After spending the last two years building out its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered medical document analysis platform, Toronto-based healthtech software startup Wisedocs is ready to peel the curtain off of its new brand and product and expand into the United States (US) market.
Wisedocs, which was founded in 2018, initially began as Bear Health Technologies. Bear served as an acronym for “biomedical evaluation assessment resource.” Wisedocs’ CEO and founder Connor Atchison told BetaKit the startup recently changed its name to Wisedocs “to cater to a clearer representation” of what it does given “how agnostic [its] system is.”
“We’ve got a really, really good segment, a fully-baked product, a great team, and now we’re ready to scale.”
-Connor Atchison, Wisedocs’ founder and CEO
Wisedocs launched its new and improved automated medical document processing and analysis platform in May, around the same time it adopted its current name. The company’s refined software offering focuses on unstructured medical data contained in health documents like PDFs, JPEG images, and faxes. Wisedocs claims it allows users to find what they need from these documents more quickly, enabling them to spend less time on administrative tasks and focus more on their patients.
Over the past 24 months, Wisedocs has focused on refining its platform and achieving product-market fit. Now, armed with a fresh name and product, Atchison said the company is ready to ramp up its marketing efforts and accelerate its US expansion plans.
“We’ve got a really, really good segment, a fully-baked product, a great team, and now we’re ready to scale,” said Atchison. “We’re really excited to expand into the US, and then new segments.” These segments include medical file review, billing, coding, and vaccine verification.
Wisedocs aims to automate what it describes as “one of the biggest problems in healthcare”—manually processing and analyzing medical records, a labour-intensive process the company said “can take hours, and sometimes days.”
“‘Reading’ natural language in computing is more complicated than most people think in the healthcare industry,” said Matt Cohen, Ripple Ventures’ founder and managing partner. “There are many specific terms and nuances when it comes to medical records, especially when it covers 20 plus years of a patient’s medical history. Wisedocs’ technology can offer faster and more accurate insights.”
Although it has a new name and a relatively new product, Wisedocs has already gained the support of some key backers, having raised $3.25 million CAD in previously unannounced funding from Toronto’s Ripple Ventures and HaloHealth and Calgary-based Bluesky Equities since 2018.
This capital includes an angel round of $1.4 million CAD raised in 2018 and 2019 and a $1.1 million pre-seed round raised in 2020, which was led by Ripple and supported by HaloHealth and Bluesky. It also includes a $750,000 extension Wisedocs secured in March led by Ripple and supported by existing angel investors, which the company plans to leverage to support its US expansion plans. About $500,000 of this total consisted of debt, and the remainder was equity. According to Atchison, so far, Wisedocs has spent about 70 percent of this funding, and the startup aims to raise a Series A round later this year.
Right now, Wisedocs is focused mainly on the insurance and healthcare space. The company’s current clients are based primarily in Canada, and include accident benefits and personal injury lawyers, third-party assessment companies, and independent medical practitioners. However, Atchison said Wisedocs’ tech “can be applied anywhere,” adding that the startup wants to bring it to more health systems and the US market.
Vaughan, Ontario-based independent medical assessment provider HVE Healthcare Assessments has been a Wisedocs customer for over two years. Micah Vernon, HVE Healthcare Assessments’ VP, said the company’s tech allows HVE to “reap significant benefits daily.”
Wisedocs’ platform can serve as a standalone offering or integrate with other software. The startup claims it helps users increase accuracy and save time. Atchison said it does not replace humans, adding that instead, it’s designed to eliminate “80 percent of that heavy lift” associated with processing and manually deriving information from medical documents.
Atchison said the startup built all of its algorithms and heuristics internally. “Really what it does is, it’s taking a number of those proprietary solutions, and automating what the human would do,” said the CEO.
According to Atchison, Wisedocs saw increased traction during the pandemic. “As a healthcare company, we found that we got more traction in COVID, the reason being, everyone had to digitize,” he said. “Everyone was looking for that digital solution, work from home, and trying not to disrupt business. So, we really fit nicely in that docket of solutions for healthcare providers and health companies.”
Wisedocs has already begun expanding into the US, and plans to use its existing capital to “solidify” its US presence and expand into new segments like file review, medical coding, and documentation. The company claims it has processed over 7.5 million medical files to date.
Long-term, Atchison said Wisedocs plans to take its platform to another level and make “more of an analytics and data play” by helping clients with patient similarity and computational phenotyping.
Wisedocs currently has 12 full-time employees, and is looking to double or triple the size of its team, with a particular focus on hiring in marketing and sales, as well as data science and machine learning roles.
“That’s our big focus, as we move into the US and make the platform more robust and dynamic and start taking more market segments,” said Atchison.
Feature image of founder and CEO Connor Atchison, courtesy of Wisedocs