PicnicHealth raises $35M to give patients access to their own medical records

Steven Loeb · September 1, 2020 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/50d5

The company also allows patients to approve their data to be used by research organizations

One of the biggest changes in healthcare in recent years is the higher level of control that patients are assuming of their own care. People are buying devices and wearables to better track their own numbers, in real-time, not just relying on their annual physical to know how they're doing.

Yet, when it comes to their own medical records, patients are still in the dark. That's where PicnicHealth comes in; the company takes patient medical records from doctors and EMRs and makes them accessible via a single, secure online account. It also allows patients to send their own records to be used in research studies as well.

"PicnicHealth started as a way to give patients more control navigating their own care. I founded PicnicHealth after managing a Crohn’s disease diagnosis. We quickly realized we were actually solving a much bigger problem by turning each patient’s messy, dispersed data into structured data. The result not only helps patients directly but it also really moves the needle on research," Noga Leviner, CEO of PicnicHealth, told me. 

On Wednesday, the company announced that it raised $35 million in equity financing, including a new $25 million Series B led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Amplify Partners, and a previously-unannounced $10 million Series A led by Amplify in 2018. Along with the funding, it was revealed that Sundeep Peechu, Managing Director of Felicis Ventures, has joined the board of directors at PicnicHealth.

Founded in 2014, PicnicHealth takes data that typically lives in multiple patient portal logins and can only be tracked down records with multiple forms and faxes, and gives patients, who are typically those who are managing a complex or chronic illness with multiple specialists, access to a single application that they can then share with their doctors.

"We collect patient health records on their behalf. With their authorization, we collect complete records including details unique to our approach, like doctor’s notes, imaging, and reports directly from patient’s providers," Leviner explained.

"We digitize and organize complete records using advanced Human in the Loop Machine Learning (HITL ML). Our team collates and digitizes every file. Our proprietary algorithm 'reads' the records and a nurse validates each transcription. This approach allows us to process records at scale while ensuring accuracy and improving the algorithm with each record."

Users are able to view their whole medical history in a timeline view that includes doctor notes, imaging, lab results, medications and more. Patients are also allowed to search for the information, which can also be shared with family members and healthcare providers. 

"PicnicHealth is the only company providing a comprehensive platform for patients. No one else is doing what we are doing, on the scale we are doing it. Dealing with health records can be a massive burden for someone who is already managing an illness," Leviner explained.

In addition to the tens of thousands of patients who are currently using the platform, PicnicHealth has also begun working with research organizations to allow them to use the data it has collected. In July, it announced the launch of the PicnicHealth Research Platform, which allows patients to give consent to share their de-identified data with researchers.

On the research side, it works with biopharma companies and academic researchers; PicnicHealth is already working with some of the world’s largest biopharma companies, including Roche and Genentech and, so far, the majority of its users have actively opted-in to share their data for research.

"For researchers, PicnicHealth gives unprecedented access to the most complete, richest data possible for their research, all of it based, from signup, on patient consent. This helps them move faster to create better treatments," said Leviner. 

PicnicHealth will use the new funding, in part to move into new disease areas; right now, it is working across more than a dozen conditions primarily in neurology, immunology, hematology, and rare disease. Going forward, areas of focus will include MS, Lupus, and IBD, along with rare conditions like hemophilia or sickle cell disease.  

The company also plans to building new research data sets, while also focusing on building out its engineering, machine learning, and clinical informatics capacities. Finally it will be expanding access to the platform to more patients.

The ultimate goal for PicnicHealth is to help medical records live up to their potential, Leviner said.

"Medical records have the potential to empower patients to feel a greater sense of control and get better care. They also have the power to move the needle by giving researchers a view of patient’s experiences getting care in the reality of our healthcare system.  Every day those things don’t happen, people are suffering in real and unnecessary ways.  Our goal is to change that."

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