save their favorite doctors, call and email them, or even have Caralyst call them directly.
Caralyst is also saying goodbye to numerical reviews. They believe that one-dimensional review systems are a poor measure of a doctor’s performance, as a 5-star doctor for one patient is not necessarily a 5-star patient for another. These reviews can negatively impact physicians’ reputations even though they may be based on factors outside of their control or performance. Instead of this outdated system, Caralyst has a private, multidimensional review system that allows for more personalized reviews based on the patient’s unique intersectional background.
Then, this feedback is readily available for individual physicians, or their organizations. Physicians can see highly structured feedback, block out the noise, and know specifically what to focus on. Each trait that the physician entered in their ability survey gets coded into a score. As more scores get entered for physicians, their mean score in each category becomes more accurate and is able to provide quality insights to physicians and their organizations. This granular crowdsourcing of scores also benefits patients by providing them with the best matches.
Behind Caralyst is a team of founders excited to build the future of healthcare service. Caralyst CEO is Matthew Millett, who previously worked as a software engineer for Facebook and multiple healthcare startups, including Modern Health. Matthew completed his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and his Master’s degree in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University and is now a medical student at Washington University in St. Louis. CTO Owen Zhang is also a current student at Washington University where he will graduate this year with his Bachelor of Science in Business and Computer Science. Owen has previously spent time as a software engineering intern for Google and was a recipient of the St. Louis Innovation Under 25 award. Along with the rest of their growing team, Caralyst is leading the way in creating change and building trust in healthcare. We are incredibly excited to back their journey.
Redbud VC is an early-stage venture capital fund and studio investing monetary and social capital in early-stage tech founders.