By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“A common friend in health tech introduced us,” says Guru Kora, Chief Technology Officer at Pluto Health, in describing how he connected with Satasuk “Joy” Bhosai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the start-up focused on empowering patients with their personal health data.
“The world is very small in health technology,” Bhosai says. “I knew of Guru’s work before we connected.” Kora served as a Research Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before founding his own company – Live Analytics LLC and running PYA Analytics as Chief Technology Officer before it got acquired by Verana Health, a Google Ventures-backed healthcare and life sciences company, where he served as Vice President for Technology and ran their engineering and technology teams.
Together, the duo is committed to making it much easier for health stakeholders and patients to access their health data from multiple places, no matter where it is stored, so patients are empowered with their health data and can work with providers to effectively manage their health.
“We’re building something that is really cool,” Bhosai believes. She launched Pluto Health in 2020, and Kora was advising her for several months before joining the company last November. Pluto Health has raised $2.5 million from venture capitalists, notably who have backed notable companies such as Maven, Everlywell, Pandora, and DropBox. Pluto Health has generated some revenue from helping with clinical trials.
Both Bhosai and Kora say the start-up is sparked by the rise of consumerism in the healthcare sector. Their business model calls for the company to generate revenue from health providers, insurance plans, and researchers such as those in clinical trials.
“We’re highly committed to never charging a patient,” Bhosai says. Instead, as Kora adds, “You want patients to be part of the journey. We want to empower and help them be more engaged with their health.”
That involves accelerating the “slow moving elephant,” as he describes healthcare. With new federal regulations encouraging making individual patient records more accessible, Kora believes the timing is now.
“We build the pipes so individuals and their providers get better access to the data,” Bhosai explains, citing several unique facts that differentiate Pluto Health from other companies in the sector. “We have innovated around the patient experience so that the process is streamlined and we take privacy seriously. We are the only company I know of in the space so far that is committed to not selling your data to unnamed third parties. And, we create avenues for patients to get insights into their care.”
Bhosai is a hospital medicine physician and former Fulbright Scholar who earned a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University and her Doctor of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco. The Central Valley of California native is back in her home state temporarily, but plans to eventually return to North Carolina where Bhosai completed did a residency in internal medicine with a concentration in management and leadership at Duke University.
Kora is a seasoned entrepreneur motivated in solving healthcare problems the U.S. is facing currently. His prior ventures were sold to Transparency Health and Verana Health. Prior to that, Guru played a vital role in U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Genomes To Life” program and other high performance computing programs initiated by DOE and the Department of Homeland Security. He earned his Masters of Science in Computer Science from Chicago.
The company expects its first product for individuals to be available soon.