Understanding your risk for diabetes or suffering a heart attack or stroke can be a game-changer when it comes to taking control of your health.
Raleigh-based Precision Health Reports understands that. That’s why they’ve worked with doctors and patients to provide an easy, hassle-free report on patients’ individual risks.
Co-Founder and CEO Matthew Martin was a U.S. Army officer for nine years before working in business development at biopharma healthcare solutions company TrialCard.
While working at the fast-growing company, Martin said he started going in early and staying late, then having a few beers afterwards with friends. Eventually his health started taking a back seat.
Once leaving TrialCard in 2017, Martin said he realized he was on a bad health trajectory and got smart about his nutrition and activity, as he said he was likely an undiagnosed pre-diabetic at the time.
Martin’s mother-in-law died suddenly in 2016 from a heart attack. Her doctor had failed to identify her cardiovascular risk, Martin said, in a way that she could have addressed before it was too late.
So now Martin has teamed up with his Co-Founder Dr. William Cromwell, who specializes in lipid and metabolic disorders. The duo fully launched Precision Health Reports in September to provide doctors with tools to identify risks earlier in order to intervene before these risks become catastrophic.
Robb Wolf, the founder of The Healthy Rebellion (an online community and podcast) and author of Sacred Cow (which recommends eating only “better-raised” red meat) with a background as a former research biochemist, is serving as an advisor to Precision Health Reports as well.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 leading cause of death in the United States while diabetes is No. 7, making Precision’s tools so critical.
“If we can give doctors and patients tools to discover earlier and intervene and make a change,” Martin said, “we’re saving lives and saving money.”
Precision Health Reports’ clients are internal and family medicine doctors, who will be charged per report. These doctors can place orders for patients. Precision looks at a patient’s clinical history and biomarkers, coordinating to get patients’ blood drawn. By applying outcome-proven data, they are able to identify a patient’s individual risk, producing a report for both doctor and patient.
“This is something that may take a traditional doctor an hour or more per patient,” Martin said, “just to gather all this information and have this conversation. Which, you know, frankly is why it’s not happening a lot of times—because your typical clinical encounter is 15 minutes.”
Oftentimes when doctors tell patients potentially worrisome medical news, patients stop listening and just focus on their family and the panic that emerges from the news. With Precision Health’s reports, Martin said this can guide the conversation with details, allowing patients and doctors to talk about it together more effectively.
Precision Health has raised $300,000 in funding and was also a finalist for one of NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants.
Both Martin and Cromwell have seen people die from lack of understanding around cardiometabolic risk. But they’ve also seen people undergo diabetic risk assessments and significantly cut their risk percentage from 50%+ to just 5% in around a year.
“By people, number one, catching this earlier, they’re able to get ahead of it before it becomes something catastrophic,” Martin said. “And then by seeing their scores, both initially and then over time, it motivates them to stay adherent to the plan and have a longer health span.”
Martin said Precision Health Reports will release a full comprehensive cardiometabolic assessment near the end of this year. They hope to get it in front of as many doctors as possible and show the impact they can make in saving lives and making people healthier, Martin said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has opened a greater conversation around public health. Martin said it made people more aware of their metabolic health related to the biggest co-morbidities with the coronavirus concerning cardiovascular health. Now, Martin said people are more interested in tackling these health issues.
“It is an opportunity for us to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives,” Martin said. “Possibly, very likely, people who may die of coronavirus or maybe (it be) more severe in them, by understanding their risk earlier and getting involved, they may have a better outcome because of it.”