Silverlink Raises $5M for Outreach to Healthcare Consumers

[Updated 11:00 a.m. August 24, 2009 with quotes from Silverlink CEO Stan Nowak] Silverlink Communications, the Burlington, MA-based startup whose healthcare communications services we profiled last month, has raised $5 million in series D venture funding, according to regulatory forms filed last week.

Existing investors Sigma Partners, HLM Ventures, and Kaiser Permanente Ventures participated in the round, according to Silverlink spokesperson Susan Frankle. She says the funds will be used to build up the company’s core engineering and analytics teams and to pursue a larger slice of the $9 billion that healthcare organizations spend each year on communicating with members about healthier behaviors.

Silverlink helps health plans and other healthcare-related organizations to devise and conduct campaigns to sway members to make healthy lifestyle changes or be more efficient users of healthcare services. It uses a “champion-challenger” approach to test different twists on each message and quickly define which ones are most effective in changing member behavior.

“Healthcare enterprises have a tremendous opportunity to take a leadership role in guiding consumers—helping them make better health decisions to control our nation’s healthcare costs,” Silverlink CEO Stan Nowak told Xconomy by e-mail this morning. “With the healthcare reform efforts putting the individual consumer at center stage, consumer outreach has never been more important in healthcare.”

According to Nowak, the new funding will help Silverlink “capitalize on this significant and growing opportunity for effective consumer communications in healthcare. While many companies are retrenching, Silverlink is accelerating our technology and analytics investments to provide highly personalized outreach to consumers.”

Silverlink has now raised about $19 million in venture backing, including a $2.1 million Series A round in 2003 led by Sigma, a $5.6 million B round in 2004 led by HLM, and a $6 million Series C round in 2006, also led by HLM.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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