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Exclusive: Flexpa sows $8.5M seed for health data sharing

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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Capitalizing on a surge of interest in health tech enablement, medical data-sharing startup Flexpa raised $8.5 million in seed funding, founder and CEO Andrew Arruda tells Axios exclusively.

Driving the news: Passage of the federal information-blocking rule granted patients unprecedented access to their medical data and enabled a new wave of digital health innovation focused on infrastructure and enablement.

  • Flexpa lets patients share that health information (e.g., lab test results and diagnoses) with the health apps of their choosing.

Details: General Catalyst led the seed round.

  • Other investors include: Greycroft, Andreessen Horowitz, Precursor, Hyperplane, Comma Capital, Commure, PJC, Correlation, Diagram Capital, Accomplice and Better Tomorrow Ventures and individual backers including Plaid CTO Jean-Denis Greze, Subscript founder Sidharth Kakkar and Whoop CTO John Capodilupo.
  • Plus existing backers Apollo Projects, Village Global and Tribe Capital.

One (un)fun thing: Arruda had a lightbulb moment after being hospitalized from a cycling accident in Oakland, Calif. and taking a trip to its records department, where an employee asked if he wanted his data printed or put on a CD-ROM.

  • "We’re an age group that moves a lot, and we want to be able to access services when and where we want them," Arruda says. "The use-case here is ensuring the data is flowing."

Context: Flexpa joins a cadre of venture-backed companies working to develop what Greycroft partner Ellie Wheeler calls the "tech and tools to enable" better health care delivery and outcomes, starting with virtual care.

  • Capable Health, which makes a plug-and-play software platform for virtual care startups, in May raised $6 million in seed funding.
  • Zus Health launched last summer with a bold plan to be digital health companies' common development platform and unified health record.
  • Wheel, a telehealth infrastructure provider, raised $150 million in a Series C round in January.

How it works: Flexpa — which stands for flexible patient access — has a dual focus on virtual care startups and patients.

  1. Digital health developers can use Flexpa to connect to new patient access APIs. Budgie Health, for example, uses Flexpa to help patients decide what benefits policy to select based on their history.
  2. Patients can use Flexpa to share their medical record information, from test results and previous surgeries to current medications.

The bottom line: Arruda and Flexpa's investors see the company's true potential in working not just with digital health startups but also with more traditional providers. The company currently supports linking sources of data from all of the top six Medicare plans and several commercial plans, including UnitedHealthcare and Humana.

  • "Flexpa allows all of these [entities] to do what they do best," Arruda says. "We’re the data connector enabling that."
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