HomeAutism Data Collection SpectrumAi Raised $20 Million in Series A Funding Round

Autism Data Collection SpectrumAi Raised $20 Million in Series A Funding Round

SpectrumAi, a company developing innovative solutions to improve autism care, announced March 16th that it closed up to $20 million in Series A funding led by CVS Health Ventures with participation from Cobalt Ventures, and follow-on investments from Seed investors F-Prime, Frist Cressey and Autism Impact Fund. 

SpectrumAi’s focus is to become the source of quality data capture and actionable insights for ABA providers to help their clients progress toward their optimal outcome, to increase supervisor efficiency and capacity, and to easily enable providers to enter into value-based contracts with payors.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, driving unprecedented growth in the ABA industry. ABA is intensive and long-term therapy, averaging up to 25-40 hours each week. Measurement of ABA therapy’s efficacy to date has been limited to subjective parent and provider surveys.

Many healthcare organizations are trying to offer therapy options and provide care.

Autism in Motion (AIM) Clinics, a startup founded by a University of Chicago alumni, had as their self set goal to provide autism therapy to children in rural communities throughout the U.S.

The startup won first place and $45,000 at the University of Chicago’s Social New Venture Challenge in May 2018 and has been expanding ever since. The company already operates a clinic outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, where it provides care for 24 children with autism. There were 32 clinicians working for AIM. Five of them are senior supervising clinicians; the rest are junior-level therapists that do one-on-one therapy with patients.

Usually, during an ABA therapy session, the therapist is offering lots of positive reinforcement to a child. This can come in the form of praise, tickles, hugs, high-fives, opportunities to play, and even sometimes edible treats.

Other companies, such as Sangamo, were making advances towards finding a treatment for some neurodegenerative disorders, including autism. Unfortunately, Biogen and Novartis recently terminated their partnerships with Sangamo, collectively valued in the billions of dollars, dealing a significant blow to the biotech’s pipeline and future potential. 

Novartis was the first to pull the plug on the deal leveraging Sangamo Therapeutics’ exclusive genome technologies based on zinc finger protein transcription factors to research and develop hyper-targeted therapies for a trio of neurodegenerative disorders. More specifically, Novartis focused the agreement on developing ZFP-TFs-driven treatments for intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and other conditions related to neurologic development. Now, Sangamo will have to decide whether to pursue on its own or find a new partner. 

How will the new funding be used to further research

The $20 million in funding Spectrum Ai obtained will accelerate adoption of the company’s applied behavior analysis (ABA) electronic health record, Twyll, and Patterns, its network analytics platform, that are designed to improve data capture and objective measurement of ABA therapy for autism.

“ABA providers and their employees crave better data capture, documentation and objective measurement of ABA therapy. SpectrumAi provides front-line technicians and clinicians with powerful tools to help each child reach their optimal outcome,” said Ling Shao, Founder & CEO of SpectrumAi. “As we lay the foundation for a transition from fee-for-service to value-based contracting in ABA, we’re honored that CVS Health Ventures, Cobalt Ventures and others have joined our mission to advance quality industry-wide.”

CVS Health Ventures and Cobalt Ventures join Seed investors F-Prime, Frist Cressey and Autism Impact Fund, as SpectrumAi looks to accelerate the adoption of its ABA electronic health record, Twyll, and its network analytics platform, Patterns. Both products were built from scratch and live in-market less than 18 months from the company’s launch.

Gathering the correct data and being able to interpret it can prove fundamental in finding the proper approach to treat the disorder.

“Data collection and documentation is fundamental to creating value-based contracting for the ABA industry, and can help ensure that patients get the correct level of support they need,” said Vijay Patel, Managing Partner at CVS Health Ventures. “Our investment can help support SpectrumAi’s use of disruptive technology and value-based care to address ABA’s significant data void.”

David Eichler, Managing Partner of Cobalt Ventures, said, “We believe SpectrumAi’s framework of building data-backed quality initiatives through payor and provider collaboration is a winning formula to deliver change in healthcare.”

“SpectrumAi has built a compelling product to enable higher quality care through better workflows and data science. We are excited to expand our investment in this large and growing area of need,” said Carl Byers, Partner, F-Prime Capital and SpectrumAi Board Director.

“The SpectrumAi team has created rapid momentum with both enterprise ABA providers as well as large and regional health insurance companies as the industry strives to move to measurement and value-based care,” shared Frist Cressey Ventures Partner and SpectrumAi Board Director, Navid Farzad. “SpectrumAi’s life-changing platform will help payors, providers, and most importantly, the patients and their families receive better care.”

About SpectrumAI

SpectrumAi develops innovative solutions to improve life-changing therapies. Our initial focus is to modernize Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with autism by capturing and measuring objective treatment and outcomes data to understand quality drivers.

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