Tablet-based waiting room check-in company Phreesia raises $30M

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 23, 2014        

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PhreesiaPadNew York City-based Phreesia, which offers a tablet-based patient check-in and payment service to healthcare providers, has raised $30 million in funding led by private equity firm LLR Partners. The company says it plans to use the investment to accelerate product development and broaden its customer base around the US. Return backers HLM Venture Partners and Ascension Ventures also contributed to the round. Phreesia’s other previous investors include BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Long River Ventures, Sandbox Industries, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Polaris Partners. The latest investment round takes Phreesia’s total, publicly-disclosed funding up to about $60 million.

When patients visit a practice that uses Phreesia’s technology they are handed a tablet device enclosed in a bright orange case. Patients then use this tablet to check-in, pay co-pays or other outstanding balances, fill out surveys from their provider, and sign consent forms. The company has EHR and practice management integrations with offerings from companies including athenahealth, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, and NextGen Healthcare.  Keep reading>>


CareSync raises $4.25M for personal health record, care coordination services

By: Aditi Pai | Oct 23, 2014        

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CareSyncTampa, Florida-based personal health record developer CareSync raised $4.25 million in a round led by Tullis Health Investors, Clearwell Group, CDH Solutions, and CareSync CEO Travis Bond.

The funding will help the company scale its operations and invest in its sales and marketing teams.

“We began with a vision to create a patient-centered health platform that would empower individuals to own all of their data and collaborate with others to better manage their health,” Bond said in a statement. “Three years later, we have realized that goal of connecting people around a single source of health information, and plan to use this financing to quickly expand our national reach.”

CareSync’s product, available on the web or on mobile devices, helps caregivers and patients keep track of medical records or medical records for family members.  Keep reading>>

UK health and fitness tracking market to double next year

By: Jonah Comstock | Oct 22, 2014        

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Basis 2A new report from Kantar Media estimates that the value of the health and fitness wearable technology market in Great Britain is between £225 million and £375 million, or $360 million to $601 million. They estimate 13.1 million British people will be using health and fitness wearables by 2015, more than double the 6.7 million people (or about 10 percent of the country) tracking metrics like steps, fitness levels, and heart rate currently.

Kantar’s market analysis includes free apps, paid apps and devices. They surveyed 2,000 participants aged 16 and older throughout Great Britain. According to the data, half of the 6.7 million users are only using free apps. Devices make up 79 percent of the remaining, paid half — about 2.6 million users. Accounting for 7 percent of the market that uses both devices and paid apps, that leaves 28 percent, or about a million users, using only a paid app for tracking.

The survey respondents who used mostly free apps did express an intention to purchase mobile health devices in the future. Eighty-four percent said they were likely to purchase either devices or paid apps in the future. And 88 percent of participants who said they planned to use wearable technology in 2015 said they would likely purchase a device.  Keep reading>>

Illinois medical group to use Apple Watch in disease management pilot

By: Aditi Pai | Oct 22, 2014        

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Apple WatchSpringfield, Illinois-based Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) has launched a pilot program to examine how nurses and physicians can integrate the Apple Watch into the medical group’s Advanced Medical Home program.

HSHS’ Advanced Medical Home program, which has a total of 1,100 patients, uses nurse navigators to offer specialized care to high-risk patients with chronic diseases. While the patients in this program are also participating in face-to-face visits, the program plans to expand their health monitoring efforts by using the Apple Watch and potentially other healthcare tools.

“When I think about connectivity and using applications and remote monitoring technology, I see two big baskets,” HSHS Medical Group Chief Quality Officer Andrew Bland told MobiHealthNews. “First is the consumer side, which is what the Apple Watch, iPhone, etc exists in. And the second is intensive medical monitoring. For us right now would mean FDA-compliant devices with security and HIPAA protection.”

On the consumer side, Bland said, it would be beneficial for patients to track their health and ask questions if they notice variations in their heart rate, blood pressure, or weight. He explained that while a doctor could look at the data and say ‘Yeah, I think this is absolutely normal, what this shows is your heart rate variability and your exercise intensity are entirely appropriate for what you’re doing. Keep doing this,’ he could also say ‘You know there is some cause for concern with what we’re looking at and we need to do further testing.’

The Apple Watch, which was unveiled in early September, will track movement through a built-in accelerometer and heart rate through optical sensors in the back of the device. It will extrapolate further data from the GPS and WiFi on the user’s iPhone. The Apple Watch is set to launch in early 2015, so the HSHS pilot is planning to begin shortly after its launch.  Keep reading>>

Telcare raises $32.5 million for cellular-enabled glucose meter, to expand to related conditions

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 22, 2014        

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Telcare appsBethesda, Maryland-based cellular-enabled blood glucose meter company Telcare has raised $32.5 million led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Mosaic Health Solutions and existing backers The Qualcomm Life Fund and Sequoia Capital. The latest round of funding takes Telcare’s total disclosed funding to north of $60 million.

Telcare offers a diabetes management package that includes a cellular-enabled glucose meter with two-way messaging that transmits to an FDA-cleared care management server, in addition to iPhone and Android apps that help keep family members in the loop about the progress of loved ones with diabetes.

“Telcare is capitalizing on two trends: the need to provide better care at lower cost, and the innovation in mobile, connected devices to provide timely clinical care,” Casper de Clercq, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners said in a statement. “Diabetes is a chronic condition which is demanding for both patients and care givers. Telcare’s FDA-cleared cloud and connected sensors represent a step change in the management of this condition at a fraction of diabetes related medical costs. Our investment in the company speaks to its leadership in digital health through collaboration with providers, payors and the FDA.”

Notably, Clercq also said that the funding will help Telcare expand beyond diabetes.

“The capital will allow Telcare to broaden its impact in diabetes and expand the platform to related chronic conditions,” he said.

In JAMA study, Castlight shows price transparency brings modest savings

By: Jonah Comstock | Oct 22, 2014        

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Castlight Mobile AppsIn the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Castlight Health have published what they believe is the first study linking price transparency to cost savings. The study of more than 500,000 Castlight users demonstrated modest savings for lab tests, advanced imaging, and clinician office visits.

“Although it is widely perceived that greater transparency of pricing information should reduce health care costs, to our knowledge, no prior studies have shown this using private price transparency platforms,” study authors wrote. “We examined the association between the availability of health service prices to patients and the total claims payments (the total amount paid by patient and insurer) for these services. We hypothesized that providing personalized price information would allow patients to identify and choose less expensive providers resulting in lower payments for medical services.”

Researchers analyzed claims data from 18 employers working with Castlight and selected the 500,000 users who had made use of relevant services. They identified the users who had done a search on the same service they were receiving up to 14 days prior to the procedure. This “searcher” group had 116,000 members, while 386,000 non-searchers were identified.  Keep reading>>