OncoLens, a clinical decision software that focuses on oncology (cancer care), has closed a $1.35 million seed round led by BIP Capital and Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA).
OncoLens was founded by CEO Anju Mathew, formerly head of technology and innovation at McKesson’s Medical Surgical business unit, and Chief Medical Officer Lijo Simpson, a practicing hematologist and oncologist.
OncoLens’ platform makes it easier for multidisciplinary teams of physicians to create and direct treatment plans for cancer patients. Mathew explains that cancer is inherently a multidisciplinary disease — a pathologist first identifies the type of cancer, a radiologist determines if and where it has spread, an oncologist directs chemotherapy, and so on.
“On top of all of this, when treating cancer today, everything is based on precision medicine, so everything is incredibly precise and we’re dealing with vast amounts of data,” she tells Hypepotamus.
“In essence, it’s becoming impossible for any one speciality to stay on top of all the latest research and treatments.”
The OncoLens SaaS platform specifically helps tumor boards, groups of physicians across specialities that come together in a conference to evaluate cases and decide on treatment plans for patients at a cancer center or health system. Typically, a health system will have one board for breast cancer, another for colon cancer, and so on.
A physician may spend hours preparing for these conferences to investigate the cases that will be discussed and any pertinent research. Moreover, Mathew says that because of the fragmented nature of preparation, a board is more likely to spend time discussing “what they have on their mind” in regards to treatment, rather than the most relevant and cutting-edge clinical research.
OncoLens helps streamline this whole process. Once a physician decides to send a case to the board for evaluation, they enter background and case details into a provided template, while OncoLens pulls the patient’s entire medical history from their EMR.
The platform aggregates that clinical history, any imaging the patients has had, data on available clinical trials they might benefit from, the most recent relevant research, and national quality metrics. When the board sits down to discuss the case, they already have a bevy of research and treatment options in front of them.
Once the group decides on a treatment plan, the platform sends out specific directives to each member of the care team.
“There’s a very easy way to disseminate this, not just to the original physician, but to every member of the care team,” says Mathew. That could include pathologists, radiologists, oncologists, even nutritionists.
The startup already counts several health systems and cancer centers as clients, and in 2018 was used for more than 800 tumor boards evaluating an even greater number of cases. It not only provides better data, says Mathew, but saves a great deal of time, which in medicine can translate to more lives saved.
The seed funding will largely go toward expanding the national footprint of the Atlanta-based startup, enabling them to get their software into more health systems and cancer centers across the country.