Health Gorilla raises $15M to assist digital health companies with accessing clinical data

Steven Loeb · March 2, 2021 · Short URL:

The company's provides APIs so that these companies can pull that data from EMRs and labs

Data in healthcare has exploded in a pretty short amount of, to the tune of a nearly 900 percent increase from 2016 to 2019. Despite, or more likely because, there's so much of it now now, it's incredibly difficult and time consuming for a digital health company to access a patient's clinical data.

"Many digital health companies are now caring directly for patients, but getting the patient's medical history or lab data traditionally requires a direct integration with each individual EMR or lab. Each integration takes six months and requires specialized engineering resources," Steve Yaskin, CEO and co-founder of Health Gorilla, a provider of healthcare APIs designed streamline access to the transfer of that data, told me. 

"Ultimately, it just takes the focus away from building your unique product. We wanted to help product and engineering teams access clinical data in a truly seamless way, and that's what inspired us to start Health Gorilla."

On Tuesday the company announced it raised $15 million in Series B financing co-led by IA Capital and Nationwide, with participation from Aflac Ventures, Epsilon Health Investors and existing investors including True Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $28.7 million.

Along with the funding, the company also added a new member to its board, IA Capital General Partner Matt Perlman.

"We are honored to welcome Matt and IA Capital to our board, and we know his insights and expertise will be crucial as we expand our partnerships across the insurance industry. Matt deeply understands the need for comprehensive health data to inform risk, and we'll be teaming with him closely as we scale up our insurance partnerships," said Yaskin.

Founded in 2014, Health Gorilla's APIs help developers access clinical data from a vast network or EMR systems and labs. That means that they no longer need to integrate with LabCorp or Quest or Epic or Cerner; if they are involved in the treatment of a patient, they can code once against the company's API and then instantly access data from thousands of different vendors in Health Gorilla's network. That includes all the major EMR and lab organizations.

Health Gorilla's customers include Heal, a provider of doctor house calls; K Health, a company that deploys a machine that can mimic different diagnosis; DrChrono, a cloud based EHR, medical billing software company; and Virta Health, a digital therapeutic designed to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

In the case of Virta, for example, it uses Gorilla Health's APIs to track lab values for their patients, enabling revenue recognition from their payer customers, as well as to automatically trigger lab orders for any patient enrolling in or receiving treatment in their diabetes management program. Virta places approximately 6,000 calls to Health Gorilla's API every week.

In terms of ROI, the way that Health Gorilla and Yaskin thinks about it is in terms of the impact on patients and the improved care they ultimately receive from the customers who use its APIs.

"Customers are able to improve patient outcomes and decrease administrative costs through automation, efficiency, and time-saving processes, all built on Health Gorilla’s suite of APIs," he said.

"Our customers use our APIs to retrieve comprehensive medical records, get lab and imaging data, and, ultimately, empower consumers to store their own data on their mobile device."

In 2020, Health Gorilla expanded its scope beyond digital health, forming new partnerships with state government organizations, payers, and health systems; the company plans to use the new funding to accelerate its expansion into those business verticals, which are shifting to becoming technology-first.

"As health systems, insurance companies, government agencies, and other health-related organizations scale up their engineering teams, they run into the same pain point - accessing clinical data is difficult, time consuming, and resource-intensive," Yaskin explained.

"By simply integrating with our APIs, they can begin accessing and exchanging clinical data with a vast network of EMRs within a few weeks."

In addition, Health Gorilla will invest more heavily in patient access solutions, introducing new APIs that will enable consumer access to medical records, payer-to-payer data sharing, and data quality assessments. At the same time, its APIs will help reduce the burden on digital health company of complying with regulatory changes in Washington, including ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule, which requires many healthcare organizations to provide patients with electronic access to their medical records.

"Our Patient Access API allows developers to enable consumers to securely authenticate their identity, retrieve their own health records electronically from a vast network of EMRs, and securely store their records on their mobile device. For organizations that need to comply with the new rule or want to proactively empower patients with their data, this API dramatically reduces the complexity of building a consumer solution from scratch."

The big vision for Health Gorilla is to make sure that providers have access to a complete set of health information for every patient. That includes social determinants of health, wearable data, and genomics, following the belief that patients can only receive the highest quality of care when providers are empowered with the full extent of data available.

This new round of funding will help Health Gorilla get closer to achieving that goal.

"This round is a testament to the growth we saw in 2020 and the broad adoption of our APIs among the digital health market. 2020 solidified our position as the best-in-class solution for clinical data access in digital health. Our APIs are at the heart of digital health, eliminating paper-based workflows and reducing administrative inefficiencies that have plagued our healthcare system for decades," said Yaskin.

"With our Series B done, we’re ready to scale up our efforts aggressively, introduce our products to a broader audience, and invest in new solutions that advance interoperability nationwide."

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