LifeNexus raises $4M for health smart card, mobile app coming soon

By Jonah Comstock
11:39 am
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iChipLifeNexus, a San Francisco startup looking to replace the traditional insurance card with a digital version, raised $4 million from undisclosed angel investors and one undisclosed fund, bringing the company's total funding to $11.9 million. CEO David Strand said an additional $3 million round is closing soon.

The company offers a system called iChip, which Strand described to MobiHealthNews as a personalized health information exchange on a smart card.

"What were doing is putting a health information exchange on a card, giving every consumer their own personalized HIE that makes their care better and easier for them," he said.

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The team and board at LifeNexus sport a number of recognizable names. Dr. Robert Rowley, the startup's medical advisor, was a co-founder and former chief medical officer at mobile EHR vendor Practice Fusion. On the board are former Mastercard president Bill Jacobs and former HHS secretary Tommy Thompson.

LifeNexus' smart card, which the company sells B2B to health plans, contains both administrative and clinical data including insurance eligibility and coverage, as well as a personal health record including care gaps, medical history, prescriptions, allergies, hospitalizations, and advanced directives. Providers have smart card readers that can get the information off the card and push it to the doctor or EHR, while patients can view and update their own information via an online portal.

"We verify your identity and use that to issue a credential that we then use to find information on you, synthesize it, and bring it to you at the time you're in the doctor's office," Strand said. "A lot of PHRs have failed because they couldn't be brought forward at the time of care."

The company officially launched the iChip system on June 10th. They currently have pilots either planned or underway with three major Blue Cross Blue Shield payors and one Medicaid payor, according to Strand.

LifeNexus is planning to follow up the smart card with an alternate form factor: a mobile app, due out in the first quarter of next year. The app will be available for Apple and Android smartphones, and can be used just like the smart card, but will also give users mobile access to the information on the patient portal. Strand says the smart cards are as secure as bank cards.

"It's all HIPAA compliant, and [the app has] all the same security you would have on the card-based system," said Strand. "It's exactly the same security financial institutions use to keep your money safe."

Strand said the vast majority of the funding goes into product development and adding additional functionality, but some will also go to building out the sales team.

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