Digital health news, funding roundup in the prior week; May 16, 2022Read more...
The company says its platform allows providers to manage up to 90% of pregnancies virtually
COVID turned virtual care from a "nice to have" to a "need to have," forcing a number of healthcare companies to scramble to adapt to the new world. Those companies that had made the bet on the space early on, however, were suddenly in the right place at the right time, ready to deliver care in the way patients now expected.
One of those companies was Babyscripts, a virtual care platform focused on prenatal care. It works with healthcare providers, allowing them to get real-time data on their patients, which is collected from connected devices.
"Our initial response to COVID was to circle the wagons while we got a better sense of the changing needs of the market. Once we had that, and saw the demand for virtual care increasing, we really ramped up our offerings and invested in new hires," Anish Sebastian, the company's co-founder and CEO, told me.
"Health systems and payers were coming to us to help stand up virtual care solutions in the midst of the pandemic or increase the virtual offerings they already had. To our good fortune, while other startups were folding around us, we were actually growing."
Over the past 18 months, the company saw its contracted customers increase from 48 to 75, while enrollments onto the program grew 10x. Now it plans to capitalize on that growth, expanding into new markets, and grow its team, which it will be able to do now that it has raised $12 million in the first close of its Series B funding round, led by MemorialCare Innovation Fund, along with Philips and the CU Healthcare Innovation Fund in this first close.
In addition, Banner Health, WellSpan Health, University Hospitals, and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network are also part of the Series B round due to their participation in the company's Strategic Partner Program, which Sebastian describes as "a unique investment bloc composed of health systems interested in forwarding Babyscripts’ cutting-edge digital solutions for pregnant populations." Combined, the company has now raised $26 million in total funding.
Founded in 2013, Babyscripts works directly with providers of care, including OB/GYN practices, health systems and midwifery clinics. Expectant mothers are provided with a blood pressure cuff, which they can use at home; if any readings are abnormal, the doctor is immediately alerted. If the patient has diabetes, the company also offers a functionality to monitor blood sugar through a glucometer. There also a Babyscripts app that provides patients with education, all of which is controlled by the doctor.
Babyscripts currently works with 75 health systems across 650 locations. It is now managing more than 200K unique pregnancies across 30 states, and the company says that, thanks to its platform, up to 90% of pregnancies can be managed virtually.
The company also partners with payer groups and MCOs to help support their pregnant and postpartum members. The platform allows them to identify members who are pregnant and detect clinical and social risks earlier. That allows them to offer education, increase visit compliance, and improve care coordination.
With the new funding, Babyscripts says it plans to put a greater focus on its payer offerings, developing additional care models so that that health insurance plans to can put technology to better use, and give better support to providers.
"Babyscripts has already been successful in connecting payers and providers to improve care coordination, encourage member engagement and compliance with certain health measures, and help reduce costly outcomes through remote patient monitoring and collection of population health data," said Sebastian.
"This new funding will help enhance existing infrastructure and expand patient/provider connections to increase data sharing across stakeholders."
In addition, Babyscripts also plans to use the new funds to grow geographically, with a plan to expand into all 50 states, as well as to accelerate the development of new features, including enhancements to its recently launched mental health product, and a substance use disorder experience currently in development.
Finally, Babyscripts is also working on a national level with payers, and this funding will directly contribute to building infrastructure around that, including a plan to double the company’s current workforce, which currently stands at 45 employees.
"Our goal is to deliver the most comprehensive obstetrics solution on the market, that truly responds to every need a mother has along her prenatal and postpartum journey. That means developing new product enhancements internally, but also partnering with external parties who are creating best-in-class products themselves," said Sebastian.
"We’re also using our vast wealth of data to analyze the patient experience across our diverse populations, and create a solution that truly delivers on the promise of “tailored” care. Delivering on our mission of better pregnancies also means exploring more pathways to reimbursement to make sure we get the solution into the most hands possible at no cost to mothers."
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