Intellivisit Lands New Customers, Expects New Financing in October
Intellivisit, the Milwaukee-area virtual health startup that seeks to be the “digital front door” for sick patients wanting to report their symptoms, has signed three Midwestern customers, all of whom will start using the software in October, said founder and CEO Jay Mason.
The company, which changed its name from Elli Health in April, was founded in 2013 and has thus far raised over $2.1 million in seed funding, according to SEC filings.
October figures to be a busy month for Intellivisit. It’s also when the company expects to close on another $2.5 million in a convertible debt financing round, Mason said.
Some of that money would be used to advance what Mason called the company’s “intellectual property roadmap.” Intellivisit has not yet applied for any patents, he said.
The company also has plans to expand its staff, Mason said. There are currently five employees, including one physician. Mason said Intellivisit anticipates it will add about seven new people by the end of 2015, and a dozen more next year.
Mason declined to name any of Intellivisit’s current or prospective customers. He said the company expects to sell primarily to systems of hospitals and clinics and large employers, some of whom operate clinics at their worksites.
With Intellivisit’s online patient portal, users describe their ailments and the system’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine scans through over 25 million data points from peer-reviewed medical journals and other scientific literature to narrow down possible diagnoses. The portal is dynamic, Mason said, meaning users will see different questions depending on the information they’ve entered about things like medications they’re taking and how often they drink, smoke, and exercise.
On the other end is a clinician, who Mason said can take actions like making an official diagnosis, ordering a prescription—provided the drug is not a controlled substance—or requesting the patient come to the clinic or hospital for further evaluation. “Less than half [of patients who use Intellivisit] will have to go in” for in-person examination, he said.
For those patients who do end up seeing a doctor, Intellivisit customers can configure their electronic health record systems so the presenting symptoms automatically flow into physicians’ notes via an interface.
Mason said Intellivisit’s software improves access and lowers costs, which he called the company’s two “mantles.” A visit usually costs around $80 at a traditional clinic and $120 at an urgent care clinic, he said. While customers would be the ones to decide whether—and how much—to charge for a virtual “visit,” the portal could save organizations money, he said.
The portal is designed for people “experiencing something out of the norm,” Mason said, and is not meant to replace periodical in-person physicals at a doctor’s office.
Unlike products like IBM’s Watson that use machine-learning algorithms to analyze information and make previously unknown connections, Intellivisit’s AI technology draws only on known data, Mason said. He said that to his knowledge, there isn’t another company doing the exact same type of work as Intellivisit.
“We don’t see any direct competitors today but there are going to be competitors in the future,” he said.
Mason said Intellivisit is his sixth Wisconsin healthtech startup. In 2005, he founded MyHealthDirect, an appointment-scheduling exchange. After installing Tom Cox as CEO in 2012, that company moved to Nashville, TN.
While he was helping build MyHealthDirect, Mason “started virtualizing care and thinking about AI,” which eventually led to the idea for Intellivisit, he said.
When he contemplates Intellivisit’s long-term future, Mason said he expects the company to expand nationally—it’s focusing on the Midwest for now—and he’s “sure that we’ll have an exit someday.”
“If it’s an IPO or a strategic sale depends on us, as well as market conditions,” he said.