If you have ever tried to access your own health care data from one doctor so you can share it with another doctor, you probably understand that it’s not the easiest process.
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Doctors and pharmacists have that same data-sharing problem, which is one that Particle Health is working to solve.
On Tuesday, the New York City-based data networking startup closed on a $12 million Series A funding round led by Menlo Ventures. The company plans to use the funding to further develop its product—a HIPAA-compliant application programming interface (API)—to connect digital health care solutions to patient health data, said Troy Bannister, founder and CEO of Particle Health.
“We want to have one API and one contract to help users get access to every hospital’s data, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he told Crunchbase News. “Our hope is to make it easy for developers to start using the API, so we wanted the developer experience to be like if they got on Plaid, Stripe or Twilio, to plug in and start developing a product.”
Also participating in the round were existing investors Collaborative Fund, Story Ventures and Company Ventures, as well as individual angel investors from Flatiron Health, Clover Health, Plaid, Petal and Hometeam.
Particle Health, founded in 2018, last raised funds in 2019, a $2.3 million funding round involving 13 investors, according to an SEC filing.
In addition to the funding, Greg Yap, partner at Menlo Ventures, will join the Particle Health board of directors.
“Clumsy information sharing has taxed U.S. health care for decades, but new rules against Information Blocking establish patients’ rights to access their medical data via API,” Yap said in a written statement. “Particle Health’s technology platform is the first to deliver simple, secure, scalable and comprehensive access to health care data. The combination of portability and privacy will enable the next generation of digital health applications.”
Medical data on large electronic health record systems, such as Epic and Cerner, can be easier to share, but third-party companies (such as telemedicine, pharmacy and virtual health companies), do not have that same kind of access, Bannister said.
“When you are working with any third party, they have no access at all to other networks’ medical data,” he said. “We are focusing on those third parties, selling the solution to those who need access.”
The 2-year-old company has access to data on nearly 300 million people, and its platform has an 85 percent success rate in finding people’s medical history, Bannister said.
Particle Health recently opened its API at no cost to organizations working on COVID-19 cases, and usage has increased by 50 percent, he said. In addition, 1.4 million medical transactions happened over the course of a month.
“Doctors who are meeting patients via telemedicine might want a short report on the patient, but the pharmacy might only want to see things like labs and allergies,” he said. “Our goal is to make all of that data standardized and clean.”
The company has 11 employees and Bannister said he plans to hire another 15 over the next six months.
He said he would like to position Particle Health as a developer tool and less as a medical solution. Therefore, he is hiring people with experience working at Google and Facebook so that the product is tech-forward and created with people in mind who are not health care developers.
Illustration: Dom Guzman