Athenahealth alums launch health stack solution, Fold Health, to transform primary care

New startup Fold Health has launched offering an interoperable digital health tech stack for primary care. 

The company was started by a team of entrepreneurs who founded Praxify, an electronic health records (EHR) optimization company eventually sold to Athenahealth for $63 million. It also announced a funding round of $6 million from the former CEO of Athenahealth, the CEOs of SkyFlow and Saama Technologies and others. 

Built alongside physicians, the company offers a comprehensive operating system that can be laid on top of existing EHRs or platforms. The stack is also customizable. Then that data is used to build a holistic picture of the patient. It also enables communication with providers, so if a patient is hospitalized or injured, that information gets sent to their care manager. It’s what the company sees as “contextual intelligence.” The goal is to improve patient and provider satisfaction, Fold co-founder and former director of Athenahealth Ram Sahasranam told Fierce Healthcare.  

“Our goal is to be selfish about solving for these two, and the entire ecosystem kind of revolves around them,” Sahasranam noted. But the existing approach to healthcare tends not to focus on preventive care. And many solutions offered on the market are disparate, often requiring an IT team to cobble together, Sahasranam said. 

“We live in a world where we have so many amazing experiences,” he said of consumer sites like Amazon or Kayak. “So we wanted to solve for that inefficiency.” 

Fold Health did its homework, executives said, talking to many stakeholders. After discussions with providers and executives at the likes of One Medical and Amazon Care, Fold co-founder and CEO Abhijit Gupta said, "We realized that there’s a clear need for a modern, purpose-built toolset to provide the consumer-focused experiences Americans are used to from other large industries like banking or travel." Gupta formerly served as vice president of clinicals mobile at Athenahealth.

“As a direct primary care physician, I have first-hand experience with the problems Fold Health aims to solve, which is why I have been working hand-in-hand with the founders,” Ben Aiken, M.D., a family physician at Lantern Health, said in a statement. That involves eliminating disparate point solutions and instead offering one conclusive platform that folds everything together into one interface. 

The initial infrastructure layer for direct primary care clinics was built along with a cohort of 10 clients. Through them, there is now patient data that is being tracked to help demonstrate outcomes. Fold Health is working on publishing results in the near future, Sahasranam said. 

After a soft launch at a conference in June, Fold Health came up with more than 50 interested parties, according to Sahasranam. At the end of July, the startup will launch a second cohort of direct primary care practices. The product will be available for wider use in October.