Collogh Cares is a digital health technology and advocacy start-up that is committed to preventing kidney failure, one family at a time. We are a for-profit company, but we are unique in that we have two equally important mandates.
The first is to research, develop, and sell cutting-edge digital health technologies that support patients and healthcare providers in the prevention of kidney failure.
The second equally important, albeit non-revenue-generating, mandate is our advocacy work centered on the 3 A’s: Awareness, Access, and Action. This entails applying the same innovative thinking and culture we use in product development towards increasing awareness of kidney failure, increasing access to preventive care, and pushing for governmental action to improve the quality of kidney care.
We are OBSESSED with kidney failure prevention for 3 interrelated reasons:
The first is the personal and familial experiences of the founders. I believe every great company starts from the strength of the motivation of its founders. In our case, each of the 4 co-founders has suffered, to varying degrees, the damaging effects of kidney failure in our families. Hence, we are extremely motivated to ensure other families do not go through similar ordeals because of a disease that is largely preventable.
The second reason is thus, the World Health Organization and multiple health agencies have termed kidney failure a “neglected epidemic”. Indeed, the statistics are terrifying: In the United States, for example, 37 million people, that is 1 in 7 adults, currently have chronic kidney disease, which is the most common precursor to kidney failure. For context, kidney failure kills 90,000 Americans annually; for context, that is more than deaths due to breast and prostate cancer combined. If you look deeper into those stats, you realise that kidney failure disproportionately affects marginalised patient populations. For instance, in the US, African-Americans have an almost 4 times higher risk of kidney failure than Caucasians. African Americans make up over 30% of Americans currently on dialysis treatment for kidney failure, despite making up just 14% of the general population.
The third reason is the astronomical cost of kidney failure and its impact on already-stretched healthcare systems. In the United States, the total expenditure on chronic kidney disease and kidney failure was $500 billion in 2018. Again, this is for a disease that is largely preventable with relatively cheap, early interventions.
We are an early-stage start-up founded in September 2020. Since then, we have participated in the Centech Acceleration program, and we are currently in the Centech Propulsion program and the League of Innovators Boost program. We are currently raising our pre-seed funding round and have closed some early investments.
In terms of our first product release, we are in a sprint to release a minimally viable product and begin pilot testing by Q4 2022, pending regulatory approval.
Collogh Cares is also one of the 36 companies selected across Canada for the 2022 Next AI Cohort. Next AI is a world-class program for artificial intelligence-based ventures and technology commercialization. This offers us access to top AI scientists and corporate mentors, investment to scale, and much more. The predictive AI algorithm which is the next stage of our product will be responsible for predicting disease progression and risk of hospitalization in each patient, and in so doing, it will highlight the patients who need additional support from their healthcare providers. This data would be fed back to patients and providers via the digital health coach mobile app, which would also facilitate adequate follow-up between patient and provider through its “coordination” function.
“The Collogh Cares Ecosystem” is the working title of the 1st suite of digital health solutions we are planning to launch. It represents our comprehensive solution for the optimal management of Chronic Kidney Disease. The ecosystem comprises of 3 components:
- The first component consists of remote monitoring sensors (manufactured by other companies) which continuously monitor specific vital signs of patients with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease.
- The second and central component is our digital health coach which will collect data from the monitoring sensors, interpret them and use the insights to give the patient daily guidance – in the form of prompts – on their diet, exercise, medication reminders, etc.
- The third component of the ecosystem is a CKD Care Management Portal – a web-based portal for physicians & care managers to view real-time data of all their advanced CKD patients, triage based on critical metrics, and send notifications to patients via the mobile app.
We are currently raising our seed round and sprinting to release a minimally viable product and commence pilot testing by Q4 2022, pending regulatory approval. Hence, our most pressing needs at the moment are three-fold:
- First, we are seeking investments from strategic venture capital investors, angel groups, and grant funding organizations.
- Second, we are exploring partnerships with specialist kidney care clinics across the United States to collaborate on our pilot testing.
- Third, every successful company is a product of the talent within it, especially in the start-up phase. So, we are currently searching for talented, passionate, and ambitious people from diverse fields and backgrounds – from design to behavioural science to computer programming.
So that’s the summary of our most pressing needs in the short-term: investments, partnerships, and talent.