Phreesia Keeps Data Digital When Patients Check In

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Venture Partners. Phreesia has now raised about $45 million through four round of venture capital from HLM, Polaris, Ascension Health Ventures, Sandbox Industries, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners (which is managed by Sandbox), and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Alan Spoon, a well-known venture investor in tech and a general partner at Waltham, MA-based Polaris, serves on Phreesia’s board.

“We believe that the Phreesia platform can deliver a very powerful patient engagement experience that can assist patients and physicians with clinical, administrative and financial benefits,” said Ed Cahill, an HLM partner in Boston and a director at Phreesia, said in an e-mail. “I think the attraction of the company’s technology is demonstrated by the extremely rapid market uptake putting us already in thousands of physician offices.”

While Indig says that Phreesia’s greatest competition is still the paper clipboard, there are a number of outfits out there selling software and technology for automating patient intakes, including PatientWorks of Cary, NC, and the Wichita, KS-based healthcare software firm Pulse Systems. Phreesia gets paid through subscriptions and based on the number of transactions its devices process, Indig says. This differs from rivals, who make most of their money upfront by selling patient check-in kiosks or software for patient intake. Also, Phreesia’s devices are made with antibacterial plastic and designed to withstand some the wear and tear of use in a busy doctor’s office, Indig says.

Phreesia is also developing tools to link its devices with doctors’ electronic health record systems. This way, the information collected from patients with Phreesia’s devices can be fed directly into their electronic records—no manual transcription required. Already, the company has done such integrations for more than 100 clients with EHRs from vendors such as Allscripts, Amazing Charts, and NextGen. With the integration tools it has already developed for such firms’ EHRs, Indig says, his staff can often walk people through the integrations over the phone.

Though Indig declines to reveal financial details, he says that Phreesia has been growing rapidly. The company now has about 100 employees, a third of which are based at its headquarters office in Manhattan. Phreesia’s other employees are in the field or located at its support center in Ontario, Canada. The company has clearly come a long way since its early days operating in a small apartment in the city.

Still, I had to ask Indig why he and Roberts moved to New York from Boston, where there’s an established tech scene. For one, he said, Roberts was moving to be with his now wife who got into medical school here. Indig, who grew up in Canada, says that he simply prefers New York over Boston.

“We think that New York is a phenomenal place to grow a company,” Indig says. “You get a great vibe.”

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