Transparency Health startup BaseCamp seeks partners + Ascend adopters
By Milt Capps
BASE CAMP HEALTH's recent pact with Franklin, Tenn.-based RxGenomix may turn out to be part of a bigger series of partnerships forged to advance BaseCamp's new Ascend digital application, which is immediately focused on helping secondary and postsecondary educational institutions mitigate their risk of experiencing community spread of COVID-19, with emphasis on monitoring students and workers returning to sites after sheltering and lockdowns.
Three weeks ago, Chattanooga-based BaseCamp and Franklin, Tenn.-based RxGenomix announced they had allied to deliver a "return-to-work solution" for employers who are engaged in COVID-19-heightened "monitoring, screening, testing and communication with all stakeholders." Press release here.
Backed by Chattanooga investment firm Transparency Health, the BaseCamp brand was unveiled in January 2019, along with broader plans to provide healthcare analytics solutions to support providers, clinicians and other decision-makers concerned with the health of vulnerable populations.
Soon after the pandemic threat became clear, BaseCamp tightened its focus on supporting secondary and postsecondary educational institutions.
BaseCamp's market push seems timely, given that traditional Opening Days for U.S. schools and universities are fast approaching -- and are hotly debated at national, state and local levels.
Last week, BaseCamp Health CEO Leigh McCormack told VNC the company had recently experienced "tremendous activity and demand for Ascend. We now have multiple schools on the application from all over the country, including a major university in the Midwest."
As illustrated by 24x7 news coverage of the pandemic's impact, Business has also been galvanized: Leaders are looking for ways to ensure the safety of workers and customers, by adopting a wide range of tools, protocols and methodologies that could save businesses, jobs and lives.
VNC notes that this May 21 report from McKinsey provides a high-level view of how organizations globally are accelerating analytics to navigate COVID-19 and the "next normal." And, here from Forbes is one of dozens, if not hundreds of articles that are easily turned-up regarding innovative companies and others responding to COVID-19 challenges.
McCormack said BaseCamp is eager to secure additional synergistic partners -- as it did with RxGenomix -- in order to expand its services and "to reach multiple markets, positively impact as many lives as possible, and support businesses and schools as they try to find a new normal."
She emphasized, "The Ascend solution can be used in multiple settings, from schools, to businesses, to entertainment and events. We are currently looking for partners with industry specific relationships and experience to help broaden the message to those markets and assist as many organizations as possible."
Asked about his portfolio company's interest in M&A and other forms of inorganic growth, Transparency Health Partner David Paschall, who is also chairman of the BaseCamp board of directors, told VNC that the BaseCamp team and their sponsor are prepared to consider M&A opportunities. He did not comment on the current level of pipeline activity, if any.
Asked about interest in outside capital, Paschall told VNC the company has no plans at present to raise capital from investors other than from Chattanooga-based Noon Management LLC, which, as VNC previously reported, has set aside up to $30MM to fund BaseCamp's expansion.
BaseCamp only recently introduced the Ascend app, which enables users to monitor symptoms reported within their populations and to take needed actions. The application is currently being white-labeled for clients.
When deployed to combat COVID-19, Ascend's outputs help decision-makers anticipate health threats and take proactive measures to determine population admission to controlled sites.
The application employs machine-learning technology, access to updated scientific knowledge, best-practices guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other inputs and tools.
The company's offerings help users factor into their decisions the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) on disease vulnerability, levels of healthcare services demand, treatment outcomes, readmission rates, costs and related matters.
RxGenomix said in the partners' recent press release that its role in the partnership is to provide "education, training, materials, research, in-depth analytics, connective technology, delivery tools, and laboratory support needed for any healthcare provider, employer or health benefit provider to effectively implement pharmacogenomic testing to their practice or benefits strategy."
McCormack explained that BaseCamp is also "prepared to offer both analytical and operational professional services. We've had a lot of interest from clients and prospects in helping establish their larger 'return to work/school' policies and procedures. Our operational team...and legal advisors, have been hard at work supporting these efforts with best practices driven by OHSA and CDC guidelines. Analytically, we are designing efforts to help capture workforce planning and student absenteeism, so that schools and employers can better prepare."
Asked about competitors, Paschall told VNC he knows of no entrants with a full product suite directly competitive with BaseCamp's.
Globally, both enterprise and startup entrants in the healthcare analytics and related sectors are in motion, with seemingly infinite and widely varying entries. Comparisons are difficult.
Right here in Tennessee, VNC recently published a report on Nashville-based Decode Health, which is among startups with relevant offerings.
Asked about outside professional advisors, McCormack cited attorneys with Waller Lansden; accountants with Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough; bankers within SmartBank; software development with Carbon5; data-analytics with Data Tapestry; PR is with Bridge Public Affairs (Womack Group); and, its medical informatics advisor is Andrew Bland MD.
Sponsor Noon Management is chaired by John Foy JD and its president is Todd Phillips. Noon Health LLC investment is led by Allen Bible, who was until recently a system VP in Erlanger Health System, according to information online.
She is, according to her LinkedIn, a doctoral candidate in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, with a focus on health policy and outcomes research. She earned her master's in biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her bachelor's in mathematical statistics at the University of Alabama. She is an Ambassador of Women in Analytics and a member of Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute.
Prior to co-founding Transparency Health, Paschall was COO of healthcare contract management platform provider TractManager (fka MediTract), a platform controlled since 2012 by NYC-based Arsenal Capital Partners. Paschall's LinkedIn profile is here.
TractManager has made at least five healthtech buys since 2014, according to its website. TractManager Founder Thomas Rizk, for whom Paschall previously worked, exited TractManager after Arsenal's arrival and formed Rizk Ventures, which continues to make healthtech and other investments.
BaseCamp is successor to the former NtelliSights, which was a dba for Readmissions Management LLC, a company founded in 2018 via a collaboration between Transparency Health and data-analytics techie Data Tapestry (fka PYA Analytics, which under its previous owners sold certain assets to Verana Health).