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$11M for Health Data Privacy Start-Up Protenus


What hospitals can expect from the data auditing and privacy platform that has captivated top players like Kaiser Permanente Ventures.

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Images courtesy of Protenus.

Just a few years ago, the healthcare compliance analytics start-up Protenus earned $50,000 in a seed round, which was enough to get the ball rolling. This month, the Baltimore-based company announced an $11 million financing round, which could be enough to bring its central data-protection tools to hospitals near and far.

The money is slated to fuel sales, customer support, and research and development surrounding the Protenus platform, which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to “analyze every single action inside a medical record system,” according to the company. Certain health systems and academic medical centers already use the health data auditing and privacy monitoring engine to understand how their information is used, but the injection of capital could further its reach.

“Health systems today have big challenges when it comes to protecting patient data,” Nick Culbertson, a co-founder and CEO of Protenus, said. “We ask our credit card companies to validate every transaction and alert us to anomalous charges. Why shouldn’t we be asking health systems to audit everyone who accesses patient data? Similar principles apply, and the technology is available.”

F-Prime Capital Partners and Kaiser Permanente Ventures led the Series B funding round, with support from Arthur Ventures, Lionbird Venture Capital, and Cognosante Ventures, according to Protenus. The financing brings the company’s total since its founding in 2014 to $19.4 million, according to the start-up tracker Crunchbase.

Kaiser Permanente Ventures also led a $3 million funding blitz for Protenus in July, according to Crunchbase. In a statement, the backer’s senior managing director said the organization aims to fund innovative technology geared toward patient care. “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with the fantastic team at Protenus to advance their efforts to solve meaningful problems for the healthcare community,” the Kaiser executive, Sam Brasch, added.

The Protenus platform is built to solve an ever-growing problem: Roughly 9 of 10 American hospitals have experienced some sort of data breach, and a new breach makes headlines almost every day, according to the start-up.

Protenus homes in on electronic health records (EHR) and other data, empowering hospital staffers to better understand all access to patient data. That capability, which boasts an inappropriate behavior detection accuracy rate of 99.5%, saves time and resources, according to Protenus. Its platform also assesses institutional risk based on what exactly happened during an incident.

Now, with the influx of cash, the start-up intends to scale up these technologies.

“Patients deserve reassurance that their most sensitive health information is only accessed by people with a good reason to do so,” said Robert Lord, president and co-founder of Protenus.

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