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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Solv Health, a startup that sells health care providers digital tools to manage patients, has raised $27 million in new funding led by Acrew Capital, with MultiCare Health System, Light Street Capital, Benchmark and Greylock Partners also participating.

Why it matters: Overnight, the ongoing pandemic significantly altered how people interact with the health care system, creating a need to reduce unnecessary in-person contact that has sped up the digital transformation of medical practice.

Details: Solv’s primary business and source of revenue is selling software to health care providers — mainly urgent care clinics — that helps them manage patient appointments and related interactions.

  • It’s essentially an “OpenTable for health care providers."
  • “The ROI we’re delivering them is patient engagement and acquisition,” co-founder and CEO Heather Fernandez tells Axios.

On the patient side, Solv has an app that enables users to find providers nearby that accept their insurance (if they have it), book appointments, and track their deductible spending.

  • Solv has also added services like virtual doctor visits, appointments for COVID-19 tests, and the ability to pay for care via the mobile app.
  • Since March, patients have booked more than 700,000 virtual appointments through Solv, up from only 9,000 in all of 2019.
  • According to the company, 80 million Americans currently live within a 5-mile radius of a same-day appointment they can book via Solv.
  • The service is available to patients in 43 states for in-person visits, and 38 for virtual visits.

The pandemic has also created a new opportunity for the company as urgent care clinics quickly became primary providers for COVID-19 tests.

  • In recent months, the company has also partnered with the city of Seattle and the state of Michigan to provide underlying patient-booking software for their testing programs.
  • To date, Solv patients have booked 2.1 million tests, according to the company.

The bottom line: Urgent care is increasingly becoming the first, if not the only, interaction patients have with health care providers, making it even more imperative for both clinics and patients to interact more efficiently.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 24, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Health equity and the next four years

On Tuesday, November 24 Axios' Caitlin Owens hosted a conversation on the importance of health equity in the new presidential administration, featuring Inova Loudoun Hospital President Deborah Addo, Harvard Opinion Research Program director and professor Robert Blendon and GE Healthcare's U.S. and Canada CEO Everett Cunningham.

Professor Robert Blendon discussed the outsized impact of the pandemic on minorities in America, highlighting the severe health and economic consequences.

  • On the precarity of the economic situation: “We have people who were hanging on by the fingernail when there was federal aid, and there’s no federal aid [now]. We’re about to stop the limited protection that you can’t be evicted if you can’t pay your rent or utility.”
  • On how dire the COVID-19 pandemic is for communities of color in the coming months: "I want to be very cautious here. Unless a number of things are done on an emergency basis in the next six months, a lot of Black and Hispanic Americans are going to die."

Everett Cunningham unpacked how COVID-19 has changed the field of medicine, and how the shift to telemedicine can be a part of expanding health access.

  • On improving rural health care: "Irrespective of which zip code you're in, you should get the highest quality of care... [Telemedicine] allows us to reach out to the rural patients and give them that same quality of care."

Deborah Addo discussed policy solutions to address and help reduce public health inequities .

  • On paid leave as public health: "If you know that if you come to work ill you'll be paid, but if you stay home and you're ill, you won't be paid—that's the difference between making rent and keeping the lights on [or not]. It's unlikely that you are going to let your employer know you're not feeling well. We need to help to remove that barrier."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with USAFacts Steve Ballmer and discussed USAFacts' efforts to track the spread of COVID-19 around the country.

  • "We've got a map here that shows how COVID cases per capita keeps moving: we started in the east, then south, then moved to the west. And now there are counties in North Dakota where one out of five people in the county have had COVID. So I'm very worried about it."

Thank you USAFacts for sponsoring this event.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.

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