ConsejoSano raises $17M, prepares for vaccine rollout
The primary Covid-19 vaccine was administered to a New York-based essential care nurse on Monday — a scientific breakthrough and a hope for the tip of a devastating pandemic that continues to take 1000’s of lives throughout the U.S.
The subsequent problem will likely be getting the vaccine into the arms of people that want it most. That features gaining their confidence regardless of circulating misinformation, a historical past of racism in healthcare, and a yr wherein nearly all the pieces — together with sporting masks — has turn into politicized.
“There’s an enormous amount of lack of trust in the country generally, and the communities that we especially target. Communities of color, Black Americans and Latinos — they have been the hardest hit by the pandemic,” stated Abner Mason, founder and CEO of ConsejoSano, a Los Angeles-based startup that works to attach healthcare suppliers and insurers with sufferers in a means that considers their language and tradition.
“You can’t just talk at people. You can’t order them to get a vaccine,” he added. “We’ve got to listen to them and address their concerns and answer their questions, and all of that requires building trust and communicating with them in a way that sends a clear signal that who they are is important.”
ConsejoSano simply raised $17 million in a sequence B spherical led by Magnetic Ventures. A number of massive insurers, together with UnitedHealth Group, Anthem and Blue Protect of California, work with the startup. It engages with 1.5 million sufferers who converse 25 totally different languages.
“The challenge is the U.S. healthcare system has not kept up with the demographic changes that the country has undergone,” Mason stated. “You have this population that is incredibly diverse and you have a healthcare system that was designed to engage the traditional English speaker that grew up in a traditional English-speaking environment.”
He began the corporate in 2017, after working in Mexico to cut back office discrimination round HIV testing. Whereas there, he seen an increase in telehealth options that had not but been broadly adopted within the U.S. He initially began ConsejoSano as a telehealth firm, and it later shifted to assist navigate extra individuals within the U.S. into clinics.
After the beginning of the pandemic, there was an enormous want to assist individuals discover out the place to hunt care. ConsejoSano despatched out ten occasions as many messages to sufferers as earlier than, Mason stated.
Initially, sufferers have been directed to not come into the clinic, however because the pandemic continued, ConsejoSano helped direct them to digital visits for the primary time. Lots of the federally certified well being facilities it really works with additionally have been providing telehealth for the primary time, because it hadn’t been reimbursed earlier than. For the reason that begin of the pandemic, the startup’s platform helped allow greater than 50,000 telehealth appointments for individuals lined by Medicare and Medicaid.
“These visits not only helped get people get the care that they needed, but they also helped keep the clinics open, so I’m really proud of that work,” Mason stated.
Photograph credit score: Sorbetto, Getty Photographs