Paris (France), 5 May 2021 - Arkhn, a pioneer in healthcare data interoperability, announced today that it has finalized a first round of financing of €4 million. This financing round was jointly led by Kurma Partners and Newfund, through their respective funds Kurma Biofund III and Newfund II, with the support of the European Commission and the public bank Bpifrance.
Founded in August 2019, Arkhn addresses the difficulties of accessing healthcare data. It has become a critical issue for hospital facilities and the entire healthcare ecosystem: medical teams, public and private researchers, patients, medical startups, and software editors. This imperative need for data sovereignty has been highlighted by the coronavirus crisis and by several government measures around the world. In France, the implementation of “My health 2022” and the allocation of €1.4 billion during the “Ségur de la Santé” program for a fluid and secure sharing of health data reflect this ambition.
Today, health care facilities use numerous software programs that allow them, for example, to follow a patient's progress throughout his or her hospitalization, to analyze medical observations or to assist practitioners during their interventions. Unfortunately, there is little communication between these software programs and healthcare institutions do not have control over the management of this data. The lack of interoperability between these software packages and the absence of infrastructure dedicated to data management generate huge costs and laborious and time-consuming work - data is often collected by hand - for all the players in the healthcare ecosystem.
To solve this problem, Arkhn harmonizes all this data within a data architecture solution based on data warehouse and Artificial Intelligence technologies. It uses the open-sourced and free interoperability standard FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), which is now an authority worldwide. This “gold standard” is used to standardize data produced by medical software, like patient information, medical observations, prescribed treatments, medical devices, or financial and administrative information.
Access to this data facilitates medical research in institutions like large-scale analyses, creation of patient cohorts, etc. It supports care teams with a more precise monitoring of patient pathways, rapid search for medical information, and encourages innovation and the implementation of multi-center projects. Finally, the data architecture deployed by Arkhn enables a drastic reduction in the costs and time required to deploy new software.
Benjamin Belot, Managing Partner of Kurma Partners, explains: “As a fund specializing in digital health, we have long identified the challenge of accessing hospital data and its negative impact on innovation. We were impressed by the team's expertise and technological leadership in Europe. The company is developing the best tools at the best time and is already collaborating with key players to address this critical challenge.”
Anne-Sophie Nedellec, Partner of Newfund, adds: “Arkhn's strength lies in its team of experts on specific subjects and its hand-in-hand support with medical and IT teams. The fact that it is 100% aligned with the institutions' vision of healthcare data gives it a head start. Combined with a crisis that has accelerated awareness of the importance of data accessibility, the company can become the European leader in hospital data infrastructure.”
Corneliu Malciu, Emeric Lemaire and Theo Ryffel, Co-founders of Arkhn, conclude: “We are convinced that healthcare institutions are best qualified to administer and value healthcare data. By working hand in hand with medical and IT teams, we develop trusting relationships with the entire ecosystem. Our commitment to bringing energies together around this major challenge and our open-source approach are part of our DNA. Newfund and Kurma support us in this committed approach and will be a great asset to support our growth in France but also throughout Europe.”
The funds raised will enable Arkhn to expand their deployment to several dozen institutions in France and Europe, and to strengthen its development teams, which already include 20 experts in data and artificial intelligence. In particular, the company is investing a significant portion of its R&D in automatic language processing technologies as well as privacy protection technologies such as Differential Privacy and other anonymization and pseudonymization methods. These techniques allow remote access to medical data while respecting its security and confidentiality.
Arkhn works with medical and IT teams on the field to help them address these issues over time. “Arkhn is not a service provider like any other, it is a true partner” explains Xosé Fernandez, Chief Data Officer of the Institut Curie. And Yannick Bomy, project manager at the Reims University Hospital, added: “Arkhn has fulfilled its mission perfectly. Not only has it enabled us to open to current and future technologies for data standardization, but it also helps us improve our technical skills”. This approach allows the company to already count among its clients numerous reference centers such as Paris Public Hospitals (APHP), Curie Institute, the Reims University Hospital, the Toulouse University Hospital, the Bergonié Unicancer Institute, the Léon Bérard Center, and the French Red Cross.
Supported by several institutional organisms such as the Digital Health Agency (Agence de Numérique en Santé) and the French Hospital Federation (Fédération Hospitalière de France), Arkhn wishes to strengthen its partnerships with the various private and public actors in the ecosystem to continue building a secure, open and collaborative future for healthcare.