AristaMD takes home $18M to grow its e-consulting startup

The round was led by Cigna Ventures and MemorialCare Innovation Fund with participation from Avalon Ventures, CU Healthcare Innovation Fund and Stanford Health Care.
By Laura Lovett
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This morning specialist eConsult platform AristaMD raised $18 million in its Series B funding. Cigna Ventures and MemorialCare Innovation Fund (MCIF) led the round with participation from Avalon Ventures, CU Healthcare Innovation Fund and Stanford Health Care. 

WHAT THEY DO 

The startup focuses on giving primary care providers virtual consultations with specialists. PCPs can tap into clinical workup checklists to help guide their decision-making and then seek additional advice through a telemedicine consult. 

The company is pitching this service as a way to cut down on specialist wait-times in order to get care to patients more quickly, and through their own provider. 

WHAT IT’S FOR 

The new infusion of cash is expected to help the company grow its services and products. 

“Our partnership with AristaMD, and its virtual-first solution, will accelerate how we deliver on that promise, working together to drive greater connectivity between primary care providers and extensive networks of specialists to improve outcomes and lower costs for the people we serve,” Tom Richards, global lead for strategy and business development at Cigna, said in a statement. 

THE MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Another player in the specialist e-consult space is RubiconMD, which closed an $18 million Series C funding round earlier this month, bringing its total funding pot to over $40 million. WebMD's Medscape Consult is another player in the space, which provides a free online resource for physicians to seek second opinions. 

E-consults have also become a popular research topic. Late last year the Open Forum Infectious Diseases found that when hospitals tapped infectious disease specialists via an electronic, asynchronous tool patients fared better and had fewer hospital readmissions than their counterparts that did not have the service. 

ON THE RECORD 

“Every year there are approximately 20 million routine specialist referrals that could be addressed by eConsults – those unnecessary referrals have significant consequences including billions of wasted dollars,” Brooke LeVasseur, CEO of AristaMD, said in a statement. “We are honored to receive such strong validation from major health plans and payors and are eager to leverage the capital and deep market experience of our new investors to springboard into a new growth phase for the company. We are committed to continue working toward our goal of transforming primary care to improve population health outcomes by improving and better allocating healthcare resources.”