Caremerge, a Chicago-based company building software for assisted living facilities, has raised $2.1 million in funding from European investors. Grazyna Kulczyk, a Polish entrepreneur, led the round along with an undisclosed Swiss investor.
The company provides care coordination and communication software to senior living communities with a HIPAA-compliant offering that allows residents' health information, as well as information about activity participation and lifestyle, to be shared with families and care providers via a common portal.
"No one knows quite how [outcome-based healthcare pricing] is going to work, but one thing's for sure," Caremerge CEO Asif Khan told MobiHealthNews. "You can't have a shared accountability if you don't have shared access to health records."
Caremerge is presented to senior living facilities as a comprehensive back-end software which includes functionality for managing the residents' events calendar. The information can be accessed via interfaces which are customized separately for staff, physicians, families, and residents, all of whom can access the software via computers or mobile devices. Khan said tracking lifestyle is all a part of effective preventative medicine, which the company hopes some day to expand beyond just seniors.
"As you get older, your lifestyle has a lot to do with your wellbeing," he said. "It becomes much more important to have a high quality of life. This is why additional lifestyle information is also being captured in Caremerge. If an orderly goes to a patient and asks 'Why aren't you taking this medication?', a physician can go in and see the trends -- he's not going to as many activities, he's sleeping more. Then they can say 'Oh this is why he's not taking his medication. It's impacting his lifestyle.'"
Caremerge is using the new funding to expand their sales, marketing and support teams as they amass new customers outside of Illinois.
"Our customer base is growing very fast. Because our solution is so inexpensive and easy to use, we're getting a lot of traction with smaller as well as larger customers," Khan said. He said the company has signed a deal with BMA, the largest assisted living provider in the state and 16th largest in the country. Caremerge will be rolled out in two of BMA's 40 facilities initially.
He also said the company is working on a new, secondary product for managed care organizations. Khan said new ways of tracking quality measures are being mandated for MCOs under the Affordable Care Act.
Caremerge is one of the first startups to go through the Startup Health's new program, which offers startups mentorship from partner GE Healthcare. Khan said the partnership has already been fruitful.
"It's only been a couple of months since we got the partnership, so we're still working closely with them on strategy when it comes to leveraging GE's footprint," he said. "But it's already helping us identify customers, leverage sales channels and leverage distribution channels."