LabCorp, Envision lead $15 million investment in remote patient monitoring company Vivify Health

By Brian Dolan
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VivifyHealthPlano, Texas-based remote patient monitoring company Vivify Health has raised the first tranche of funding in what the company expects to be a $15 million round. Strategic investors Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) and Envision Healthcare Holdings were the primary investors in the round, which follows on the company's $7 million round of funding led by two other strategic investors: Heritage Group and Ascension Ventures. Those two investors are the venture arms of large hospital systems, many of which will soon be signing on as Vivify customers.

Vivify currently has contracts with more than 250 hospitals across the country, CEO and Founder Eric Rock told MobiHealthNews in a recent interview. The company's remote patient management platform is often white-labeled by its customers, which include a number of EHR vendors and analytics vendors, Rock said.

While Vivify has longstanding integration and distribution partnerships with AT&T and Ericsson, the company does most of its sales directly. Some of the recent funding will be used to build out the company's sales team. 

Soon Vivify's software-as-a-service offering will take a few different form factors, depending on the patient. Vivify's core offering is a kit that includes a tablet device (preloaded with the company's software) and the appropriate Bluetooth-enabled health device or devices for that patient. Like most remote patient monitoring companies in the market today, Vivify has focused on the highest risk, top 5 percent of patients. The new funds will enable Vivify to offer its platform to patient populations at all risk levels.

"As providers move from fee-for-service to accountable care, they can't afford to not look at and address that other 95 percent of the population," Vivify's VP of Sales David Lucas said. "This is a huge opportunity."

Vivify's kit, which is designed for that highest risk patient group, can be delivered to patients before discharge or it can be delivered right to their doorstep. Rock said the company prides itself on the software's usability and has successfully onboarded patients over 90 years old and even those with severe visual impairments, thanks to their software's voice recognition technology.

While that same platform is set to be extended to patients with lesser risk, the company doesn't expect its customers to equip those patients with kits. Vivify is rolling out a BYOD version of its platform for patients who have smartphones or tablets. Rock said their web app will work with any mobile device that has a browser -- iOS, Android, Windows, etc. (This mobile web app is also an integral part of the company's recent work with the Ebola epidemic, which MobiHealthNews mentioned recently.) The platform includes other channels, like native apps, interactive voice response, and text messaging. It also features video conferencing, interactive survey questions, biometric device integration, and educational video content.

Vivify takes a hybrid approach when it comes to the clinical protocols or care plans that its customers have patients follow. The company has partnered with a few content providers, including the American Heart Association, to preload drag-and-drop content for its customers, but they can also add their own. These custom-created plans are often then made available to other providers on the platform.

Vivify's platform is not focused on one particular condition or disease state. Providers are using the platform to manage patients managing COPD, liver disease, and CHF patients, just to name a few, as well as for pre- and post- operative care, Vivify's VP of Clinical Solutions Robin Hill RN told MobiHealthNews. The platform is also being used to manage patients with chronic conditions and those participating in clinical trials, she said.

All of Vivify's disclosed investors are strategics. While Rock declined to go into specifics about LabCorp's plans for working with Vivify, he pointed out that delivery of care is moving outside the four walls of the hospital, and LabCorp has been doing that for decades. Envision has publicly stated its intent to invest more in remote care services, especially through its Evolution Health brand. Envision is integrating Vivify's platform with its "medical command centers".

Vivify has also begun working with wearable device makers and those aggregating data from health and fitness devices. The company has partnerships with Validic, Qualcomm Life, and Samsung. It's also working to integrate HealthKit data and plans to support the Apple Watch early next year since some of Vivify's provider customers would like to offer Apple Watch-enabled care plans to their patients.

Given its longtime partnership with Samsung (the company is a regular fixture at Samsung tradeshow booths), tight integrations with the South Korean electronics giant's various wearables and smartwatches are also likely in the future.

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