Bioscape Digital buys PictureRx to add medication history to tablet-based patient engagement system

By Jonah Comstock
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bioscapeAtlanta-based Bioscape Digital has acquired Chattanooga-based Picture Rx to build out its tablet-based patient engagement platform. PictureRx had previously raised $2 million in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. Although the company did not disclose the terms of the deal, CEO Stuart Bracken told MobiHealthNews that "inherently it makes sense that it would be north of that $2 million number."

Bioscape will remain in Atlanta but will open an office in Chattanooga. Bracken said the whole PictureRx team is remaining on board.

Bioscape Digital's platform places proprietary Android tablets loaded with text, audio and 3D visual imagery in emergency rooms and imaging centers. The content is developed in-house. The service also allows providers to give patients discharge instructions through the platform, and to collect patient feedback so that it can be addressed before the patient fills out an HCAHPS form that could negatively affect the hospital's ratings.

"In the ER, what we've seen is that you have a captive audience, you know they're going to be there for several hours, and you know there's a lot of value add you can provide while they're there," Bracken told MobiHealthNews. "And so we've been exploring this idea, so now we have a tablet in every room in the ER. What kind of content and information is relevant to that encounter, both from a clinical and a human interest point of view? That's really where we've been spending a lot of our time iterating and learning."

Toward that end, PictureRx has developed and commercialized a web-based service which aims to simplify medication information for patients leaving the doctor or hospital with illustrated medication lists and labels. BioScape Digital is working with PictureRx to build a tablet version of that system into BioScape's platform, and use it to collect medication history at the start of a patient visit, in addition to following up at discharge.

"Medication history has been a big, big problem over many years," Bracken said. "It's one of most common the reasons people have complications, why people die, and why people are readmitted to the hospital. And what PictureRx is developing, and we're going to be developing in partnership with them, is a functionality that sits on our platform that enables that nurse to walk in the room and take that first medication history, but allows the patient to actually do it. ... So now instead of that nurse having to spend 15 minutes having to go through the list of medications with hat patient, you can now make it an automated process where the patient can see the medication, see a picture of the medication, say 'Yes I'm taking this', 'No I'm not taking it', or 'I'm taking it but not how it's instructed on this tablet'."

BioScape Digital's system is deployed at Emory Healthcare hospitals. PictureRx is based out of research done at Emory, which is how the two companies became connected, according to Bracken.