In this series, we get to know the people leading our portfolio companies; from their thoughts on the future of health-tech, to their top recommended reads. In these Q&As, we’ll meet the innovators operating at the heart of the health-tech ecosystem and helping shape the future of healthcare.
This week, we sit down with the Co-Founder and CEO of Agamon, Michal Meiri
First up, give us the elevator pitch for Agamon?
About 80% of healthcare data is textual and thus under-utilized. With existing tools, the only way for healthcare providers to use this data is to manually mine it, which is time consuming and error-prone. For example, at least 20% of radiology reports have follow-up recommendations. About 1 in 2 patients never follow up. Not tracking those patients can lead to poor outcomes and litigation against clinicians. At Agamon, we transform back office workflows, using advanced NLP to automate the review of textual medical reports, raising the quality of patient care while reducing costs and errors.
What are some of the opportunities and challenges you see for early stage healthcare companies in 2021?
2020 was a transformative year for healthcare due to the pandemic. Early stage B2B healthcare startups challenges remain similar but the opportunities are now greater. Some of the challenges to plan for include long sales cycles and complex processes to access data. At the same time, products that create true value in this industry and are easy to use, generate stickiness with high barriers to entry. The pandemic has accelerated customer interest for technology to automate workflows and processes, generate meaningful and actionable insights and create more personalised healthcare experiences.
What should founders look for in their investors? What can the right ones bring to the table?
Investors in healthcare should understand the market dynamics well and be supportive of their founders. The healthcare industry is very unique, it takes time to penetrate the market and founders who tap into this market need to demonstrate resilience and belief in their vision. The right investors can share their portfolio experience, connect startups with their network to help accelerate growth and trust the founders to make the right decisions for the company. InHealth Ventures are a great example of investors who understand the market well, are supportive of their founders and have the right network in place for B2B healthcare startups.
What advice would you give founders look to raise early-stage funding in the current environment?
If you have the right idea and partners, and are passionate about it, I’d say go for it. The current environment brings more demand for great healthtech. I suggest raising more than you think you need, as this is an unpredictable environment with plenty of unknowns.
And, finally, what’s your top book recommendation for entrepreneurs?
I don’t typically read entrepreneurial books but rather biographies or novels. The last biography I read was ‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE’. It’s of course very different from starting a tech company and set at a very different time, but his persistence, passion and honesty about the chaotic entrepreneurial journey were truly inspiring for me.
Learn more about Agamon at https://www.agamonhealth.com/