Dallas, Texas-based PediaQ, which makes an on-demand mobile application platform for house calls, has raised $4.5 million and announced partnerships with two Texas health systems – Memorial Hermann Health in Houston and Baylor Scott & White in Dallas. The funding was led by Deep Space Ventures and will be used to drive further growth in Texas metropolitan areas. This brings the company’s total funding to $6.5 million.
Through PediaQ’s platform, Q.Care, hospitals can white-label PediaQ's smartphone app and offer nurse triage and house calls (mainly with nurse practitioners). The main goal is to reduce uneccesary emergency room or in-office doctor visits. Users open the app and request pediatric nurse practitioners to their home for urgent care-related visits, such as sore throats and fevers. After confirming their location and giving information about their sick child, parents can read reviews and ratings of the visiting nurse practitioner. If the situation necessitates it, the nurse practitioner can also recommend an ER or in-office visit.
While the app is initially targeting pediatrics, the company plans to expand to adult and geriatric care as well.
“Pediatrics has been a good place to start because they are the most likely to respond to this sort of service,” PediaQ CEO Jon O'Sullivan told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “You’ve got a mom with a sick kid, they want immediate peace of mind and are going to reach out before an adult would do the same for themselves.”
PediaQ, which was founded in 2014, was designed to work with health systems since the beginning, and the company actively sought licensing partnerships within systems were they could easily demonstrate efficacy, patient satisfaction and the ability to integrate within systems. The app launched in September 2015, shortly after the company raised $1.2 million, and has thus far facilitated more than 3,500 house calls. The nurse triage service was added in 2016, and the total service is covered by several health insurance plans including BlueCross-BlueShield, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Humana.
Currently, the service is only available in Texas, but PediaQ plans to ultimately expand nationally. As the app gains traction in the pediatric market, the company will focus on expanding its impact on the adult and geriatric care markets, Sullivan said.
“It’s not terribly unlike how Uber started with its black car service and then moved into other areas,” he said. “Thinking about any other on-demand services, we can then create one that is available over a much broader geographic area.”