André Diamant, the co-founder and CEO of a Montréal startup, describes his company as the “operating system for cancer centres,” and believes his firm’s scheduling platform will reduce patient wait times while leading to better overall care.
Diamant is not the only one with faith in Gray Oncology’s GrayOS product; a number of angels recently invested $1.25 million CAD ($1 million USD) in equity financing into the company.
Angel investor, Genevieve Tanguay, cited the company’s strong growth
potential within the “value-based” care space. Gray Oncology’s business
model focuses on improving the customer experience and the performance
of oncology centers, a cutting-edge sector, said Tanguay, CEO of the
Anges Québec network, a network of angel investors in Canada.
Other investors in the company’s second round of private financing included Anges Quebec’s Manon Boisclair and Jean-Francois Boyer; Adrian Schauer from AQC Capital; Dr. Ray Muzka of Threshold Impact; investors Nicolas Chapados, Yoshua Bengio, JF Gagné, Alexandre Le Bouthillier, Eric-Paul Couture; and the University Science Center’s Launch Lane Accelerator.
Boyer will also join Gray Oncology’s board of directors.
Along with Diamant, who holds a PhD in medical physics, the company’s other founders are Marc-André Renaud, Louis-Martin Rousseau, Nadia Lahrichi and Jan Seuntjens. Among them, they possess experience in healthcare logistics, and radiation therapy treatment planning, among other things.
Diamant said the financing is meant to help the company break into the United States market.
Diamant describes Gray Oncology’s platform as lightweight software that fits over a cancer centre’s electronic health records, and allows for the management of resources as efficiently as possible.
The company’s software platform creates a cancer centre’s digital twin in order to structure a clinic’s resources, simulate its operations, and optimize workflow. Besides automating patient scheduling, the software provides a command centre to assist with strategic decision making related to patient appointments.
Currently the software is used in one of Canada’s largest hospitals for both radiation oncology, and medical oncology.
Diamant said Canada is a great place to pilot the technology as the country only has 51 centres capable of delivering radiation therapy. “That drives up wait times,” Diamant noted.
“But, ultimately, our sights are set on America as the target market because it’s simple envelope math as to the size of that market,” the CEO said.
Medical scheduling software in the healthcare market was valued at $267.83 million USD in 2018, and is projected to reach $789.56 million USD by 2029, according to a report from The Insight Partners.
Globally, annual cancer cases are set to nearly double from 18 million in 2018 to 30 million in 2040, resulting in an increased demand for treatment greater than the forecasted supply.
As well, because of expensive capital investments involved in the disease’s treatment, even 10 percent downtime translates to millions of dollars in lost revenue, according to Startup Health.
The latter brings together entrepreneurs to invest in startup health companies. It invested an undisclosed amount in Gray Oncology in 2020.