Lumere: A digest for doctors overwhelmed by studies

By one count, more than 2 million scientific studies are published each year in some 28,000 journals. It’s the rare physician or hospital these days that isn’t drowning in data and statistics. This is where Lumere enters the picture.  

Lumere is a software subscription service that aggregates all of the most important health care studies, on new medical devices and medications in particular, and distills the information into a sort of medical shorthand for the time-pressed doctor or hospital administrator. The Loop company, founded in 2012 as Procured Health, has a staff of 96, with clinical researchers combing the internet each day for authoritative new research working alongside software and data engineers who upload the information onto proprietary programs that doctors and hospitals pay for each month.  

Eric Meizlish, 36, president and a co-founder of Lumere, sat down with Crain’s Chicago Business recently to talk about the work his company is doing.  

Crain’s: Don’t doctors and hospitals subscribe to many of these journals themselves? Why do they need a Lumere filter on the information? 


Meizlish: It’s not efficient for doctors and hospitals to do this kind of research. In health care there is a lot of emphasis put on doctors practicing at the top of their license. Reading literature is not top of license. It’s more crucial to be in front of the patient.  

Our study team, many of them with Ph.D.s and even M.D.s, comes from research backgrounds. They’re trained to look at studies, which are often sponsored by device makers and drug makers, and critique the evidence. How much of what you read and hear is objective, and how much of it is marketing that sales reps are likely to be repeating? We’ve studied over 78,000 peer-reviewed articles. Nobody else is so comprehensive. In sum, we give people easy access to all the information in the market. In particular, we show our audience how the latest information and research interacts with the older body of information.  

Q: Can you give an example of where your intervention has been valuable?  

A: Abbott Labs introduced a biodegradable coronary stent to the market two or three years ago. It had FDA approval, but from the studies we were seeing in some places it became clear that the product was no more effective than older stents. In fact, the dissolving of the stent caused harm as it set off inflammation that promoted blood clogging. The benefits, in the end, were minimal and the risks substantial. More recently, Abbot has announced it’s taking the stent off the market. We were early to present research warning about this product.  

Q: Who is behind Lumere? 

A: My partners are our CEO, Hani Elias, a Harvard grad who once worked at McKinsey evaluating health care companies, and William Danford, who is our chief technology officer. I grew up in Connecticut, with both my mother and father physicians, but majored in economics and math at Yale. We are all in our mid-30s.  

We got $1.1 million in seed money, then in 2014 we raised another $4 million in a second round and then in 2016 we got $10 million. The money all came from venture capital firms, with Heritage Group in Nashville our biggest investor so far. Last year we grew 30 percent. Our revenues are running in excess of $10 million a year. Our renewal rates on our service run over 95 percent.  

Q: How deeply have you penetrated the market so far?  

A: We now work with more than 500 hospitals, which is about 10 percent of the market. We aren’t marketing ourselves to individual physician practices yet, though we might do that in time. We got our start by studying medical devices, but last year we launched into the pharmacy space for the first time. We got into pharmacy as we noticed that drugs are often approved for narrow applications while later on they are prescribed within a much wider variety of treatments. We aren’t building in barriers to the use of these drugs, but we do think that physicians need to be informed about what is effective and appropriate.  

Q: It would seem that part of your appeal is your status as an independent company. Larger health care companies might someday want to acquire you, however.  

A: We can continue to be an independent business for a long time. We do have institutional investors who will eventually want to see a return, but they all have long-term time horizons. And we’ve never explored the possibility of making acquisitions ourselves. We don’t do any testing ourselves, either. That doesn’t interest us.