Welkin Health, a San Francisco-based digital health company, has raised $17.5 million in series B funding with plans to continue to build out its patient relationship management software.
The funding round was led by Altos Ventures, and existing investors Thrive Capital, Red Swan Ventures and Asset Management Ventures also contributed to the round, which brings Welkin’s total funding to $30 million.
Welkin closed an $8 million series A round with Thrive Capital in 2017. Since then, the company has grown from a team of 15 to 50 and more than doubled its customer base.
Welkin’s customers include medical device companies, payers, providers and disease management service providers.
Founded in 2013, the company was originally conceived as a coaching app to support patients with diabetes and then pivoted to focus on patient engagement workflow, according to Chase Hensel, CEO and co-founder of Welkin.
Working with healthcare organizations, the company realized that many organizations trying to build patient engagement struggle with the same problems around workflow organization. "We saw an opportunity to focus on how can we make these health coaches and staff better at their jobs by building patient relationship management software," Hensel told FierceHealthcare.
Welkin's software is designed to integrate with and be built on top of customers' care programs, Hensel said. "Often in healthcare, and in digital health, there are point solutions, such as a smartphone app to help you manage congestive heart failure and it can be sold to a hospital and there are 10,000 of these things. But there needs to be a tool hiding behind the scene to help make care teams good at their jobs," he said.
“Our APIs (application programming interfaces) and workshop tools enable customers to launch quickly, to flexibly plug us into their tech stack, and to make changes to their care programs over time. We’re excited to work with Altos to continue our mission of helping health care organizations create meaningful patient relationships at scale," Hensel said.
With its latest funding round, Welkin plans to focus on expanding its team and on further product development. "We're focused on the clinical managers and the end care teams and making their lives as easy as possible as well as the IT folks who have to set up these technology solutions," Hensel said.
Healthcare organizations are increasingly using technology tools and medical devices to better engage patients in their own healthcare as part of disease and care management programs.
"It's related to the push to value," Hensel said. "Consumers expect more and the health plans expect more, and we’re trying to be proactive and get out ahead of problems. Previously we saw a focus on identifying people at highest risk, and that's where you saw the attention to population health and analytics, and now the focus is on helping people and supporting them on their journey."
Healthcare organizations face many obstacles when trying to provide patient-centered care, according to Hodong Nam, managing director at Altos Ventures. Welkin's platform "makes it easy to build a service that keeps pace with the constantly evolving health care landscape," he said.
The company also announced that Ram Gupta will be joining Welkin’s board of directors on behalf of Altos Ventures. Gupta has worked with startups and high-growth companies in executive management and board roles for more than 20 years, including Cast Iron Systems, PeopleSoft and WebMD Health.