Toronto healthtech startup SeamlessMD, which provides a cloud-based patient engagement app, has raised a $4 million CAD Series A round led by Montreal’s MEDTEQ+, a federally and provincially-funded Quebec non-profit that invests in medical technology.
The round, which the company said was oversubscribed, also included financing from Hikma Ventures, Anges Québec, AIoT Health, and health IT entrepreneur Sanjay Malaviya, the founder and former CEO of patient safety software company RL Solutions (now RLDatix). Malaviya and MEDTEQ+ director of investments Robert Ritlop will join Andrea Matheson, who led the startup’s first investment round, on SeamlessMD’s board of directors.
The company says it plans to use the new capital to meet increasing customer demand due to COVID-19, expanding its selection of digital care plans, and accelerating the company’s machine learning capabilities. SeamlessMD counts Sunnybrook, Trillium, Rush University Medical Center among its hospital clients.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for health systems to deliver digital care at scale.”
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for health systems to deliver digital care at scale,” said Joshua Liu, co-founder and CEO of SeamlessMD. “Since the pandemic started, we have been rapidly assisting health systems to adapt to the pandemic, including new solutions for COVID-19 digital screening, patient education, and digital pre-surgery monitoring to safely resume surgery.”
Liu told BetaKit that COVID-19 has significantly increased demand for SeamlessMD’s platform. He attributed the investor interest the startup received this round to the pandemic-related growth of the digital patient engagement market.
The startup intends to use the funding to reach new customers, growing its library of digital plans across surgery, cancer, and chronic care, and augmenting the platform’s remote patient monitoring system with machine learning-based risk prediction “to more effectively prevent hospital cancellations, ER visits, and readmissions.”
“While there were still some skeptics previously, the pandemic has taught the healthcare system that digital care is feasible, practical and convenient for both patients and providers,” said Liu. “This has not only increased patient expectations for digital care as consumers, it has also helped providers and health systems more quickly realize the value of going digital—both to deliver safer care during COVID-19 and also to provide more efficient care.”
The startup’s app, which is available on smartphones, tablets, and computers, can either be used as an independent platform or integrated with existing Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. SeamlessMD allows healthcare providers to guide patients before, during, and after hospitalization, facilitating the delivery of interactive plans, education, and alerts, as well as the collection and analysis of patient-reported outcome data.
“By increasing patient adherence, patient engagement tools are able to drastically improve outcomes without requiring a new expensive gadget to be invented,” said Jehangir Appoo, managing partner at AIoT Health.”
The startup claims its platform can help ensure healthcare cost reductions of $1,000 to $2,000 per patient, reduce hospital stays by one to two days, and cut down hospital readmissions by 45 to 72 percent.
SeamlessMD began as a standalone post-hospital discharge recovery tech platform. Today, it supports patients during pre-admission, in-hospital recovery, and post-discharge, and boasts partnerships with Epic and Cerner, two of the largest EHR systems in the world. Liu said, in the future, the company intends to support “other parts of the care continuum,” like home and cancer care.
Liu is a medical doctor who trained at the University of Toronto. During his studies, he realized how difficult it was for patients “to follow paper or verbal instructions,” and how “there was no easy way for healthcare providers to monitor patients and catch problems earlier.” In his final year of medical school, Liu set out to address these challenges, teaming up with fellow co-founders Willie Kwok and Philip Chen to launch SeamlessMD in 2012 through Toronto-based incubator Next 36.
Since then, the startup has expanded to serve hospital clients across Canada and the US.
Earlier this month, the federally-funded Digital Technology Supercluster invested $1.6 million CAD in ReStart, a SeamlessMD-led project that aims to help tackle surgery backlog via a digital solution that allows patients to complete preoperative assessments and screenings remotely, leveraging patient monitoring and machine learning to ensure safer surgery during the pandemic.
In July, St. Joseph’s Home Care began using SeamlessMD’s platform to help monitor its employees for COVID-19 symptoms and inform them about the virus.
SeamlessMD currently has 16 employees, and plans to grow its workforce across all departments to meet increasing customer demand.
The company’s total funding to date is $7.4 million CAD.
Image courtesy of SeamlessMD