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Baltimore-based Protenus raises $4 million

The Baltimore-based health tech startup Protenus has raised $4 million in Series A financing, executives announced Tuesday.

Founded by a pair of Johns Hopkins medical students, the company offers privacy protection services for electronic medical record systems. The Protenus platform uses data analysis to detect when data is being accessed inappropriately, turning “compliance officers into superheroes,” according to its website.

“Essentially, we’ve built an immune system for patient data,” Protenus co-founder Nick Culbertson said in a statement. “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 for financial information.”

The Protenus system is currently used throughout the Johns Hopkins Health System and in several pilot efforts, including one using the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients, which allows most Maryland health systems to share patient data.

The recent fundraising round was led by Arthur Ventures, which has offices in Fargo, North Dakota and Minneapolis.

“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,” James Burgum, managing partner of Arthur Ventures, said in a statement. “The team at Protenus has assisted world-class healthcare systems with proactively identifying internal threats to patient data by leveraging modern data analytics techniques not seen in today’s healthcare market.”

Protenus has also received support from local funding sources such as the Maryland Technology Development Corp., DreamIt Ventures and the Baltimore Angels. The Baltimore-area startup ecosystem has been good for the company, Culbertson said.

“Fundamentally, we can’t think of a better place to grow Protenus than Baltimore,” he said in a statement. “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.”