February 16, 2016

Ensuring Trust in Healthcare for Everyone

Protenus Raises $4 Million Series A to Protect Patient Privacy on a National Scale

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Protenus, the leader in next-generation privacy protection solutions for electronic medical record systems, has raised $4 mm in a Series A round led by Arthur Ventures. Protenus is also pleased to receive the support of LionBird Venture Capital, DreamIt Ventures, Cognosante, TEDCO, and the Baltimore Angels.

“Nick and I started Protenus as medical students to tackle a huge problem in Health IT today—the lack of privacy and security present in electronic medical records, particularly with respect to employee snooping and insider threats, ” said Protenus Co-Founder Robert Lord.

“Essentially, we’ve built an immune system for patient data that identifies when medical records are accessed inappropriately, ” notes Protenus Co-Founder Nick Culbertson. “Our product gives health systems the ability to deeply understand how and why medical records are accessed, and whether or not there is a legitimate reason to look at a given patient’s medical or financial information. ”

Protenus’ holistic approach to anomaly detection prioritizes the most suspicious events, so that health systems are able to focus on actual threats rather than noise and false positives. Their interactive forensic platform, easy-to-use visualizations, and automated reporting take the normally laborious and weeks-long process of investigating and resolving cases down to a just a few minutes.

Protenus currently protects data throughout Johns Hopkins Health System, and is in the midst of pilots with Inova Health System in Virginia, as well as Maryland’s regional HIE, CRISP, covering interchanges of data between nearly all health systems in the Maryland/DC area. Sage Growth Partners, a Baltimore-based Health IT consulting firm and advisor to Protenus, was instrumental in establishing the CRISP pilot and supporting Protenus. Johns Hopkins has been a partner to Protenus since its inception, with the university’s dedication to protecting patient privacy serving as an important catalyst to the development of the product.

James Burgum, the managing partner of Arthur Ventures, notes that “the proliferation of electronic medical records has elevated protecting patient data to a top priority within healthcare, and it’s no longer acceptable to passively address this problem. The team at Protenus has assisted world-class healthcare systems with proactively identifying and neutralizing internal threats to patient data by leveraging modern data analytics techniques not seen in today’s healthcare market. Arthur Ventures could not be more excited to join Protenus on this meaningful journey to protect patient privacy. ”

Protenus is a Baltimore-based firm started by Robert Lord and Nick Culbertson, Johns Hopkins medical students who knew there was a better way to protect patient privacy from inappropriate accesses and abuse. Prior to medical school, Culbertson served as a US Army Special Forces Operator, and Robert worked at Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund in Westport, CT. Nick and Robert are joined by a diverse team of talented data scientists, engineers, and designers. The team has benefited greatly from the Baltimore ecosystem, and is proud to build their company in the region.

“Fundamentally, we can’t think of a better place to grow Protenus than Baltimore, ” said Culbertson. “With the deep talent pool available, the supportive business community, and the state and local leadership in the realms of Cybersecurity and Health IT, we have been blown away by the support of the region in making what we do a success. ”

Given that the product has demonstrated its effectiveness, producing significant gains in both detection and resolution of threats versus existing solutions, the next step for Protenus is to scale to additional markets. “We’re tremendously excited to grow our sales, marketing and implementation teams with this additional funding, expanding our reach and market to other leading-edge healthcare institutions, ” said Lord. “Through partnering with Arthur Ventures, LionBird and the rest of our world-class investors, we are excited to bring a new standard for protecting patient privacy to every hospital in the US and beyond. ”


Protenus helps hospitals protect patient privacy in the electronic medical record by using advanced analytics to detect HIPAA violations in real time. The Protenus Privacy-as-a-Service platform consists of both a continuously-learning analytical engine to detect inappropriate accesses, as well as a next-generation forensics platform that puts necessary information at the fingertips of compliance and security officers. By changing detection and resolution times from months to minutes, and removing the false positives and noise that plague other insider threat systems, Protenus ensures that every patient, from high-profile celebrities to the patient next door, is treated like a VIP with respect to their patient data.


Founded in 2008, Arthur Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on partnering with early-stage software companies anywhere outside of Silicon Valley. The firm has offices in Fargo, North Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Additional information on Arthur Ventures can be found at arthurventures.com.