Paper is often considered an obstacle to progress: it’s hard to share and easy to lose. Nowhere is this more the case than in the health sector.
Since 2009, US healthcare practitioners have been under pressure (both incentive and punitive) to migrate to an Electronic Health Records (EHRs) model, and the government has thrown up to $36.5B at the initiative. Adoption of EHRs has rocketed as a result but paper is still a problem because:
1) The volumes of legacy data on paper remains enormous
2) People like using paper and will continue to do so - it is (for now) a part of natural workflow
Kuang Chen, a Berkeley-based Ph.D and entrepreneur, identified this problem while carrying out research in AIDS clinics in Tanzania. He realized that paper usage was indispensable in both developing and developed healthcare environments and that a new solution was required to digitize the data.
He therefore founded SaaS company Captricity with a vision of converting static documentation (handwritten notes, faxes etc.) into cloud-based data that can be accessed remotely, shared and analyzed.
Kuang explains: “Our thesis is that our technology can make the movement of data much more efficient between these domains, without having to enact the typical IT overhaul upheaval.“
To further this mission, Captricity has raised new investment to the tune of $10M. This Series B, announced today, was led by Atlas Venture, whose partner Chris Lynch will join the board. Social+Capital also participated.
The sum brings the startup’s funding to a total of $14M, with previous investors including Social+Capital, Atlas and The Knight Foundation as well as angels Mitch Kapor, Reid Hoffman and Dave Goldberg.
Captricity’s technology has applications in many industries beyond health and counts enterprises like Symantec and insurance providers such as new partner New York Life among its customers. However, its healthcare roots are clear and the startup is working with a range of government organizations as well as companies like Catapult Health and Integra Partners.
One example is openFDA, the Federal Drug Administration’s open government initiative. Captricity has a partnership with the FDA to digitize the backlog of paper reports submitted to MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
It’s all part of Kuang’s goal to target what he calls “the three pillars of our health system”.