Health tech startup Ciitizen acquires Stella Technology's HIE business to improve patient access to health records

Ciitizen, a startup that helps patients collect and share their medical records digitally, has acquired Stella Technology's health information exchange business to improve patients' access to their full health history.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Considered a pioneer in information exchange and interoperability, Stella Technology developed solutions to optimize workflows and unify disparate data. The company has worked over two decades with state and regional health information exchanges (HIEs) to connect their healthcare ecosystems to enable better patient care, drive population health improvements and provide timely data collection and reporting, according to a Ciitizen press release.

By acquiring Stella Technology's digital health information technology platform and interoperability expertise, Ciitizen aims to advance HIEs’ data quality and analytics capabilities and get patients faster access to complete healthcare records.

The technology capabilities also enable HIE compliance with the new federal information blocking rules, according to company executives.

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“Combining Stella’s data exchange network and analytics platforms with Ciitizen’s machine learning technology creating research-ready medical records brings a unique solution for HIEs and patients requiring complete health records for better outcomes,” said Anil Sethi, CEO and co-founder of Ciitizen, in a statement.

Sethi said the acquisition deal will be the "first of many innovations" to enable easier access to records, imaging, genomics and natural disease histories for patients and healthcare providers.

"We are seeing a high demand from across the healthcare industry for a new healthcare data infrastructure. With our wide network of partnerships with leading pharma, biotech and research organizations, HIEs and patients, Ciitizen is propelling the industry towards greater information sharing," he said in a statement.

Sethi started Ciitizen in 2017 after his sister lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer. In her last six months of life, Anil crisscrossed the country with his sister, Tania, who was seen by 23 specialists across 17 institutions, none of which had Tania’s full health history, according to the company.

Sethi left his role as director of health records at tech giant Apple to start Ciitizen with the goal of putting patients in control of their health data in a seamless and frictionless way.

The company's service is free to patients.

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Two years ago, Ciitizen established a rating system for providers based on how they respond to patients' medical record requests. That Patient Record Scorecard has grown from 50 providers scored to nearly 3,400.

Lalo Valdez, president and CEO of Stella Technology, said Ciitizen has developed advanced data management tools that complement what the Stella technologies bring to the table.

"They will significantly enhance our HIE customers' ability to effectively leverage the longitudinal health records they have spent years creating for patients in their communities. The combined offering will provide opportunities for new business use cases that will future-proof their services for a data-driven economy," Valdez said.

HIEs play an integral role in interoperability efforts in healthcare, providing data sharing capabilities between different providers and institutions on 92% of the U.S. population.

Ciitizen’s new SaaS data platform will facilitate patient access to complete healthcare data histories in minutes rather than weeks, company executives said.

“With the new federal regulations aimed at ending information blocking practices for greater sharing of electronic health records, our acquisition of Stella Technology’s solutions is breaking down these barriers. We are already enabling the next stage of healthcare data sharing that will benefit patients and drive insightful research for new treatments of rare and life-threatening diseases,” said Deven McGraw, chief regulatory officer of Ciitizen.