Luma Health, maker of a platform that looks to reduce care inefficiencies through streamlined patient-provider communication, has announced a $16 million Series B raise, bringing the company’s equity funding total to $25.7 million.
The round was headed by PeakSpan Capital, with additional strategic investments from Cisco Investments and the Texas Medical Center. US Venture Partners, which led the startup’s prior $6.3 million funding round, also participated.
WHAT THEY DO
Luma Health was cofounded by undergraduate roommates Adnan Iqbal and Dr. Tashfeen Ekram after each experienced scheduling inefficiencies firsthand, either as a patient or as a medical student, Iqbal told MobiHealthNews.
“We found your average patient is waiting two-and-a-half to 12 weeks to get their care … and the same clinics, whether they’re a two-doctor clinic or a two dozen doctor system, they’re seeing about a 15% to to 30% unused capacity rate on any given day,” he said. “You have people waiting, you have care available, but really no easy way to connect those patients to care. And that’s really where we started early on.
“We wanted to have a real-time, automated, text-first way … with the goal of, one identifying patients waiting for care; two, identifying real, dynamic availability in a clinician’s schedule; and then three, the magic wand of matching the right patient to the right care. So early on we had to put really deep hooks into the underlying EHR ecosystem to be able to match a patient by appointment type, diagnosis, location, urgency, etc.”
Today, Luma’s “end-to-end patient journey automation platform” is an EHR-friendly tool that eases patients into care while automating their booking and scheduling needs. The text-driven tool automatically reaches out to patients with appointment reminders, referral management, insurance data validation or general post-procedure check ins, while updating supported EHR or scheduling systems accordingly.
“Get them into care and quickly, get them to return, and then continue guidance,” Iqbal said. “The patient doesn’t know who Luma Health is, and that’s by design. The patient is having a very personalized conversation with their care team and their doctor’s office.”
Luma’s platform is integrated with more than 70 EHR and practice management systems. The company’s tool has so far reached 7.5 million patients, and Iqbal said the company’s goal is to reach 50 million over the next 18 to 24 months. Of note, the past year has seen partnerships between the startup and Epic, athenahealth’s Marketplace, Nextech Systems, Uber Health and Cisco Webex Teams, with the last two of these collaborations being specifically focused on removing barriers keeping patients from receiving care.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Iqbal noted that Luma’s early business was centered around practices ranging from roughly five to 50 clinicians, primarily due to the ease and speed with which the platform could be implemented. In the roughly 15 months since Luma’s last round, he said the company has matured enough to tackle bigger clients and new product features.
“If you look at our near-term plans, the focus is really on scaling and growing and increasing our ability to impact more patients — and with those same patients, amplify our impact,” he said. “What that means is that when we work with more and more health systems [and] clinics across the country, we’ve now started working with larger health systems [and] that allows us to reach a broader set of patients. And I think the product roadmap really focuses on not just being able to visualize the patient’s journey, but predict when that patient’s journey is at risk of being yellow or red and fall off the care plan.”
Luma’s announcement also discussed plans to hire new staff that could build out new patient acquisition and retention features for the platform.
Luma’s platform isn’t the only tool helping providers contact and retain their patients. Of note, clinical communications company PerfectServe acquired two companies earlier this year specifically focused on patient communications and AI scheduling. Patient communication tool Medici also announced an acquisition back in January that was focused on telehealth, while New York-based Klara raised $11.5 million roughly a year ago.
ON THE RECORD
“Luma Health has transformed the healthcare industry by seamlessly connecting patients with providers with a smart, simple, and flexible patient engagement solution,” Brian Mulvey, partner and cofounder of PeakSpan Capital, said in a statement. “Providers are feeling the pressure to find better ways to connect with their patients, and Luma Health’s intelligent suite of solutions, real-time electronic health record integration, and commitment to being a trusted partner with their customers make them the clear winner.”