Mar 31, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: Medical image sharing startup raises $16M

Illustration of a phone with an x-ray image of a dollar sign.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

PocketHealth, a medical image sharing startup, raised $16 million in Series A funding led by Questa Capital to expand its U.S. presence, cofounders Harsh and Rishi Nayyar tell Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: For decades, established tech giants and startups have been striving to shake up the electronic health record (EHR) industry, and recent anti-data-blocking legislation giving patients the chance to access their health information with apps has reinvigorated those efforts.

Details: Existing investor Radical Ventures also participated in Toronto-based PocketHealth's Series A round, bringing the company's total capital to $22.5 million.

How it works: The Nayyar brothers stressed that PocketHealth is not an EHR company but rather a technology that integrates with existing EHRs, letting patients collect and share X-Rays and MRIs from their personal records.

  • Pocket charges patients a yearly $49 subscription fee to collect, download, share and transport their medical images, functioning as a kind of Dropbox for health scans. The images are end-to-end encrypted for security, Rishi Nayyar says.
  • Someone with a Pocket account can share their images with someone who doesn't, and users can also revoke that permission at any time, adds Nayyar.
  • Users can also share their records with clinicians via fax.
  • The company also has an enterprise subscription where hospitals can share images with other providers.

What they're saying: Industry observers tell Axios they see a lot of value in making health records easier to access and share, adding that in their view, the category would benefit from more investment.

  • "I could see a company of this kind riding a good wave," says Christopher McCord, managing director at consulting firm Healthcare Growth Partners. "It's a natural evolution of further empowering the patient."

What's next: Pocket plans to use the funding to hire more staff and build more clinical partnerships in the U.S. and Canada, the Nayyars say.

  • "We started with images because it’s such a critical part of the process but we’re adding more and more context," Nayyar says.
  • Pocket plans to allow patients to upload more parts of their medical record, such as Covid vaccination records, lab results and medication history.
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