Care delivery is increasingly shifting out of the four walls of the hospital, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the lack of necessary infrastructure to support this digital health transition continues to be a major barrier for providers and patients.
Memora Health, which launched in 2018, developed an AI-enabled platform that helps providers manage complex care needs and digitizes clinical and administrative workflows.
The company just landed a $30 million round of new funding led by General Catalyst and backed by several major health systems. Northwell Health's venture arm, Northwell Holdings, Edward-Elmhurst Health and PagsGroup and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Transformation Capital and Frist Cressey Ventures also participated in the round.
The funding round had no designation and was purely a strategic investment as the company was not looking to raise capital, according to Manav Sevak, co-founder and CEO of Memora Health.
"The structure of this financing is more unique as far as the type of organizations who participated including a handful of different health systems and also health plans participated as part of it," Sevak said in an interview.
The startup has raised $80.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase, and banked $40 million in funding back in February 2022. Sevak declined to disclose the company's valuation but confirmed that this latest strategic investment was "not a down round."
Memora Health plans to use the funds to beef up its data analytics infrastructure to expand its care programs, build out its market presence to sell to health plans and deepen its relationships with current partner organizations with new service lines, Sevak said.
The San Francisco-based company spun out of the Harvard Innovation Labs and went through the famed startup accelerator Y Combinator in 2018, emerging as a text-based virtual assistant to help care teams manage patient discharges and follow-ups.
"With the transition that healthcare is going through, care delivery looks and feels dramatically different than it was 20 years ago. The focus on value-based care and quality and all these new entrants in the healthcare space as telehealth becomes more prevalent, we're moving to a healthcare system that is meeting patients where they are. That’s a good thing, for care teams and health systems and for patients, but as part of that, an underlying infrastructure needs to be put in place, one that is intelligent and data-driven," Sevak said.
Health systems nationwide are struggling under a rapidly growing barrage of patient messages and calls as a result of first-generation patient experience and clinical workflow tools. According to a 2022 study, inbound patient messages have increased 157% over the last three years. At the same time, the healthcare industry is facing record levels of burnout among clinicians and healthcare professionals.
Memora Health is building out the infrastructure to unlock how healthcare organizations scale and deliver next-generation care, according to executives. By digitizing and automating high-touch clinical workflows, Memora provides patients with conversational, SMS-based care journeys that adapt to how they communicate. The company's intelligent care enablement platform streamlines clinical workflows for care teams while also improving patient experience.
The startup has partnered with over 50 healthcare organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, Penn Medicine and Edward Elmhurst Health, which pay a monthly subscription fee for the software, executives told Fierce Healthcare last year.
The company recently announced partnerships to automate clinical workflows with Virtua Health, the largest health system in South Jersey, and Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the nation's leading cancer care and research institutions.
"Health systems have reached a critical juncture in an increasingly competitive and dynamic market," said Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, in a statement. "If we want to maintain our position as leaders in care delivery, we need innovative partners that can extend our clinical capacity, keep our patients engaged in their care, and deliver high-quality services to more people. We look forward to collaborating with the Memora team as we leverage novel technology to support our efforts."
Memora Health's intelligent care enablement platform strikes a unique balance of "empowering care teams to give every patient a high-touch care experience while also keeping patients with complex care journeys engaged and proactive in their care," according to Chris Bischoff, managing director of General Catalyst.
Navigating a care plan can be difficult for patients, especially once they've returned home. From a new mom looking for guidance on latching, a cancer patient trying to understand the side effects of their chemotherapy or an older adult recovering from a knee replacement surgery at home, many patients pressing clinical questions that need immediate attention.
Memora Health's platform serves patients with complex conditions throughout the entire care journey, integrating with the healthcare organization’s existing workflows and electronic health record systems as well as offering tools for remote patient monitoring, scheduling, virtual care and outcomes management, among other tasks.
"Every clinician wants to hold the hand of their patient as they progress along their care journey and be there to answer questions and address concerns, but care teams are stretched across large patient populations, inundated with messages, and burnt out," Sevak said.
Memora Health's technology serves as an extension of a care team to guide patients through the steps they need to take based on their specific care plans, he noted.
The company's software also automates day-to-day tasks in the EMR that do not require top-of-license clinical expertise. In one example from a health system utilizing Memora's postpartum care program, over 32,000 messages were exchanged with Memora's platform and less than 150 required a manual response from clinical staff, according to the company.
Memora Health has grown rapidly with revenue doubling last year and the company's head count growing by nearly 4x, Sevak said.