These days, it seems like patients rely on a different doctor for each ailment, as more and more doctors are specialists. That can cause problems not only with continuity of care, but also logistically, with separate medical records leaving enough of a paper trail to pave I-40.
Those disparate clinical data are what Raleigh-based startup Medicom aims to aggregate, with software that sends and receives patient health records and images from X-rays, MRIs and other diagnostic tests.
The status quo, CEO and Co-Founder Michael Rosenberg says, involves hospital staff calling past providers, requesting records, receiving faxes and then manually inputting them.
Medicom flips the script so that now, as soon as a patient schedules an appointment, Medicom’s Imagex system automatically searches for and acquires the records. Medicom offers a set of their SaaS products to hospitals for $15-100K.
“Our goal as a company is to basically be the Google search engine of healthcare,” said Rosenberg.
Rosenberg says this automation allows medical providers to be more efficient with their staffing. One example: Sanford Health, the nation’s largest rural non-profit health care system and a Medicom customer, had been sending and receiving a quarter of a million faxes and manually entering them into their electronic medical record system.
Because of all the people involved, Rosenberg says, the process took at least $50-60 per exchange.
“We are allowing the healthcare systems to redeploy tens, if not hundreds, of staff members to much more meaningful roles that add value and care,” Rosenberg said, “as opposed to dealing with paper-pushing and faxing and importing.”
Medicom also commercializes data for Big Pharma. The deepMed product retrieves clinical information and makes it anonymous for use as quality longitudinal data.
“We can also help those life science companies that are partnered with these health systems to get much better, cleaner data,” said Rosenberg, “that then makes better AI models or better pharmaceuticals for clinical research trials.”
On the rise
Rosenberg met fellow Co-Founders Chase Ballard (Chief Product Officer) and Malcolm Benitz (COO) while they were students at NC State. The company started in 2015 but was in “quiet mode” until 2017, when they raised a Series A round of funding worth $5M.
Medicom now has a team of 15 that works to provide a health information network encompassing over 350 organizations, including Sanford Health and Mayo Clinic.
Benitz points out, though, that 350 organizations actually equates to a much larger reach—as in, over 1,200 physical facilities.
“Those 350 organizations stand for a health system basis,” Benitz said. “We’ve got groups that have anywhere between 15 to upwards of 80-plus locations in their network, and we service all of them.”
Another major organization that Medicom services is the health care system run by Veterans Affairs, or the VA. Medicom launched first in the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, and it is in the process of contracting or implementing its products at the majority of VA VISNs (regional VA health systems) across the country.
The VA faces the challenge Medicom aims to resolve, with patients sometimes generating multiple medical records from care at facilities outside the VA network.
The 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (or “Choice Act”) gave veterans the option to receive care from a provider in eligible non-VA health care entities or providers. The 2018 MISSION Act replaces portions of the Choice Act by likewise increasing veterans’ access to non-VA community care if they meet eligibility requirements.
Rosenberg says Medicom makes sure that when a veteran comes to receive care, “there’s no nonsense,” because the software helps VAs locate data.
“They don’t have to look for the prior information,” Rosenberg said. “They don’t have to go searching for it. They don’t have to delay care. They don’t have to wait on it. That information is just there.”