HealthTap quietly acquires physician app startup Docphin

By Brian Dolan
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Palo Alto-based health tech company HealthTap has quietly acquired Docphin, a startup that makes it easier for physicians to find and read medical research, for an undisclosed sum. Docphin was a member of Rock Health's second accelerator class back in 2012 as well as StartUp Health's second class of startups later that same year. The company, which was founded in 2010, never publicly announced a round of funding but it appears to have raised about $1.6 million mostly in its early years. Romulus Capital was among its backers.

Interestingly, Docphin's former CEO and Co-Founder Sachin Nanavati is part of the health team at Facebook, according to his LinkedIn profile. He made the move in February.

HealthTap recently invited Docphin's physician users to join HealthTap's community of physicians. Healthtap has more than 85,000 physicians registered as users, according to its marketing online, but the email to physicians indicated that number was now more than 100,000. The email made no mention of plans to integrate Docphin's offering into HealthTap's platform.

"We’ve recently acquired Docphin, and found your profile worthy to be featured as a leading doctor on HealthTap, where top licensed doctors can take advantage of the many free benefits exclusive for them," the email, which was signed by HealthTap Chief Medical Officer Geoffrey W. Rutledge, read. It went on to list the benefits to HealthTap users as including: Get Curbside Consults from more than 92,000 colleagues; present and discuss Global Rounds cases; earn unlimited free category 1 CME; message any doctor (secure, HIPAA compliant); among others.

Docphin described itself to doctors as "the best way to keep up with medical research". It made it easier for physicians to follow particular journal titles, set up alerts, search PubMed, and access more than 1,000 articles by specialty, topic, or drug class. The company also sent a weekly, personalized email summarizing trending articles personalized for the physicians. The app had about 60,000 physician users around the world.

HealthTap offers consumers a variety of health tech tools, services, and online health educational content, but these days it gives top billing to its Live Virtual Consults visits. The company offers its paying consumer members unlimited medical advice from doctors through chat, video visits, or audio only visits via mobile app or web browser.