Below is our recent interview with Tammi Jantzen, Co-founder & CFO at Astarte Medical:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Astarte Medical is a clinical intelligence company leveraging data, machine learning, and digital tools for mom and baby to improve health outcomes in the first 1000 days of life, from conception to age two. With an initial focus on preterm infants, Astarte Medical is addressing critical, unmet needs in the neonatal ICU (NICU) – such as standardization of feeding, optimal nutrition management, and the provision of equitable care. NICUtrition® is a real-time, EMR-integrated clinical decision support tool designed to address the challenges clinicians face with feeding practices and nutrition management in the NICU, like malnutrition, suboptimal growth, and racial disparities in care.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We are thrilled to announce that we recently secured $7.6 million in our Series A-1 financing. With this round of capital, we’re focusing our efforts on expanding our customer base and improving the impact we can have for infants and their families. Having signed contracts and completed implementations at our initial NICU sites, we are excited to announce the addition of Wendy Slatery to our Board of Directors to help provide strategic direction and insight to these efforts. Ms. Slatery is a seasoned sales executive and recognized commercial leader in healthcare with extensive experience in existing and market entry solutions. Throughout her career, she led improvements in financial performance, expanded industry presence, and created new markets for existing portfolios within the NICU and other areas of care.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: NICUtrition® digitally implements a hospital’s feeding protocol to overcome the challenges of intense manual calculations, practice variability, and measuring protocol adherence or lack thereof. The Nutrition Management module assesses macronutrient intake to support tailored nutritional approaches and the Equitable Care Intelligence module enables tracking of key care performance metrics by race and ethnicity throughout the patient journey from birth to discharge. With the ability to integrate through FHIR standards or Epic’s AppOrchard, implementation is much simpler than custom integration projects or EMR reports with manual review. Through ongoing monitoring, NICUtrition® allows clinical teams to track metrics and milestones over time and observe the correlating patient outcomes, for an individual infant or the entire NICU, to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: With a national focus on health equity, studies continue to reveal disparate health conditions in babies of color, including those most vulnerable in the NICU. Hospitals are under increasing pressure from payers to adopt Health Equity solutions. Data-driven measures of reducing health disparities are needed and can result in higher reimbursement for hospitals. We plan to launch NICUtrition’s Equitable Care Intelligence module which will enable the tracking of key care performance metrics by race and ethnicity throughout the patient journey from birth to discharge. Our equitable care intelligence solutions will inform and measure quality initiatives and Health Equity for individual units or across units within a health system. As we expand our footprint beyond the NICU, we plan to announce new customers and a new partnership in the space so stay tuned!
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Every year, 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely – more than 380,000 in the United States. Thanks to advancements in medical care, babies born very prematurely – even before 25 weeks of pregnancy – are more likely to survive today than ever before. Our mission is for these babies to not only survive, but to thrive. The third trimester of pregnancy is the most critical period for a baby’s growth and brain development, and many preterm infants spend this entire critical period of growth in the NICU. However, feeding these tiny babies is complex and wrought with challenges for the NICU team. We are using tech and big data to have a meaningful and measurable impact on the lives of the tiniest, most vulnerable patients. What better mission could there be?