Boston-based patient engagement and care management company Wellframe raised $8.5 million in a funding round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), with additional investment from Formation 8, Waterline Ventures and Queensbridge Venture Partners. This brings the company's total funding to date to $10 million.
Existing investors include athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush; Tim Draper, founder and managing director of DFJ; Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, president of the British Medical Association; and Russ Nash, former global managing director at Accenture.
Wellframe's platform includes a web-based clinician dashboard and a patient-facing mobile app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. The offering includes two-way, HIPAA compliant messaging and a care plan that the company says aims to amplify, not replace, therapeutic relationships. Wellframe's app also offers medication reminders, activity tracking, short messages of educational content, and other short questions.
"Mostly our focus is going to be on building out our product and engineering team to accelerate our pace of product development," Wellframe CEO Jacob Sattelmair told MobiHealthNews. "We have a very aggressive roadmap of stuff we want to tackle over the coming year or two and we have put together a great core team across engineering, clinical, and data, but the goal will be to continue to build those out."
In April, when Wellframe announced its last round of funding, the company had 8 employees. It now has 20.
The platform is used by patients aged 20 to 85, Sattelmair said, and often those with the highest levels of need are the ones most engaged with the app.
After expanding the product and engineering team further, Sattelmair wants to make the experience using the platform more valuable to patients, clinicians, financial decision makers, and customers. This involves doing a lot of work on the backend of their platform.
"I think the idea ultimately is it’s not so much around treating a disease, but treating a patient according to a condition or set of conditions that they have as well as their particular goals, preferences, and clinical contexts," Sattelmair said. "And having a programs that we deliver to them evolve to meet their needs as a person, not just treating diabetes or treating heart failure. So there’s a lot we are doing at intersection of engineering, data science, and clinical protocol development that will allow us to do that in an increasingly sophisticated way and will resonate with patients and provide a more valuable tool for clinicians as well."
The startup graduated from Rock Health’s fourth class in 2012 and made news in February when it turned a one-year feasibility study with South Shore Hospital into a two-year contract, making South Shore its first customer. Wellframe has continued to grow its customer base since then and plans to announce some of their deals soon. Sattelmair explained that different customers use Wellframe's apps for different purposes including transitional case management, chronic care management, and a specialty pharmacy medication adherence.
Sattelmair finds that though the customer segments are varied, the use cases are very consistent.
"Our platform is agnostic to any one particular clinical protocol or patient population and we have an environment that allows us to offer and implement different programs for different populations and then to iterate on those fairly efficiently and add scale," Sattelmair said. "The first clinical trial that we did was among patients with pulmonary heart disease -- but we’ve also done trials among patients with severe mental illness, heart failure, and pulmonary disorder. From a commercial perspective we’ve expanded significantly and we’ll continue to do so."