ChartSpan raises $1.7M for mobile PHR, aims to launch paid analytics tool this year

By Aditi Pai
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ChartSpanGreenville, South Carolina-based ChartSpan has raised $1.7 million in a round led by existing investor, Byrne Medical’s Don Byrne. This brings the company's total funding to just under $3 million.

The Iron Yard, a digital health accelerator that incubated ChartSpan, contributed to ChartSpan's previous round.

The company offers patients a personal health record (PHR) tool, which, as well as importing records in various electronic formats, can convert paper records into structured data using machine learning and optical character recognition. ChartSpan launched an app for iPhones in October and added an iPad version six weeks later. Using the iOS app, patients can request records from providers and send records to others, according to the company. The app uses Blue Button Plus as one way to import data from EHRs.

Four months after launching the ChartSpan app for iPhones, it reached 100,000 downloads. 

"We've taken a very contrarian approach to healthcare records," Cofounder and CEO Jon-Michial Carter told MobiHealthNews. "Instead of depending on providers who can't seem to achieve interoperability, our idea is: What if we empower the patients to not only get their electronic healthcare records, which can be difficult to do, but to create electronic healthcare records if in fact they can't get it in that form? What I mean is, 94 percent of all records for patients today end up in paper form. Why don’t we create the ability, without manual data entry, to apply a data conversion tool that will convert the paper record while you're in the drive through at Walgreens getting your prescription, take a picture of the prescription, and you are done. You may give it a name, but you are done."

Carter said the company is a few weeks away from launching an Android app and then the company will work on launching a desktop version. Although ChartSpan was considering a Google Glass app initially, the company has tabled the idea until they see higher consumer adoption of Google Glass.

Although Carter said the app will remain free for patients, providers, and hospitals, he added that this year, likely in the third quarter, the company will launch a paid analytics tool.

"We are about to roll out the ability for any provider to leverage ChartSpan to really drive patient engagement," Carter said. "What I mean by that is, the ability to see how many times patients are requesting records, who is requesting records, how they are requesting records, what type of records they are requesting. That’s all information that’s critically important in testing for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and Stage 3. So we are about to release analytics that we will provide to doctors, hospitals, and clinics -- a product called ChartSpan Tracker. And ChartSpan Tracker is going to ... empower any provider to have realtime analytics, giving them a perspective on patient engagement."