Providence-St. Joseph spinout Xealth gets $8.5M to help doctors prescribe apps

By Jonah Comstock
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Xealth, a startup that helps doctors to prescribe digital health apps, has raised $8.5 million in a round led by DFJ Venture Partners. Other investors in the round included hospital systems Providence St. Joseph Health, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Hennepin Healthcare System, and Froedtert Health.

A spin-out from Providence St. Joseph Health's digital innovation group, Xealth connects EMRs and patient-facing apps, allowing physicians to not just prescribe apps to patients but also track the patients' usage of apps and schedule reminders to use them. The platform is currently in use with just a few apps at Providence and Pittsburgh-based UPMC.

"Xealth will dramatically improve the connection between patients and clinicians," Dr. Rod Hochman President and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a statement. "Xealth extends the patient and physician relationship outside the walls of a traditional care setting by making it easy for clinicians to prescribe digital content, services, and apps for their patients."

The initial rollout at Providence includes two apps: an educational video app from ACP Decisions, and Circle, an app that provides physician-led support for pregnant women and new mothers.

Mike McSherry, who previously led predictive text company Swype, which sold to Nuance in 2011, serves as the CEO of Xealth. 

"Providence and UPMC are our ideal launch partners, given their size and focus on the next generation of health care," McSherry said in a statement. "Together, we'll be able to better measure the impact of more engaged patients on their health outcomes, and the effectiveness of prescribed content, apps, and services. We're inspired by the possibility of this platform and its potential to become an industry-wide solution."

Providence St. Joseph Health, the product of a 2016 merger between Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System, has been very active in digital health, even acquiring app-enabled house call provider Medicast last summer.