An investment in care coordination

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund
09:37 am

How long does it take for a doctor to get the message when his or her patient is admitted to the ER or transferred to another facility? Chances are, that phone call is down a ways on the list, behind family and friends, and not always made during office hours.

A New York-based startup aims to make that connection immediately, giving the doctor or any other member of the care team an opportunity to collaborate. And the company is getting a sizeable investment to build on that platform.

[See also: Care coordination begins with communication]

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Launched in 2011 by Joseph Mayer, MD, then part of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Alex Khomenko, a developer of PayPal and director of engineering for 23andMe, Cureatr looks to make the care team coordination process seamless at a time when critical care is a high priority. The company's Care Transition Notification (CTN) platform pushes alerts out to care team members' desktop or mobile devices whenever a patient is admitted to or discharged or transferred from a health facility.

"It's driven by the simple need to know when your patients are getting care," Mayer said during an interview earlier this year at HIMSS15. These 'care transition notifications,' he said, ensure that the patient's medical record follows him or her through any event, so that there are no gaps in care.

Imagine someone with a complicated medical history – a chronic condition, perhaps, or taking several medications – being transported, unconscious, to a hospital after an accident. If that hospital were part of the Cureatr network, that person's primary care doctor and other care team members would receive an alert as soon as he or she was checked into the ED. The care team member could then make a phone call to ensure proper care protocols were being followed.

[See also: How post-acute care coordination really works]

A member of the inaugural class of the New York Digital Health Accelerator, Cureatr raised $5.7 million in Series A funding and has secured partnerships with DaVita HealthCare Partners, the Visiting Nurse Services of New York, Albany Medical Center, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Mount Sinai. This month, the company closed on $13 million in Series B financing from Deerfield Investments, Cerner Capital, Windham Ventures and previous investors Cardinal Partners, Milestone Venture Partners and JMI Services.

“The demand for innovative care coordination tools in the healthcare industry has never been greater," Alex Kristofcak, a principal at Deerfield, said in a press release. "We are excited by the unique value proposition that Cureatr’s Care Transition Notification network offers to providers and other at-risk enterprises, as evidenced by the traction they have achieved in the market place."

Mayer and W. Kent Hiller, Cureatr's vice president of partnerships and product strategy, said the CTN platform targets "the last mile between the data and the doctor," that critical time when patients are in transit and care team coordination is in flux. It's a common problem in all healthcare settings, bringing back visions of a patient moving from one location to another with an armful of file folders and documents, including a list of phone numbers to call in case of an emergency.

Those transitions, Mayer and Hiller say, are where the ball is dropped, and why one in every five 30-day hospital readmissions and nearly a third of all hospital admissions are avoidable.

"All you're doing is making sure everyone knows," Mayer said.



[See also: 3 mHealth startups that might make a difference]