The healthcare industry has been a very mysterious and closed one for so long. Technology, is one major tool that is letting people better understand the services, charges and billing procedures. But while many of these apps and online services are focused on helping consumers get a fair shake, one such startup focuses on helping hospitals and buyers discover and evaluate different medical devices.
This company, called Procured Health, announced Friday that is collected $1.1 million in seed funding from angels and VCs.
The investors in this young company include Zimmerman Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, NaviMed Capital’s Bijan Salehizadeh, CEO of Bloom Health Abir Sen, Kal Vepuri of Trisiras Group, former Athena Health CFO Carl Byers as well as Athena Health co-founder and CEO Jonathan Bush.
Buying medical supplies is a major cost that hospitals have to deal with. And the more hospitals pay for supplies, the more than cost gets rolled over to the patients that are already struggling with crippling bills. When you consider that the supplies hospitals buy make up about $125 billion every year and hospital purchasers don't often have the time to shop around for the best prices and evaluations individually, there is a lot of room for improvement.
Medical devices are approximately 20% - 25% of hospital expenses.
Procured Health's co-founder and CEO Hani Elias knew that their had to be a better way for hospitals to conduct their supply purchasing to help their expenses flow-through as well as help the patients.
Procured Health went through the Blueprint Health‘s accelerator earlier this year and attracted tech and health investors that see some serious promise in this service that can scale nationally to really reduce the healthcare billing burden that the country is struggling with.
This Web-based application allows doctors and hospital staff to share their feelings about various items and see who is using was products. Similar to the services and billing side that consumers deal with, there is not a lot of communication and transparency about medical devices, doctor preferences and pricing. This tool helps doctors express the items they use most, what their patients are saying, and allow doctors to see similar items and their prices -- this gives them the ability to make informed choices (keeping both price and efficiency in mind).
Castlight Health offers a similar service for consumers that want to know what they will be charged before the blood panels and x-rays are ordered. Information and empowerment seems to be the new tool to help fight the growing burden of healthcare -- especially when it looks insurance providers aren't upping their swath of coverage.
Castlight Health has also been very sucessful in getting VC funding, just a few months ago it snagged the largest round of healthcare funding in history bringing its support to $181 million.
While just in private beta, the company is gearing up for a full launch in early 2013.