The company raised $ 135 million last year

Interoperability may be a buzzword in healthcare, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter: thanks in large part to electronic health records (EHRs), about 30% of the world’s data is currently generated by the healthcare industry. 36% growth is expected through 2025, growing faster than sectors such as manufacturing, financial services and media.

Having all this data is useless if the systems can’t communicate with each other G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst, Which announced a new $ 50 million round of funding on Wednesday. DrFirst is a technology platform embedded in around 300 different EHRs that solves workflow, interoperability and patient compliance issues.

“It was a big step to get to the point where people could send a recording to someone else. It’s like being at the lowest possible level, and eventually the federal government has pushed the adoption of secure email standards to But even if you send a recording, what do you do with it? Can you import it? Then the government worked on, “Okay, you need to be able to import a recording after you get it” and they finally achieved that so anyone can theoretically import a dataset. But guess what? That still doesn’t mean anyone can use it, “he said.

“The fact that you understand the value in a field doesn’t mean your system can import that value. One of the big challenges now is the last mile, the things that humans couldn’t solve.”

For example, each EHR has a drug compendium database in which each drug has its own code. However, this does not mean that the person receiving this information is using the same drug compendium. As a result, the drugs in one database may not match the drugs in the other database. There are also cases when the language does not match. One database may use the term “oral” and the other database may use the term “oral”, thereby hindering semantic interoperability.

DrFirst solves these problems Working primarily in what Deemer calls “the triangle of nursing,” with a doctor on top, the pharmacy and hospital on the other two corners; The company connects them all so that they can work together and collaborate on the patient who is in the middle of this triangle.

For example, when a patient enters a hospital, they will be asked what medication they are taking, but only humans have incomplete memory or not responding. Therefore, the hospital will obtain a medical history report from an industry standard source. However, the report will be incomplete and the The hospital may not even be able to import it. DrFirst takes this report and cleans it up, but also brings in other sources such as: Pharmacies that patients may have visited, as well as information from payers.

“The data in the standard feed doesn’t include instructions on how to take the medication. That means hospital staff have to phone and call someone to fill in this information. We’re using machine learning and AI to fill in the blanks,” Deemer said.

As a result, DrFirst can create a 70% complete patient record that is nearly 95% complete. This saves a huge amount of time and hassle, and avoids adverse drug events when you are hospitalized.

“It’s like magic from a hospital perspective, but behind the scenes we fill in the gaps, convert the terminology, and match drug codes that otherwise might not match very well when they are taken to the hospital. So much of our work is like this: us fill gaps in the EHR systems due to our broad presence across this space and all of the different stakeholders who care about the patient. “

DrFirst’s solution is currently used by nearly 300,000 healthcare professionals, including more than 100,000 prescribers, nearly half of the EHR systems in the US, and more than 1,400 hospitals in the US and Canada.

Adding a telemedicine solution

One aspect of the corporate platform is the telemedicine solution. it’s an extension of the DrFirst collaboration platform that allows individuals to communicate within their organization, with other organizations, or with the patient. DrFirst added a telemedicine component and expanded it to over 100,000 providers over the past year so they can reach a patient in their home.

Telemedicine became ubiquitous during the pandemic, and a number of companies in space raised funding and expanded services, including Amwell, MDLive, Carbon Health, 98point6, Eko Health, and Binah.ai; While it’s a crowded space, there are a few things that separate DrFirst from the rest of the pack, James Chen, CEO and Founder of DrFirst told me.

For one, DrFirst works more from the provider side and expands its practice to the community than the patient comes in via another channel. The other big differentiator is that DrFirst’s telemedicine platform is about helping the entire care team work together on a specific patient.

DrFirst allows a group of providers, including specialists and general practitioners, to form a private, patient-centered chat where they can collaborate with the patient via a televideo session in the exam room.

“Hospitals might have another simple telemedicine solution, but that wouldn’t do this trick because you have massive requirements to connect a lot of people. O.In one of the 1,500 bed health systems in New York, we replaced some of the telemedicine providers they had before. They had one provider for that purpose, another provider for another purpose, and another for another. They used us to replace all three providers. It’s a tough job to get that kind of connectivity, “said Chen.

All of this enables DrFirst to help providers work on more complex cases that other telemedicine solutions couldn’t.

“We’re focused on helping existing providers expand their practice more efficiently. It’s not about creating a complete stand-alone provider network service. We’re focusing on the more complex use cases healthcare systems need to address. When they do . ” To really transform digitally, then you need to have something that can handle both the tough and the really easy cases. We are trying to be an industrial backbone for this digital transformation, “said Deemer.

Unite the “diversity of health”

DrFirst’s new round of funding was led by Sixth Street Growth and made the second investment in DrFirst in seven months after investing $ 35 million in the company. DrFirst raised $ 50 million from Goldman Sachs Growth in 2020, bringing the total to $ 135 million last year.

The new funds are partly used towards to accelerate the growth of the company can connect to all different parts of patient care. The company will also dig deeper into its existing markets and seek to grow from them 30% of the acute care market to 60% to 70%. The company also strives to achieve its Footprint on the patient side, while at the same time opening a new market vertically around the pharmacy.

“We want to make many of the tools it has used on the outpatient and acute side available to pharmacists. They are really trying now to become a stronger and more recognized member of the care team and we want to help them make that happen, “Deemer said.

Along with the funding, it was also announced that Lee Mooney, Principal on Sixth Street, has joined DrFirst’s board of directors.

“Lee has a number of connections in the health field. We actually believe he will bring us some relationships that we didn’t have before, but Lee is also a pretty smart businessman. He’s working with us to tweak a few things, and We value his opinion very much and we are delighted to have him on the board. “

Looking ahead to the immediate future, the company has a number of potential options as to where to go from here, Deemer said. While DrFirst views the public market as a way to unlock capital to really accelerate growth, there is also an opportunity to work with a strategy that has the same interest as us and the same desire for wide reach.

On a larger scale, however, DrFirst’s mission is to connect all the different stakeholders in healthcare and create a platform that everyone can trust, especially the patient, Chen said.

“The macro level of forces moving from the fee for services to the value economy really shows that patients are being put into the driver’s seat that they have never been given before. So at this point you need to worry about the role Big Tech plays compared to the role of established health organizations like UnitedHealthcare, Humana and Cigna, all key players as well as the provider side. They have both post-acute and acute care. and all ancillary services put together, so now everyone is very focused focus the patient, “he told me.

“How do we put tools in the hands of patients so they can begin to trust a platform they can actually rely on to protect their information and help them connect with people in a timely manner? This will be one big challenge for everyone. So when we bring the Healthiverse together what we are essentially trying to say is that we are creating a trustworthy platform for all, we are providing enough value for all groups to work together to best serve the patient. “

(Image source: drfirst.com)

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