How Medical Training and ‘Moneyball’ Inspired My Entrepreneurial Mission

In a recent essay, Kyruus CEO Graham Gardner, MD, MBA, talked about what inspired him to start the company.

Gardner was initially inspired to become a doctor by his family pediatrician and learned about the intricacies of pharmaceutical research and development from his father. Those experiences ignited a desire in Gardner to “drive impact at the intersection of medicine, technology, and business.”

When his father retired from pharma and joined a startup company as its chief scientific officer, Gardner learned about venture capital and the support that exists for entrepreneurs who want to transform the world.

After getting his MD and MBA, Gardner joined a leading venture capital firm and co-founded Generation Health, where he served as chief medical officer through its acquisition by CVS Caremark a year later. That experience confirmed for Gardner how much he enjoyed creating new products and companies, and his work with MIT-trained engineer Julie Yoo led the two to form a business relationship.

“After the sale and integration of Generation Health into CVS Caremark, Julie and I began to discuss what to do next,” Gardner wrote. “It was clear that healthcare was about to change because of Obamacare. Healthcare organizations were now going to be held even more accountable.”

At the same time, healthcare data was becoming increasingly liquid, and “big data” gave entrepreneurs the ability to process this information and apply that data to optimize business.

“Around that time I saw the movie Moneyball. If baseball could embrace natural human differences by putting players up to bat when they were most likely to do well, why couldn’t we use that approach to match physicians with the right kind of patients for their training and expertise?” said Gardner.

“The idea that ‘a better match means better care’ became the slogan for Kyruus. It also became a guiding principle for how to solve inefficiency in the healthcare industry—the ability to provide patient access and referrals to the right providers within a hospital system.”

Kyruus, a McKesson Ventures portfolio company, works with more than 300 hospitals around the country using statistics to route patients to the right provider. According to Gardner, health systems that work with Kyruus see enormous operational and financial return as they better leverage their clinical assets and keep care confined within their networks.

To read Gardner’s full essay, go here.

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