Conversa gets $2.5M for digital checkups between doctor's visits

By Jonah Comstock
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ConversaSan Francisco-based Conversa Health, which makes a digital patient engagement platform, has raised $2.5 million from undisclosed healthcare-focused angel investors. The company also announced the appointment of a new chief technology officer and the formation of its medical advisory board. This is the first funding announcement from the StartUp Health member.

The round will bolster Conversa's Digital Checkup offering, a service designed to facilitate patient-doctor communication between office visits. Conversa’s platform enables physicians to send patients personalized education materials as well as simple questions that generate structured data from patients in response. The company then analyzes this patient-generated data to help providers monitor their populations and communicate with them when an intervention is needed. 

“Conversa is a robust platform that allows doctors and patients to have an ongoing, continuous relationship and to communicate on a personalized basis as opposed to episodic visits to the doctor’s office," CEO West Shell III told MobiHealthNews last year. "This is a monstrous problem and when we look back on this in 20 years, we will say that it was remarkable that the only time we spoke to our doctors was when we were standing in front of them.”

The company's new CTO, Daniel Dean, comes from Health Share Oregon, a coordinated care organization that works with Medicaid beneficiaries. He's also worked with MedicaLogic, Responsys, WebMD and Press Ganey, where he gained experience with EHRs and other health IT systems.

The new medical advisory board will consist of the company's chief medical officer Dr. Danny Sands, a practicing primary care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess, as well as new members Dr. Joseph P. Kannam, a cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess, and Dr. Lyle Mitzner, an endocrinology specialist at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

“The real measure of success in this fast-changing digital health market is how well you can understand complex customer dynamics and execute,” Conversa board member Peter L. Levin, said in a statement. “Getting data to flow securely, accurately and dynamically across clinical systems, and knowing how to align the interests of disparate stakeholders at the table are critical. This team brings proven know-how from their years in both large, complex organizations and innovative digital health startups.”