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Two Major Health Systems Invest in Digital Prescribing Platform

June 15, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Pittsburgh-based UPMC Enterprises and Seattle-based Providence Health & Services are investing in Xealth, a digital healthcare startup whose platform enables physicians and clinicians to prescribe customized digital healthcare content, apps, and services.

Xealth, which was incubated within Providence’s digital innovation program in Seattle, announced this week an $8.5 million investment led by DFJ Venture Capital as well as the launch of its digital prescribing and analytics platform. Part of that investment came from UPMC Enterprises, thee venture arm of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Hennepin Healthcare System in Minneapolis and Milwaukee-based Froedtert Health were also involved in the investment.

With Xealth, officials attest that clinicians can prescribe and track the use of educational health content, apps for disease management, and devices to help monitor care, all from their electronic medical record (EMR) charting interface. Xealth aggregates and filters a variety of content sources in a care provider’s existing EMR workflow, aiming to simplify the ability to create a customized experience for the patient. Clinicians can discuss these digital health tools with their patients during appointments, track usage afterward, and schedule reminders to ensure patients use them. Patients can access these digital health prescriptions from their current health system’s secure patient portal online, such as Epic’s MyChart.

The technology was launched at Providence to support two initial use cases. In primary care, physicians can prescribe educational video content to engage patients in the discussion around advance care planning. In women’s health, Xealth works with Circle, another digital service developed by Providence to provide personalized physician-led support for moms from pregnancy to pediatrics.

Mike McSherry, co-founder of Swype, a predictive text technology sold to Nuance in 2011, and several Swype team members joined Providence last year as executives-in-residence to find new innovations in healthcare. McSherry and team founded Xealth as a result.

“Providence and UPMC are our ideal launch partners, given their size and focus on the next generation of healthcare," McSherry said in a statement “Together, we’ll be able to better measure the impact of more engaged patients on their health outcomes, and the effectiveness of prescribed content, apps, and services. We’re inspired by the possibility of this platform and its potential to become an industry-wide solution.”

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