Most people would agree that high-quality mentors lead to better businesses and careers. Plenty of research supports this idea. For example, Inc reported that 70% of companies with a mentor stayed in business for more than five years, which is double the survival rate for businesses without mentors.
While mentors certainly have a meaningful impact on business, what sort of effect might they have in other fields? In healthcare, the answer increasingly seems to be that patients with peer mentors have better health outcomes than patients without them.
InquisitHealth, a Dreamit HealthTech alum, uses peer mentoring programs to improve outcomes in patients with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and asthma. The company, a spring 2016 Dreamit HealthTechalum, enrolls prospective peer mentors in a rigorous training program designed to give them the disease-specific knowledge, coaching skills, and expertise needed to inspire change and address the social and behavioral determinants of health.
Using an advanced algorithm, InquisitHealth then assesses several clinical, social, and experiential factors to match its patients with the right peer mentors.
At this point, patients begin evidence-based programs with the guidance of their peer mentors, which are designed to lead to better long-term outcomes.
Based on early evidence, InquisitHealth’s peer-based interventions have shown impressive efficacy. Across all commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid populations currently enrolled in the company’s diabetes program, the average patient experienced a 1.5-point decrease in HbA1c, sustained over a 24+ month period.
Today InquisitHealth announced it closed a seed round of funding led by Dreamit Ventures and Hudson River Capital Partners. “Through our national network of health systems, we have seen strong evidence that personalized peer mentoring is highly effective in driving behavior change for patients with chronic diseases,” says Karen Griffith Gryga, Managing Director of Dreamit Ventures.
With the fresh funding, InquisitHealth plans to expand its existing diabetes, pre-diabetes, and asthma peer mentoring programs while launching new programs for hypertension, COPD, and sickle cell disease.
The new investment in InquisitHealth brings the company’s total funding, including non-dilutive grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to $4.2M.