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Exclusive: $9M seeds SaVia Health care pathways

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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

SaVia CEO William Caldwell didn't envision himself a startup CEO until clinical tools a close friend showed him stopped him cold.

Those tools were the "missing link" Caldwell says he's been seeking for two-plus decades, and they eventually became clinical support software company SaVia Health.

Why it matters: Salt Lake City, Utah-based SaVia raised $8.5 million in seed funding led by Intel Capital, Caldwell tells Axios exclusively.

  • Kickstart, Peterson Ventures, Health Catalyst co-founder Tom Burton and Stanford professor Brent James participated in the round.
  • With the funds, SaVia plans to grow its tech team to further develop the platform and identify 15-20 high-demand operational and clinical pathways to hone.

How it works: SaVia takes what was once a PDF outlining best practices for a given condition, such as congestive heart failure, turns it into a digital version, and embeds it in the workflow, alongside the electronic medical record or EMR.

  • The company offers its platform to health systems on an annual subscription basis, and all of its off-the-shelf care pathway tools can be tweaked and customized based on clinicians' needs and preferences.
  • SaVia's tools are integrated via HL7 and FHIR protocols but agnostic to EMR vendor, meaning it can work "with pretty much any EMR," says Caldwell.

Flashback: A physician and health system administrator, Caldwell was running Novant Health Clinically Integrated Network, a North Carolina health system, when he first saw other physicians using SaVia's tools to build and hone clinical workflows. The experience remains his core pitch for SaVia.

  • "Once physicians see this tech isn’t a mechanism to get paid or a documentation tool but rather helps them take care of their patients and makes their job easier…in the end, that’s what we all want," he says.

Context: Several other clinical workflow and decision support developers exist, but Caldwell says SaVia's differentiator is its customizability.

  • A clinician treating a rare disease could, for example, use SaVia to design their own treatment protocol pathway for an illness that wouldn't otherwise receive such focus or funding.
  • "It's a self-authoring software platform so you can really scale clinical decision support in a way you can't without it," he says.

Reality check: Still relatively new, SaVia one health care system customer is Intermountain Healthcare, the institution from which it spun out this year

  • Caldwell says the company has four health systems "in the pipeline" and aims to sign one of them before the end of the year.

What's next: Caldwell says SaVia was able to build five pathways last month alone, all of which are currently in use, and has 15-18 new ones in the works based on clinician demand.

  • The company plans to raise a Series A sometime in 2024, Caldwell says.
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