Getting in to see a doctor can be a trial in and of itself. The average wait time to see a specialist is 20.5 days. And then if you have follow-up questions later, you might find yourself playing a game of phone tag with the receptionist. The cold, hard truth is that doctors are strapped for time—which means they spend an average of 1.3 minutes conveying crucial information about diagnosis and treatment.
Healthloop was founded to solve that problem and give medical professionals and patients an easier way to keep in touch. The company announced Monday that it has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Canvas Venture Fund, a $175 million early stage fund started by three Morgenthaler Ventures partners. Rebecca Lynn, managing director of Canvas Venture Fund, will join Healthloop’s board of directors. This is Canvas Venture Fund's first investment.
Healthloop got its start when founder Dr. Jordan Shlain had a patient who ended up in emergency care after experiencing symptoms that weren’t reported between visits. Shlain began dutifully following up with each patient and keeping track of their symptoms via spreadsheet, but that solution was unsustainable. Shlain ended up hiring a software developer and created Healthloop for his practice.
The service guides patients into building a profile and sends out alerts and reminders, such as when to take medications and when to stop. Doctors can use the service to quickly check in with patients and find out how they’re doing between visits. For example, if a patient has knee surgery, her doctor can use Healthloop to touch base with her between visits to find out what kinds of symptoms she’s experiencing (redness, swelling, etc.).
Doctors can get alerts quickly on their mobile devices and respond to patient questions and concerns on the fly.
"After looking at hundreds of health IT startups, we felt HealthLoop was the best positioned for success because it strengthens the relationship between a doctor and a patient," said Rebecca Lynn, in a statement. "The HealthLoop team has an outstanding vision for the future of healthcare and the expertise to execute on it."
Lynn is also the founder of the annual health IT startup competition “DC to VC,” which brings together policy makers, startups, and venture capitalists to discuss and showcase new ideas. Healthloop was a finalist at the 2012 “DC to VC” event.
“Medicine, at its best, is a conversation between a doctor and a patient," said Dr. Jordan Shlain, in a statement. "But conversations take time, and time is the most depleted resource in our healthcare system today. We're reimagining the doctor-patient experience, using technology to empower these pivotal relationships."