pMD launches new feature that lets patients communicate with group of providers

The new tool will let patients send messages directly to their clinican, as well as send messages to care teams.
By Laura Lovett
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This morning pMD, a mobile communication and data capture platform, announced a new feature that allows patients to contact their doctors through pMD Secure Messaging. 

The Californian startup boasts that patients will be able to send messages in real time that include photo and video files. 

The latest feature includes a group function, which allows patients to communicate with a team of clinicians, allowing care collaboration across teams. Users are also able to add contacts by sending them an invitation to download the new feature. 

pMD is best known for its provider-facing platform that allows clinician-to-clinician communication and data capture, with the goal of increasing efficiency in patient care and billing. 

Last year it landed on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing companies. In 2018 the company raked in $10 million in revenue and saw 57% growth in the last three years, according to the list. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

Patients are increasingly becoming more involved in their healthcare. Medical messaging is part of this trend. HIPAA permits “readily producible” private health information to be transferred to a patient through their preferred medium, as long as the provider can do so in a way that wouldn’t present an “unacceptable level of security risk” to the private health information.

A lot of regulation comes down to patient consent and their understanding of the risks involved with texting with a provider. While various stakeholders have discussed the pros and cons of messaging — with security at the heart of the discussion — on the whole it is becoming more popular. 

THE LARGER TREND 

pMD joins the slew of other companies working on allowing doctors and patients to securely message. One of the major players in the space is Medici, which offers patient-to-provider communication, in-app billing, e-prescribing prescriptions and e-referrals. In 2018 the company landed $22.4 million . Following this raise the Austin, Texas-based company acquired DocbookMD, a company which historically focused on clinician-to-clinician communication. 

Historically there has also been a large focus on allowing healthcare teams to communicate. Even big names like Microsoft have gotten involved. In February Microsoft announced this morning new features for Microsoft Teams that are specifically aimed at improving communication and coordination between healthcare providers

ON THE RECORD 

“Patients often find themselves in endless phone tag loops just to connect with their doctor,” Adam Kenney, VP of software engineering at pMD, said in a statement. “Our mission is to reduce medical errors, many of which stem from communication issues. That's why we provide free technology to improve patient and doctor communication. Patients and doctors are both happier when communication is seamless.”