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October 5, 2020

Taking on COVID-19: How 5 Healthcare Companies are Making a Difference


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters ravaging many parts of the country, and one of the most polemical political years in U.S. history, 2020 feels like the plot of a Michael Bay film.  There couldn’t be a more dramatic backdrop for our portfolio founders and companies.  Even in the best of years, running a startup or growth-stage company requires unbelievable bravery, conviction, and grit. In 2020, it takes even more.

At Norwest, the healthcare team is incredibly proud to be partnered with exceptional founders driving innovation across the healthcare ecosystem.  Despite the unexpected challenges of 2020, many of our founders and teams are doing exactly what growth-stage companies do best: leaning into adversity and making rapid and decisive business adjustments to take our collective, invisible enemy head-on.  We want to highlight a few of these stories to recognize the steadfast teams turning 2020’s proverbial lemons into lemonade.

Qventus is a healthcare IT company that uses AI and ML to automate hospital operations. 

COVID-19 has taken a significant financial and operational toll on health systems. With the deferral and disappearance of elective surgery revenue, coupled with the loss of insurance for numerous patients, and the operational challenges created by surges of COVID-19 patients, hospitals are in need of solutions to help them manage the rapidly changing environment of hospital care.

Qventus worked with health system partners to develop new COVID solutions, including:

  • Free COVID Scenario Planners: uses AI and epidemiological models to plan for COVID cases and critical resource constraints, elective surgeries, PPE, and post-acute demand — all at a local hospital level (and 2 – 20X more accurate than other leading models).
  • Critical Resource Mission Control: gives incident command centers real-time visibility into negative airflow isolation rooms, ventilators, ICU beds, and more — across facilities and broader systems.
  • ICU & Med-Surg Capacity Creation: uses ML to identify candidates for early ICU stepdown and Med-Surg discharges, unlocking additional capacity with a hospital’s existing staff.

These Qventus solutions are being used by over 1,100 organizations, from large health systems to local and state health departments, up through the highest levels of the federal government.

Clever Care Health Plan is an ethnic-sensitive Medicare Advantage plan launching in Southern California in 2021.  Clever Care offers much-improved access to the healthcare system for many underserved communities, by providing members with native-language service, access to a broad network of native-language and culturally-aligned providers from the highest-quality institutions, as well as easy access to Eastern natural medicine.  

In 2021, Clever Care will be launching the “COVID Peace of Mind” which will provide members with $0 out-of-pocket costs for any COVID-related illness, including hospitalizations and transportation costs.  This will be in addition to $0 preventative care visits and $0 co-pay access to telemedicine consultations.  In a time where access to high-quality healthcare has never been more important, we are proud of the work Clever Care is doing to reduce healthcare inequalities and provide maximal access for their members.

Monogram Health leverages innovative care models developed by world-renowned nephrologists, a wide array of integrated home-based care managed clinical services, and artificial intelligence to transform care for patients living with chronic kidney (“CKD”) and end-stage renal disease (“ESRD”).  

Given the acuity and co-morbidities associated with CKD and ESRD, Monogram estimated that >95% of their program participants were highly at-risk for COVID-19.  In the midst of the pandemic and “shelter in place” orders, Monogram increased the frequency of member interactions and visits, including providing behavioral health and social support to isolated and lonely members.  

Monogram also rolled out urgent need telehealth capabilities to drive additional high-touch care in the safest possible manner.  Monogram’s interventions have kept numerous patients out of the hospital while ensuring continuity of care and maintaining the cadence of important non-hospital physician procedures (including vascular access surgery).  

The company is proud to have provided this high-touch care through a pandemic while keeping its clinical staff safe – no field clinicians contracted COVID-19 through advanced safety protocols.  Avoiding hospital care within high-risk populations while keeping clinicians safe is a major win amongst a global pandemic.

Gateway Learning Group is a leading provider of autism therapy services. Early in 2020, Gateway was faced with an unprecedented challenge: transforming the company’s practices to make autism therapy safe in the age of COVID. 

At the outset of the COVID crisis, the Gateway team paused most services and began meeting daily to plan a company transformation. Knowing how critical it is to minimize any gaps in services for Gateway’s vulnerable client population, the team began rolling out service adjustments within days and was able to restart services for most clients within two weeks. 

Practice changes included the intensive use of telehealth therapy combined with comprehensive health and safety upgrades for in-person therapy. These changes paid off with client and staff trust reaching an all-time high, allowing Gateway to serve more clients with more impactful services.


Target RWE is a leader in the real world evidence space, providing high-quality real-world data and insights for use across the pharmaceutical industry.  In response to the global pandemic, Target RWE quickly mobilized its clinical site network and turnkey solutions to begin collecting data on COVID-19 patients. 

To date, Target has collected data on more than 100,000 COVID patients from over 350 hospitals across the country. The data generated and analyzed continues to help physicians and pharmaceutical companies understand the real-world challenges of hospitalized patients and how to improve their care.  Target has taken an active role in helping to advance our understanding of this health challenge. 

From helping keep high-risk patients healthy and ensuring the safety of clinicians, to ensuring care continuity by rapidly deploying technological resources, to helping hospitals and biopharmaceutical companies understand, predict, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norwest’s healthcare portfolio has effectively mobilized during one of the most difficult years in recent history.  

We’re proud of the grit, fortitude, and innovative approaches of the teams behind these companies, and the many sleepless nights they endure to deliver industry-changing results and help those afflicted by COVID-19.  Thanks to our founders and teams!