Intermountain Healthcare recently partnered with a startup named Story Health to help manage patients’ heart failure by increasing access to specialty care. Under the partnership, Intermountain clinicians are working with Story’s health coaches to help patients keep up with their treatment plans while they’re outside the walls of the doctor’s office.
Founded in 2020 and based in Cupertino, Story has raised over $26 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Like many digital health startups, the idea to form the company came from the CEO’s personal experience with the U.S. healthcare system.
Story CEO Tom Stanis’ father suffered a stroke years ago. Though much time has passed since the event, it’s still a struggle to manage his recovery.
“This gap between the intensivist and the coordinating primary care physicians is a place where many of us fall behind. Our specialists are overburdened — unable to manage the constant tweaking and deluge of data being generated from patients at home. Primary care is often out of the loop, not knowing or having the confidence to optimize a complex ongoing recovery process. My father fell into this hole,” Stanis said.
Patients are presenting to clinicians with increasing complexity and incomplete care experiences, he pointed out. This problem is made worse by the fact that clinicians are short on time. Constricted by growing administrative tasks and shortened appointment lengths, clinicians often do not have the time they need to contextualize a patient’s full story (hence the startup’s name) and how that story can directly impact their outcome, Stanis said.
To address this issue, Story’s platform offers two key solutions.
The first is its electronic health record-integrated AI. This technology allows providers to easily connect disparate data from various sources, such as EHRs, medical devices, remote patient monitoring databases and lab results.
“By leveraging data, we can find patients that need support and then automate a personalized care plan based on clinical guidelines, which can be further customized by the physician. This removes the administrative requirements for clinicians to find those patients that aren’t at optimal or goal therapy and makes it easier to get them back on track with the care plan,” Stanis declared.
Once a personalized care plan is established, Story integrates a human touch element. Through its health coaches (which are real people, not AI bots), Story helps ensure that the care plan is followed and the treatment goal is achieved.
Stanis said that Story’s health coaches are an essential part of the business because they serve as an extension of the clinician to identify and resolve challenges like medication optimization, lab draw coordination, transportation arrangements and prescription assistance. These coaches also respond to patient questions via texts and calls.
Story is currently focused on cardiology and heart failure because only 1% of heart failure patients receive the appropriate medications, Stanis pointed out.
The startup partnered with Intermountain because the startup is seeking to expand its reach and serve more patients. Stanis declined to comment on whether Story’s services are covered for Intermountain patients or how the partners will measure the success of their collaboration. However, Story said that whitepapers detailing the program’s results will be published later this year.
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