The Fund Spotlight Interview: Troy Bannister of Particle Health

The Fund Founder Spotlight

Welcome to The Founder Spotlight where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at The Fund. This week the spotlight is on Troy Bannister, CEO and co-founder of Particle Health, a healthcare data and API platform that helps enforce compliance and improve transparency into patient records.

Getting access to medical records is a pain in the you-know-what. Troy Bannister, CEO and co-founder of Particle Health, along with co-founder Dan Horbatt realized that there needed to be a better digital solution to improve patient care through quick and easy medical record retrieval, which is why they built Particle Health. The user-friendly API platform for healthcare innovators is shaping the new standard for healthcare data exchange. Troy has an extensive background in the healthcare industry and is focused on lowering the barrier of entry as much as possible and improving patient care and outcomes, maintaining regulatory compliance, boosting efficiency, and lowering costs. 

  • How did you come up with the idea for Particle Health and why now?

I've been in healthcare my whole life. I worked as an EMT. I went to med school. I did clinical research and I worked in venture capital in a small firm in the healthcare space. I kept seeing the same problem over and over again - everybody needed access to medical data and nobody could get access. I figured somebody’s got to build a network that everybody can use, so that’s the reason I started Particle Health. 

  • What’s Particle Health’s “Northstar”?

Our Northstar is that we build the foundation and pipes for the entrepreneur in the garage who's never built a company in healthcare - that they are able to create an account and start building and focusing on the product. If you're a healthcare company, you have to go work with the hospitals to get access to the data and provide services, but what if you didn't? What if you could get access to that data and sell directly to consumers or sell to other types of organizations? Our thesis is that if we do this right, then we'll start to see the same things happen in healthcare that happened in finance with companies like Venmo and Robinhood, and so that's truly the Northstar.

  • What sets Particle Health apart from other competitors?

There aren’t a lot of companies out there doing what we are. It took us a long time to build our product and it's a really high start-bar to get all this completed and actually have a product that works and can get access to everybody's medical records. I think the main difference from any other group out there is we're really focused on data as our product. We don't have a UI/UX. We don't have a front end. There's nothing for a doctor to log into and use. It's purely an API and all of our resources are going into the data and making sure the data is as clean, comprehensive, standardized and actionable as possible. That's our real focus and main differentiator. We parse all the data we receive into what's called FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), and it's the new standard in healthcare, so that's a huge value-add that we provide.

  • How does Particle Health inspire “customer love”?

So a lot is changing in healthcare right now, from a regulatory and compliance standpoint. There are three big pieces of legislation that have passed:

  1. Promoting Interoperability Programs - it’s a bit older and it's really trying to incentivize EMRs (electronic medical records), hospitals, and doctors to share data with each other. 

  2. The 21st Century Cures Act - it’s an anti-information blocking act and basically says that consumers/patients have the right to access their data any way they want - not by fax machine because the hospital decides that's the way they're going to do it. Everyone should have the right to access their records by modern technologies, like APIs. 

  3. TEFCA (Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement) - it establishes a way to standardize data exchange across the country.

Particle Health plays into all three of these. Our API is compliant and built to all these standards and so what's great from a customer perspective is that they often don't understand this stuff and it's all new to them. We are experts in this space, so most of the time we provide a lot of education in our first sales call. I think that customers who have adapted Particle Health are seeing unique, differentiating advantages.

  • Do you have any books you could recommend to other founders?

I'm not a big business book person, but I did just read one that blew my mind. It's called The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. As I was reading it I thought he wrote it just for me. It hit every little pain point and big pain point I've felt starting this company and if I had read it before and memorized it, it would have been hugely beneficial.

If you’re interested in job opportunities with Particle Health click here!

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