New York-based Klara, a healthcare messaging system, has just landed another $11.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by FirstMark Capital with participation from Lerer Hippeau, Project A Ventures, Atlantic Labs, and other individual investors.
“This is how we think about the business, we believe healthcare should be patient centric and in order to enable that all of the people who are involved with the care process are on the same platform — not only doctor and patients but doctor and staff, and they communicate together and they are the one who communicates only,” Simon Lorenz, cofounder and co-CEO of Klara, told MobiHealthNews.
The platform, which was first founded in 2014 by Lorenz and cofounder Simon Bolz, has the ability to connect patients with care teams. It lets users send messages, lab results, and photos of patients, and all of the information can be exported to the patient’s EHR. Lorenz stressed that it is important for everyone who is involved in the care to be on the same platform.
But the idea behind the platform isn’t to give more work to the physician. It is designed to get patients to the right person.
“At the end of the day we are not connecting the patient directly to the physician. We are connecting the patient to the practice,” Lorenz explain. “Then we have a smart triaging system inside of Klara that allows the practice to triage the patient’s request to the right person. So a patient’s message regarding appointment scheduling would then go to the front desk or call center. Is [the patient] receiving biopsy results? Then it can be assigned to the medical assistant. Is it a clinical question? Then obviously the doctor can be involved.”
Lorenz said that missed calls and miscommunications between patients and providers can lead to a loss of time, money, and patients, which it aims to prevent with its automated service.
Klara plans to use the new money to grow its automation and integration services.
“What we want to use the funding for is to make the work and life of practices and clinics easier by using automation, [user experience design], and deeper integration into workflows,” Lorenz said. “For example we are detecting the kind of language and the text that patients are talking about, then based on that we can trigger certain events. We can also recommend certain answers to the staff when they respond to the patient. We can also enhance the speed of a response for the staff in order for them to understand how to deliver a better service. Essentially, we want to put more automation into Klara that involves the whole clinical team.”
The team also plans to invest in more sales and marketing, and to grow its integration abilities to include scheduling and billing functions.
“We are building a network that solves siloed communication between patients and one practice. We believe communication in healthcare is many players and that is one part we are completely different to existing players,” Lorenz said.