San Diego Between 23andMe, the omnipresent Fitbit and the electronic medical records created with each doctor’s visit, quantifying our health has become mainstream.
But while health care data is being created faster than ever before, few of the systems capturing it are interoperable, making it tricky to track and compare comprehensively.
A team of genomics experts in San Diego has launched a platform that collects health, genomics and fitness records and standardizes it so it can be displayed digitally for consumers.
Seqster (pronounced “seek-ster”) aims to transition data from the systems in which it is collected to consumers’ control. The platform, launched in February for select users, is modeled along the line of the user-friendly money management tools provided by personal finance applications.
The company, based in the San Diego Innovation Center, the six-story glass office on Miramar Road enveloped within a steel-framed pyramid, has raised more than $4 million in seed funding.
2,000 Hospitals and Clinics
Ardy Arianpour, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said more than 2,000 hospitals and clinics in the United States have agreed to link up with Seqster.
“We’ve been able to take this data that has been siloed and came up with a unique program where the individual can unsilo all those data and stitch it together within seconds,” said Arianpour, a serial entrepreneur with a background in genomics.
Major tech companies are also attempting to tackle the problem of how to improve digital recordkeeping in the health care system. Even for companies with virtually endless resources, the goal hasn’t proven easy.
In 2008, Google launched Google Health, a digital platform for consumers to store their health information. But it ended the program in 2011, citing inability to scale.
“There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts,” Google wrote at the time in its announcement about the program’s end. “But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people.”
Like with any digital health endeavor, Seqster’s success will be predicated on getting enough people on the platform to make the data on it valuable to others users, including consumers and researchers.
As an incentive to promote adoption, users who agree to have their data in the system will eventually have the chance to share it with interested parties in biotech and pharmaceuticals, Arianpour said.