Health Systems in Crisis
When I was 2 years old, my Mum was diagnosed with brain cancer. 2 years after her treatment, it came back with a vengeance as stage 4 brain cancer or Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). The average length of survival after a GBM diagnosis is 8 months and less than 1% of patients live longer than 10 years. My Mum was only 33 – my age now – with 3 little kids. I’ll be forever grateful that my Mum was the <1%. She lived for another 22 years after her GBM diagnosis.
15 years after her treatment ended, she lived in the US where doctors from Stanford took over her annual scans and health checks. They found it almost impossible to believe they had met such a long-term survivor of GBM. They had a local pathologist check her Australian files to ensure she wasn’t misdiagnosed by the Australian doctors 15 years earlier. The pathologist confirmed she did have GBM and she was one of the very few lucky ones to beat it. Although she lived for a long time after her initial diagnosis, no one ever studied her to better understand why she survived when almost everyone else didn’t.
When my first daughter was born, she had a skin condition for which we had to seek specialist medical care. There were various treatment options, each with their own risks, and we were getting conflicting medical advice from specialists. I remember nursing a newborn, searching the internet for academic papers on the side effects of potential treatment options and emailing summaries of pros/cons to my husband and both sets of grandparents as the gravity of making a medical decision for my child weighed so heavily on me as a new parent.
These are just some of my personal experiences. Healthcare is something that touches us all. There is so much to be thankful for in our modern medical systems. But these systems are also in crisis. Globally 1 in 3 people live with a chronic health condition.
There are 1 billion health-related Google searches every day. My experience trawling through academic papers is not unique. There must be a better way to give everyone access to personalised healthcare. This belief is what led Georgia and Kate to found Human.
Democratising access to personalised healthcare
Human is a scientific platform that captures what doctors, researchers and patients are learning about the most effective treatments at scale. Human will publish learnings on the most up-to-date discoveries and interventions by doctors and patients to help build personalised and data-driven treatment plans.
If Human existed when my Mum was alive, she could have contributed to research and influenced the treatments of other GBM patients. If Human existed when my daughter was born, I could have accessed simple data on the success of treatment options and learned from the world’s leading specialists in her condition.
There are very few health tech companies with missions as ambitious as Human’s. Building the future of personalised healthcare is not going to be easy. But at AirTree we don’t get excited about opportunities because they’re easy. We get excited about big, hard problems that need to be solved. And we back ambitious founders with the resilience to solve them.
Building a world-class team
Georgia and Kate are experienced operators building a world-class product supported by an exceptional team. They are incredibly motivated to reduce the unnecessary suffering from symptoms associated with chronic health conditions and their passion to solve this problem is contagious.
They’ve inspired world-renowned medical and scientific advisors to support their mission. One, in particular, commented after his first meeting with Georgia and Kate (after a cold outreach) “I see the fire in your bellies. I have no time, but I will give you time”. Another commented after seeing their pitch “I’ve been thinking about every slide in this deck for the last 15 years. This idea could revolutionize medicine”.
“I see the fire in your bellies. I have no time, but I will give you time”.
Georgia and Kate have also inspired a growing team of engineers, operators, product and design leaders, researchers and scientists to help bring their vision to life. One of the first things Georgia and Kate did when they founded Human was to create Human’s company values: Fix Systems, not symptoms; Be clear & be kind; Simpler is smarter; Build impact not empires; Lean into vulnerability; Enjoy the ride!
I love that they created Human from day 1 with these values top of mind in everything they did. For a young company, it’s clear they have already built an incredibly strong culture, and this will stand them in good stead as they scale their world-class team. If you’re keen to join the Human team - check out their open roles here.
Below is a picture of Georgia and Kate signing the AirTree term sheet for us to lead their seed round. I was on the other side of the camera smiling just as much. I’m proud to back Georgia, Kate and the entire Human team to give everyone access to personalised healthcare and I can’t wait to see their impact over the years to come!