Kit Check gets $10.4M to help hospitals track drugs

By Jonah Comstock
12:54 pm
A KitCheck scanning station. A Kit Check scanning station.

Washington, DC-based Rock Health startup Kit Check has raised $10.4 million in a round of funding led by New Leaf Venture Partners. Sands Capital Ventures, Easton Capital Investment Group and LionBird also participated in the round.

Although Kit Check has been in hospitals since April 2012, this is the company's first funding round of any kind.

"We took the Rock Health seed money and other than that we've been bootstrapping it. It was tough, but we thought it was worth it for us," CEO Kevin MacDonald told MobiHealthNews. "But what we've realized is there's a pretty big demand for this. And there's a pretty big capital purchase associated with that. We need to have the sales team, the delivery team, and the product team in place to meet the demand."

Kit Check makes a cloud-based software, which uses radio frequency identification, or RFID, tagging to increase the efficiency of replenishing the hospital's pharmacy kits. Pharmacy kits are placed around hospitals to give doctors and nurses quick access to critical care medications. The startup claims their technology can reduce the time it takes to replenish these kits by 90 percent.

The company describes the process like this in a press release: "At the pharmacy, technicians check each remaining item to determine which have been used and which are expired or nearing expiration. After the kit is replenished, a registered pharmacist then checks every item to verify that the technician correctly restocked the kit. Following the pharmacist check, the kit is resealed and returned to the clinical care area in the hospital. Kit Check automates the pharmacy technician process and indicates in five seconds exactly which items require restocking or removal due to expiration. The Kit Check verification of replenishment accuracy also eliminates the need for a pharmacist to double-check the technician’s work."

In February, the VA announced a massive project to use the same kind of RFID tagging to track medical and surgical equipment in its facilities, working with startup Intelligent InSites.

Washington DC-based Kit Check actually relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area for the duration of its time at Rock Health, then moved the company back to DC, MacDonald said.

"Rock Health by far had the best partner base and the best traction in terms of who they were attracting," he said. "We felt that even though they were West Coast it was the only one that was really worthwhile."

Kit Check's system is currently being used in seven facilities, with nine more scheduled for implementation next month. MacDonald said he couldn't share the facilities, but said there were "several big names" including one in the Boston area. He said hospitals have responded enthusiastically, even requesting that Kit Check adapt its technologies to help track other things within the hospital.

"It's been unbelievable. People really can't believe they've done it manually for so long," he said. "This is something that every hospital does manually and I know I would pull my hair out if I had to do it. It's a night and day difference."