Boise Based Startup Proskriptive Analyzes Your Well-Care
For many patients, the long wait at a doctor’s office deters them from visiting frequently. Rather than making monthly or yearly check-ups, patients wait until their ailments get worse before going in.
This caused Michael Hollenbeck, managing director and co-founder of Proskriptive, to create a company that predicts when a patient should go in for a visit based on previous information.
“There are lots of positive things it could do for the healthcare industry,” Hollenbeck said. “If you look at the industry, you see there is just a huge need. The company I was with didn’t meet these needs and this seemed like a huge opportunity to start my own business.”
Proskriptive and the Healthcare Industry
Co-founded in 2014 by Hollenbeck and Justin Richie, Proskriptive is a data science company focused on the healthcare industry, specifically on well care. Well care, also known as preventive care, focuses on promoting health and preventing disease. Proskriptive takes data and information on patients and individuals to create health strategy recommendations.
The company recently raised $400,000 (a combination of equity and debt financing from investor Brian Seaberg and Zion’s Bank) to further its mission of developing technology designed to promote patient well care.
While his data science company could have focused on any industry, Hollenbeck chose healthcare and well care.
“Ultimately I wanted to feel like what I do everyday improves the human condition,” Hollenbeck said. “We could be doing this for any industry, even ice cream sandwiches, but we want to improve the human condition. We want to improve well care; we’re oriented toward people living long happy, productive lives. The whole structure is (set up) to help people and to enable people to have longer happier healthy lives.”
Their goal is to suppress events that cause people so much suffering and money and to reduce events like those through well care.
Hollenbeck emphasized the future of healthcare is one of prevention; identifying problems and reacting in advance instead of being reactive to negative events.
“We need to broaden our minds as to what healthcare is. Healthcare is what you get when you go to the hospital. In the rest of the world, healthcare is looked at more holistically: before you go to the hospital, during and after, as well as how do we keep them healthy,” Hollenbeck said. “Proskriptive is ideally suited to this shift – technology tries to identify and predicatively say situation where negative things could occur.”
Launching June 1, Proskriptive will announce its predictive model marketplace. This marketplace is a new concept intended to be a turnkey service, or a service that is ready for immediate use, that allows companies to select data analysis options on areas they are interested in.
For example, a clinic might be interested in emergency department visits versus primary health physician visit probabilities, or members might also want to see how many people schedule follow up appointments and the percentage of people that miss appointments. This information is utilized to create a profile to target patients who are likely to miss appointments and encourage them to make or reschedule that time. The marketplace is intended to make things centralized and easy to access.
“It’s hard for people to know what’s out there. The marketplace will show them what is available and that we can add these types of capabilities to organizations,” Hollenbeck said.
In addition to improving the lives of people and the healthcare industry, Proskriptive has civil level goals as well. Last year Proskriptive participated in Hackfort and Develop Idaho, as well as donating to groups in Idaho.
Growing up in Idaho, Hollenbeck wanted to build his company locally.
“We could have done (Proskriptive) anywhere but it’s also about civic responsibility,” Holenbeck said. “How do we help bring up the community? We do it by developing the community skills and opportunities, by doing education and outreach – some type of improvements to make things better.”
Initially, Hollenbeck wanted to start Proskriptive in Boise because it’s where he’s from and he knows the quality of the people.
“Boise has many compelling assets in its favor, some obstacles too but lots of assets,” he said. “By starting it here you do set yourself apart from other companies that start up in Seattle or the Silicon Valley. The quality of life here, cost of living and community amenities are great. The cost of doing business here is good.”
Hollenbeck also emphasized the entrepreneurial spirit of Boise.
“There is an entrepreneurial culture in the valley,” he said. “If I have a neat idea, I can call the mayor’s office and can get access and support in this area. There are a lot of neat organizations like Trailhead that are here to support businesses.”
In addition to having a great number of opportunities now, Hollenbeck shared his enthusiasm for the future of the valley.
“Boise is going to be great. You can just feel it with so many entrepreneurial minds out there, so ripe for explosion,” he said. “The energy here is so different. Boise is what folks don’t know about but it’s getting on the roadmap and as we mature our entrepreneurial machinery it’s a great opportunity.”
Advice to Startup Businesses
Hollenbeck felt the biggest challenge he had on the way to success being a startup was getting their first customer.
“How do you take what is aspirational and how do you share it? Starting a business, it’s a dream and the first and follow-up customers validate it,” Hollenbeck said. “Everyone wants to see traction. When you do get them, you gain velocity and validation points.”
Hollenbeck had two big suggestions for other startups: solve a problem and develop a lean startup model.
Solving a problem is finding an area where consumers, businesses or other entities have a “point of pain” and finding the answer to alleviate that pain with a product or service.
“At the highest level you need to solve a problem. What is a problem you can solve? Technology for technology’s sake is not ideal. It’s a challenge to find a problem market after development,” Hollenbeck said.
The other suggestion was to follow the lean startup model. Lean startups are startups that take a scientific approach to business and product development.
The idea is to test products against problems and constantly try to find new and better ways to do things, following the methodology of build-measure-learn feedback loop.
Just a year into their startup, Proskriptive has many plans for the future.
“The vast majority of our history has yet to be written. We want to improve – to make more readily available and hope to bring on more customers,” Hollenbeck said. “Because we align with well-care, the more people who use us means the more people getting help and getting outreach that will keep them healthy.”
Another goal Proskriptive has is to make their system easier to use, as well as grow the size of the company, attract local talent and enrich the local community.
Hollenbeck is proud to be doing business in the valley and looks forward to many successful years in Boise.
“Boise is a fantastic place to be a startup,” Hollenbeck said. “The timing could not be better. It’s really exciting to write the next chapter in Boise’s history and to see all the people wanting to do neat interesting things and encouraging them to do it.”