PocketHealth eases doctor-patient communications with easy image exchange
5 mins read

PocketHealth eases doctor-patient communications with easy image exchange

Have you ever needed a copy of your medical imaging to take to your doctor or another healthcare provider and received the images on a CD? Many radiologists still use this ancient format to transfer patients’ imaging files.

A startup called PocketHealth has built an medical image exchange platform to digitize the process for every patient and healthcare provider, making it more intelligent and personalized, no CDs involved. The company, which is fully remote and headquartered in Toronto, said Wednesday that it had secured $33 million ($45 million CAD) in a Series B funding round.

PocketHealth’s journey began with a personal experience nearly a decade ago. Co-founders Rishi Nayyar (CEO) and his brother Harsh Nayyar (CTO) were inspired to build the platform in 2016 after Harsh suffered a tennis injury. The traditional method of receiving his CT images on a CD, which he could not view and needed to transport with him to whatever practitioner he needed to see next, suggested an opportunity to streamline the way hospitals share patients’ medical imaging.

“When we learned that this was still commonplace across healthcare sites all over North America [in 2014], we knew we could change that,” Rishi told TechCrunch. “Despite technological advancements, access to healthcare data remains hindered by legacy image exchanges, creating delays, unnecessary costs and negative patient experiences.”

For 20 years, legacy image-sharing systems used by healthcare providers have “de-emphasized patient access to their own healthcare data, moving files across a closed network from point A to point B,” Rishi said. PocketHealth wants to change that by giving patients more access to, control over, and a deeper understanding of their health records.

The eight-year-old company says more than 1.5 million patients at 775 healthcare sites use its platform in North America, and it aims to make it possible for every healthcare provider on the continent to do so with this new funding.

Image Credits: PocketHealth

PocketHealth started with digitized patient access to their imaging reports, has evolved into a layer of understanding that helps solve data portability problems.

Rishi said the service helps patients understand “what’s happening, showing them what they may have missed, what they can do next, or enabling them to easily return to their provider for follow-up care.”

It also can benefit service providers. The outfit says Valley View Hospital in Colorado, one of its customers, reduced non-labor costs by 95% by no longer burning CDs. Another user, Unity Health in Toronto, was able to close its imaging library and save more than $120,000.

PocketHealth isn’t the only company offering medical imaging sharing for patients in the MedTech space. Ambra Health, based in New York, offers solutions for medical image sharing, and EnvoyAI, based in Massachusetts, develops a medical imaging AI marketplace. Legacy image exchange providers like Nuance PowerShare and Change Healthcare are its peers.

One thing that sets it apart from the legacy image-exchanging players, which have focused on healthcare provider-to-provider sharing images and have limited patient access capabilities, is that PocketHealth provides patient-centric access.

When asked about its user data privacy policy, Rishi told TechCrunch: “Patients are the owners of their own personal health information (PHI). We store PHI permanently for patients, as they need and want ongoing access [to their imaging], but any patient can permanently delete their data from PocketHealth at any point in time. We do not sell or lease PHI to any third party.”

Rishi also said of cybersecurity: “In terms of data security, we recognize that we are critical infrastructure for providers and patients, and because of this, security is a priority for us. It’s never just a static investment — it’s an ongoing area of focus. We rely on bank-level encryption and maintain our SOC2 Type II, HIPAA, and PHIPA compliance,” Rishi continued. “Data is stored locally and safeguarded from data breaches. We use Microsoft Azure to host both Canada and the U.S., with constant security audits and reassessments. Patients have access to their data and can securely share and revoke access to their imaging using an access code, so they’re in control over who sees what and when.”

Round 13 Capital led the Series B funding, which brings its total raised to more than $55.5 million in equity to date, including funding from Deloitte Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and existing backers Questa Capital and Radical Ventures.

PocketHealth plans to use the latest proceeds to further enhance its AI technology; double its workforce, which now has 110 staff, over the next two years; and expand its operations across North America, improving patient care and propelling further growth.

Source link