In the classic movie “Soul Food,” all of the occurrences are centered around the matriarch of the family, Mama Joe. She is the anchor for her three daughters, who went on to lead lives of their own but still very much so depend on her wisdom and guidance.
As the plot would have it, Mama Joe had diabetes and was stubborn about taking her medicine and taking the necessary steps to prioritize her health.
Left with few options, she has to have her leg amputated to deal with her health issues. However, Mama Joe’s family was left in the dark concerning the severity of her health issues. This issue is not a new phenomenon, as many families have dealt with surprising truths regarding their loved one’s health. At this intersection of health and wellness is where Intus Care pulls up.
Intus Care is a “healthcare analytics platform that synthesizes healthcare data to identify risks, visualize trends, and optimize care.”
AfroTech spoke with Evan Jackson and Robbie Felton to learn more about how they are using tech to make strides in the healthcare industry.
Taking It Off The Field
In 2019, Jackson and Felton were football players at Brown University, but it was more than just touchdowns and field goals on their brains.
Felton grew interested in healthcare policy, inspired by his mother’s work as a geriatric social worker. Following her work as she advanced in the field, Felton found much room for innovation when it comes to the way healthcare staff and providers care for elderly patients.
Identifying a need in that market, Felton tapped on the shoulder of Jackson, who brought financial expertise to building something in the space.
After research from the two co-founders, they decided to leave Brown University to pursue an opportunity to spend a year working for PACE, a community-based program leveraged by the benefit of Medicare and Medicaid.
“We felt like it was really important not just to read, but we really needed to immerse ourselves in the everyday challenges, the everyday feelings, and the everyday workflows of the individuals that we wanted to serve,” Jackson said.
The decision to leave Brown University for the short term paid off in a big way. The two returned and finished their academic programs, but not without a new perspective and solid plan for the future of their business.
From that moment, Jackson and Felton secured early investors who put half a million dollars into Intus Care to test the theories they had developed and build a data platform that improves care tangibly for the patient populations and the operations of elderly care programs.
The investment also led to Intus Care expanding its operational base and finding a partner to use the platform it had developed.
“We ended up hiring two of our classmates, some people from our network. We piloted with a program in Rhode Island, and they gave us their data, and then we ended up piloting the platform, creating the minimum viable product for them, and they loved it,” Felton explained.
The Rhode Island partnership served as their takeoff moment. Intus Care was able to sell to other organizations from that collaboration, landing five additional programs, including the one Felton’s mother worked for in Michigan.
All of Jackson and Felton’s hard work led them to their most recent accomplishment — closing a $14.1 million series A funding round led by Deerfield Management.
“We are extremely impressed both by the impact that Intus Care’s technology is poised to have on patient outcomes and by the passion and dedication of its team,” said Dr. Julian Harris, operating partner at Deerfield Management, in a press release. “We are proud to invest in a company we believe will be vital to revolutionizing geriatric care.”
Now that they have this new funding, the two co-founders have big plans for the future.
“Number one on the agenda is growing the team, specifically getting more senior-level talent. We need to have people who have people around the table who can help us scale this business and keep the ship moving in the right direction at all times,” Felton pointed out.
“We want to make sure that we have the right team, especially from, like, a customer success perspective, to be able to bring people in, to give that high-touch service, to be able to answer those questions, to be able to have people who also understand the experience of our clients empathetically so that they can provide insight,” Jackson added.
As Intus Care continues to grow, they are also committed to giving back.
“Neither Evan nor I have ever turned down a call from someone who is Black or in healthcare trying to start a venture, seeking venture capital, or wanting to be an entrepreneur. We’ve had so many people help us when they had no reason to. So we’d like to carry that on and do the exact same,” Felton explained.