Datavant Acquires Universal Patient Key and Closes $40M Financing Round

Publish Date
April 30, 2018

– UPK is the leading provider of HIPAA-compliant de-identification services for healthcare data

– Acquisition advances Datavant’s position as a leader in helping healthcare organizations safely link their data to improve medical research and care while protecting patient privacy

– Datavant also announces completion of $40.5 million financing round

SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Datavant, the leader in helping healthcare organizations safely link their data to improve medical research and patient care, today announced that it has acquired Universal Patient Key (UPK), the leading provider of HIPAA-compliant de-identification services for healthcare data.

UPK has created a suite of software products that de-identify structured and unstructured health data through HIPAA-compliant methodologies. By using UPK’s industry-leading software and services, healthcare stakeholders can securely share patient-level healthcare data while minimizing the risk of unauthorized access and patient re-identification. These services enable the shared use of longitudinal, real-world evidence to further medical research, improve health outcomes, and reduce the cost of delivering care, while at the same time protecting the anonymity of individual patients.

Over 70 healthcare providers, insurers, pharmacies, universities, analytics providers, government agencies, and other institutions currently utilize UPK’s de-identification solutions. UPK’s clients include Allscripts, McKesson, Decision Resources Group, Optum, IBM Watson (Truven Health), Komodo Health, Prognos, Precision Health, and dozens of other companies. These institutions join 250 other data sources linked by Datavant.

“Datavant’s vision is to be a trusted steward of healthcare data that services the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said Travis May, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Datavant. “Healthcare data is too siloed today, which holds back the development of new medicines and the personalized treatment of patients. We are excited to build upon the foundation laid by UPK to help healthcare organizations safely link their data to improve medical research and patient care.”

“UPK’s two-step hash-token and site key process are elegant tools for facilitating HIPAA-compliant data transfer,” said Eric Perakslis, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Datavant and former Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “We look forward to working with partner institutions to create a data ecosystem that improves patient care and advances medical research without compromising protected health information.”

To learn more about Datavant’s approach to data sharing, click here.

“We founded UPK with the vision of creating a better way for the healthcare industry to de-identify and link data,” said Shahir Kassam-Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UPK. “After meeting Travis, Eric, and the Datavant team and understanding their vision, goals, and the breadth of their partnerships, we knew we had found the right company to take the UPK offering to the next level faster.”

Shahir Kassam-Adams will join Datavant as Head of Strategy and Jason LaBonte, PhD, formerly Chief Product Officer at UPK, will join Datavant as Head of Product. Mr. Kassam-Adams previously served as Chief Strategy Officer at both Decision Resources Group and Thomson Healthcare. Mr. LaBonte previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Brand Development at Decision Resources Group. Joe Austin, Co-Founder and Chairman of UPK, will serve as an advisor to Datavant.

Customer and Ecosystem Quotes

“We are passionate about building the most representative healthcare map to help our customers improve clinical outcomes. Our partnership with UPK enables us to accelerate de-identification of patient information across the healthcare ecosystem to understand the true burden of disease with greater precision. With added Datavant capabilities, we look forward to building new relationships to uncover predictors that create value for our customers and their patients.”
– Arif Nathoo, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Komodo Health

“UPK has established itself as a standard in secure, yet open, patient deidentification. Using UPK’s encrypted linking tokens, we are able to join our best-in-class oncology data to our client’s datasets to develop AI-driven insights into oncology care. We expect UPK to continue its leadership in enabling open but secure exchange of data to drive innovation for patients.”
– Brigham Hyde, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Precision Health

“Everyone from healthcare providers to research universities and government agencies that are looking to improve care delivery based on patient data are struggling with the issue of how to safely and securely share sensitive data. Datavant now holds the keys to solving that problem.”
– Michael Stebbins, PhD, former Assistant Director for Biotechnology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

“DRG has established a real-world data repository with broad coverage of the US and global healthcare landscape. We partnered with the best and most important suppliers of this information in the industry. Together with UPK and their encrypted token technology, we’re able to link the data sources together to provide best-in-class longitudinal patient coverage.”
– Sven Junkergård, Chief Technology Officer of Decision Resources Group

Investment Round

In addition to announcing the acquisition of UPK, Datavant today announced the completion of a $40.5 millionfinancing round, led by Roivant Sciences and Travis May.

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