Smartlink Mobile Systems raised $2.5 million from a single undisclosed strategic corporate investor and various healthcare professional angels, including about a half dozen physicians, the company told MobiHealthNews. The new round of funding will help Smartlink launch its patient engagement app, called Pocket HealthNet, which, among other things, helps physicians take advantage of a new CMS rule that pays for certain asynchronous telehealth services.
The app, available on iOS and Android devices, offers a communication channel between patients, providers, and clinics, who can use the app to schedule appointments, refill medication, ask general questions, preregister for appointments, and check-in for appointments. Types of appointments patients can schedule through the app include scheduled future appointments, acute same day appointments, or walk-ins. Even if the app isn't running, it will send push notifications to the user's smartphone.
Clinics can use the app to communicate with patients as well. Clinics will be able to send important health messages to the patient, including virus alerts, preventive care tips, and medication reminders. They can also share lab results and refer the patient to a physician.
Smartlink plans to add additional features including a virtual payment gateway, wellness and reward incentive programs, and a healthcare facility locator.
“The patient engagement solutions on the market today, such as patient portals, have been slow to gain adoption because each EHR vendor has a different way to communicate," Smartlink CEO and Founder Siu Tong said in a statement. "It’s still easier for a patient to just pick up the phone than it is to manage multiple sites and login credentials. We are very excited to deliver a mobile patient engagement solution that can solve this problem, scales easily to large populations, and also fits perfectly into the asynchronous communication and electronic referral requirements of the Medicare Chronic Care Management Program.”
Smartlink's other apps include Equine HealthNet for horse owners and Veterinary HealthNet for owners of small animals.
The company also recently announced that it launched a microsite for physicians interested in participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Chronic Care Management (CCM) program. According to Smartlink, "the CCM program pays providers a monthly fee for historically unreimbursed services: non-face-to-face patient care". Smartlink's app, the company explains, could potentially increase revenue for physicians who spend at least 20 minutes per month monitoring patients diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions.