For both patients and healthcare providers, the most painful part of going to the doctor isn’t the blood test or vaccine. Instead, it’s scheduling.
For even small medical offices, balancing a schedule is often a full-time job. But as more of the experience of patient scheduling is moving from phone calls to mobile messaging, new companies are cropping up to seize upon the trend.
Luma Health is one of them. Today, the company announced a $6.33 million Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) which had continued participation from Stanford’s StartX fund and other prior investors. Dafina Toncheva of U.S. Venture Partners will join Luma Health’s board of directors. This new round of funding brings Luma Health’s total equity funding up to $9.7 million.
The company provides mobile-first web and HIPAA-compliant messaging interfaces for automated scheduling, waitlist and referral management, and optional follow-up appointment scheduling features to general practitioners and specialists.
Prior to launching the company in February 2015, founders Adnan Iqbal, Aditya Bansod, and Tashfeen Ekram, MD each ran into scheduling challenges both as patients and healthcare providers. After teaming up to start Luma Health, they validated their idea by launching a study of over 100 different healthcare providers to see if scheduling woes were a widespread problem.
They found that the average patient has to wait between two and twelve weeks for care, with some of the longest wait times coming from specialists. The team also found that there was somewhere between a 15 and 30 percent vacancy rate due to short-notice cancellations. It’s a problem that spans the full spectrum of providers.
With these results in hand, the trio launched the company in February 2015 and joined the StartX accelerator one month later in March. Through that program, they were introduced to the team at U.S. Venture Partners and other investors. CEO Adnan Iqbal told Crunchbase News in a phone interview that Luma Health opted to partner with USVP because of that investor’s track record of building leading SaaS companies in the healthcare space.
The company plans to use part of its new funding to expand its Care Pathway Messaging platform, a bot-enabled system that lets providers send unique text messages automatically to serve the needs of each patient before and after visits and procedures.
Iqbal said that the company has three goals: find the quickest path to care for patients, route them back to their healthcare providers for follow-up appointments and continued care, and help clinicians and patients understand that care continues after a patient leaves the doctor’s office. In the age of chat bots, this whole process becomes much smoother.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias