Outcome Health, a maker of waiting room screens and tablets for patient education and pharmaceutical marketing, has raised at least $500 million in first round funding, lending the company a valuation of around $5 billion. Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Alphabet’s growth equity investment fund CapitalG, Leerink Transformation Partners, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and Balyasny Asset Management are a few of the many investors in the round, along with some undisclosed strategic investors that include health systems and other stakeholders.
This is the company's first round of insitutional funding, although a report in Forbes says that the founders have taken on a combined $325 million in debt to finance the company. The reason the nine-year-old company is raising funds now is because it has plans to have its technology in 70 percent of all US physician practices (currently they are in about 20 percent) by 2020.
“Outcome Health and its investors share a commitment to activate the best health outcome possible for every person in the world," Outcome CEO Rishi Shah said in a statement. "We believe achieving this at scale will require building a ubiquitous network that brings together all sides of healthcare to support patients and healthcare providers whenever, wherever and however they make critical healthcare decisions. We are grateful to have been entrusted to realize this vision by so many important stakeholders. Together, we have the opportunity to create the exam room of the future, physically and digitally, and evolve healthcare decision making from the currency of information to the currency of intelligence.”
Outcome Media just changed its name from ContextMedia: Health in January, shortly after it concluded its acquisition of competitor AccentHealth.
The company’s platform is deployed in clinics, hospitals and health systems around the country via a "digital waiting room" monitor as well as a mobile app, and offers a portfolio of interactive technologies including video-based engagement and assessment tools, tablets, anatomical boards, and 3D anatomical or condition models.
“Using the Outcome Health Digital Anatomy Boards is an opportunity to dialogue with a patient and explain their medical problem in a visual way,” Dr. Neil Baum, a urologist in New Orleans, said in a statement from Outcome Media. “I use the Digital Anatomy Boards with nearly every patient and I have found that patients appreciate and, more importantly, understand the problem and what needs to be done to resolve the problem.”
Most doctors don't pay for the service, however. Instead advertisers, especially pharmaceutical advertisers, pay for a platform where they can reach patients who are already sick. Ads are displayed alongside the educational materials. Current healthcare trends toward patients taking on more of the cost of their care, as well as the rising availability of generics, make marketing directly to patients especially valuable to pharma. Outcome Health also collects data from patients, according to Bloomberg, and sells it to insurers and drugmakers. Among other things, the data helps in recruiting for clinical trials.
The company doesn't highlight the advertising aspect in its marketing materials, but Shah told Forbes the opportunity was a win-win, helping providers, patients, payers, and pharma to accomplish different goals.
“Outcome Health is redefining the way that the life sciences, payers, healthcare IT, physicians and patients interact,” Todd Cozzens, co-founder and Managing Partner at Leerink Transformation Partners, said in a statement. “The technology enhances the most important event in the delivery of care – the trusted moments where the doctor and patient make decisions about their conditions and treatments – and represents innovation that we are proud to support. Doctors like Outcome Health’s platform because their patients have a better care experience, which leads to better compliance, adherence and most importantly, better outcomes.”