Iggbo, a Richmond, Virginia-based startup that has created a technology-enabled network for facilitating on-demand blood draws, has raised $13 million in funding in a round led by Heritage Group, a healthcare focused VC group based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company previously raised $6 million across several seed rounds, so this brings its total funding to $19 million.
According to Iggbo, 70 percent of clinical decisions require a blood test from the patient, and even in tech-savvy health systems, there's been very little innovation in the logistical process for facilitating those tests. The company claims that one in three blood draws ordered by physicians are never completed.
So Iggbo recruited a network of 8,000 phlebotomists in 120 US cities. The company works with providers, who can set up on-demand appointments for blood draws for their patients. Iggbo also serves up text, email and phone reminders so patients don't miss appointments. It also uses digital technology to track the samples once they're taken, so they aren't lost on the way to the ordering physician.
"We’re not reinventing how you actually draw blood, but the actual process and the efficiency of that is what we do," Iggbo CEO and President Nuno Valentine told MobiHealthNews. "What we have innovated is how labs go to market, how they get consistent quality across the country, how they disseminate their information. Healthcare at best is a regional play. For anyone who wants to do a nationwide rollout, it’s very difficult."
Iggbo helps connect small labs or independent techs with small or large health systems. But the service could pair well with other digital health offerings, like telemedicine.
"Telehealth has a huge promise and we’re working with a lot of the large national providers today, where you could imagine sitting in your home when you’re sick and that becomes your waiting room to have access to a physician through a tablet," Valentine said. "But [a majority of] decision-making processes for a provider require blood draws, so we close the loop in that care."
Iggbo will use the funding to enhance its technology platform and to start to explore other kinds of lab testing beyond blood tests, Valentine said.