PeraHealth raises $14M to help identify at-risk patients

The platform allow physicians to intervene sooner, leading to cost savings and better outcomes

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 10, 2017
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Physicians have a tough job, to say the least. One of the biggest reasons doctors have a tough time evaluating patients is the constant handoffs and shift changes during a patient's stay in the hospital.

This leads to problems, including growing costs from chronic diseases and infections. Sepsis, for example, kills 258,000 people in the U.S. every year and costs the U.S. healthcare system nearly $24 billion annually. It also leads to lower quality care for the patient, and puts their lives at risk. 

PeraHealth, a provider of predictive, real-time clinical surveillance solutions, is helping to solve this problem by visualizing and trending patient condition over time to help clinicians identify at-risk patients sooner for earlier intervention.

On Monday, the company announced that it closed $14 million in financing. The funding came from growth equity firm Mainsail Partners. The comoany had previously raised $6 million from angel investors and one strategic investor, Yale New Haven Health, and this financing now brings the total amount of capital raised by PeraHealth to approximately $20 million. 

Founded in 2011, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based PeraHealth uses its clinical platform to help to identify at risk patients sooner, for earlier intervention, through its own digital health solutions, as well as the Rothman Index, a proprietary patient acuity model and scoring system. It leverages over 50 measures available in the EHR, including labs, vitals, and nursing assessments. It can be used for all patients, diseases and conditions.

"The RI is the only general measure of patient condition, and is integral to an array of effective predictive analytics in healthcare. It leverages the investment hospitals have made in electronic health records, utilizing existing, real-time data to quantify and visualize patient acuity and risk," Stephanie Alexander, CEO of PeraHealth, told me.

"The RI is based on a heuristic model that uses a range of physiological measures, including labs, vitals, and most importantly nursing assessments. The model transforms each input into a common representation of univariate risk, allowing heterogeneous data to be summed, solving the data fusion problem. The result is a continuous measure of patient condition, integrated into the EHR, computed on a real-time basis across all conditions, diseases and care settings."

The platform is used by care providers at the unit and hospital level to help determine when to discharge patients; prioritize patient bedside visits and nursing assignments; improve documentation accuracy and timeliness; optimize ICU bed use; and identify opportunities for palliative care consults.

"Patients in the hospital are particularly at risk for infection and sepsis. PeraHealth’s surveillance solutions allow care providers to identify patients at elevated risk throughout the hospital stay, which improves both quality and cost outcomes," said Alexander.  "We are used by proactive, rapid response teams. Critical care nurses leverage PeraHealth solutions to identify at-risk patients sooner for earlier intervention. Other use cases include ICU optimization and identifying opportunities for palliative care consults. We help clinicians save more lives and manage resources more effectively."

PeraHealth solutions are in use by more than 80 hospitals. Customers include Yale New Haven Health System, Houston Methodist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Mission Health. PeraHealth products are integrated with all major EHR vendors, enabling care providers to monitor patients at the unit, hospital and system-level.

There are four things that separate PeraHealth from its competitors, Alexander said.

"First, measureable Outcomes. Customers have demonstrated meaningful clinical improvements, like reductions in mortality rates, by using PeraHealth. Second, ease of use. Meaning, the ease by which customers can access the tools via their electronic health records and integrated with their existing workflow," she said.

"Third, credible science. We found the science was well reviewed by the healthcare scientific community with more 20 peer-reviewed articles, and most impressive is the most recent sepsis research published in the Journal of Critical Care. Finally, our strong leadership team, who have decades of healthcare and technology experience."

The new funding will be used to expand PeraHealth’s internal team, including additions to the company’s customer service and clinical adoption teams, and support ongoing research and development. The company currently has around 50 employees, and is looking to add six to 10 new positions in the coming months.

It will also be used to expand PeraWatch and PeraMobile. PeraWatch is a virtual surveillance platform for remote RNs to monitor patients and manage bed utilization across the entire health system. PeraMobile is a mobile application of current product, PeraTrend, for on the go clinicians.

"PeraHealth is lowering the costs associated with the most expensive illnesses by helping clinicians identify patients most in need of care sooner, for earlier intervention through the use of its digital health solutions and the Rothman Index," said Alexander.