Seqster clinches funding from Takeda, 23andMe's Wojcicki to collect patient data in one place

Health technology company Seqster is focused on helping patients bring all their health information into one place.

The startup, which aims to provide "person-centric interoperability" scored $12 million in a Series A round of venture capital financing. The funding round was led by OmniHealth Holdings LLC but also attracted backing from Takeda Digital Ventures and Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe’s CEO and founder.

This investment fuels Seqster’s ability to grow and evolve its technology to meet the demand for its multi-dimensional healthcare data platform, the company said in a press release. 

Seqster (pronounced seekster) developed technology to access longitudinal and comprehensive healthcare data in real-time, both at the patient level and at scale. This includes electronic health records (EHRs), pharmacy data, lab data, genomic data (DNA), fitness wearables data and social determinants of health (SDOH). 

The company's technology standardizes and harmonizes different data sources on the back end and then organizes and visualizes those health data in an easily accessible format.

The San Diego-based company was founded in 2016 by Ardy Arianpour, Dr. Xiang Li, and Dana Hosseini to directly address healthcare’s fundamental problem of data silos and fragmented health data.

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The company's platform can connect users to any source of health data nationwide including over 4,000 hospitals and health systems and 150,000 doctor offices and medical clinics nationwide, according to the company.

In an interview with Fierce Healthcare in February 2020, Arianpour, who serves as Seqster's CEO, said he was motivated to launch the startup as a result of his mother's experience as a cancer patient and the challenge of aggregating health data from multiple providers and hospitals.

As a health technology entrepreneur, Arianpour has a background in genomics and big data. Prior to starting Seqster, he helped bring next-generation DNA sequencing to the clinic as chief strategy officer of Pathway Genomics as well as senior vice president of Ambry Genetics, which Konica acquired for $1 billion in 2017.

"Seqster was built on the foundation that real-time access to a patient’s complete medical history can solve major pain points across the healthcare continuum, impacting lives at scale,” Arianpour said in a press release.

“We are excited to have investors who are experienced operators and who share our mission and vision to change the way an enterprise or a patient can capture, refine and manage a multitude of disparate data sources in real-time, and present that aggregate in a way that solves real healthcare challenges.”

The Seqster solution can be used to solve a multitude of data challenges across the healthcare continuum including clinical trial recruitment and tracking, patient on-boarding, data transparency regulations, population health initiatives and patient engagement, according to the company.

Automated data collection in real-time is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the clinical trial setting, the company said.

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Last year, the company secured backing from pharmaceutical giant Takeda Pharmaceutical. The companies did not disclose the funding amount. The companies extended that partnership in the fall to enable Takeda to have access to Seqster’s platform and research portal to advance its own research efforts.

“Seqster is solving one of healthcare’s biggest challenges — siloed data, and they have done so with a solution that is comprehensive, easy to deploy, and scalable,” said Tim O’Donnell, managing partner of OmniHealth Holdings in a statement.

“Seqster has provided significant value in the pharmaceutical world by making it easier to recruit and track clinical trial participants. The company is making significant inroads in the healthcare space, where access to complete longitudinal patient data will lower costs and improve patient outcomes. This new investment will enable the company to expand further into healthcare, where Seqster’s software has numerous applications," O'Donnell said. 

Other companies taking a stab at aggregating patient records include Picnic Health, which collects and digitizes health records, and PatientBank, which offers online medical record sharing. Apple also launched its Health Records feature that is now supported by hundreds of hospitals, medical clinics and specialty practices.