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Start-Up Offers Digital Health Prescriptions, Raises $1.8M



6 September 2018. A new enterprise that offers electronic health service prescriptions is raising $1.8 million in seed funds and starting a program for prescribing digital health services simultaneously to groups of people. Rx.Health, a spin-off company from Mount Sinai Health System in New York, provides prescriptions for electronic health services including mobile apps, remote patient monitoring, digital therapeutics, and education that the company says are integrated into a health care provider’s electronic health records.

Rx.Health says it provides a single source of digital health tools that physicians can prescribe in much the same way as they prescribe drugs and medical devices. These services, says the company can help lower the cost of patient engagement and value-based care. Rx.Health cites data showing health systems in the U.S. are losing almost $100 million each year by failing to engage patients with digital health solutions.

The company is commercializing the RxUniverse program developed at Mount Sinai in its digital medicine center known as Sinai AppLab. RxUniverse evaluates and characterizes the huge numbers of health care apps — some 245,000 in the Apple iTunes store alone — as well as other digital health services based on clinical evidence, and makes it possible for physicians to prescribe apps or wearable devices at the point of care. The system also collects data from the prescribed apps or wearables for the patient’s electronic health records.

An 8-week pilot test of RxUniverse shows the system is easy to use, says Rx.Health, scoring in the 96th percentile on a standard system usability scale. The pilot test results also show RxUniverse helped health systems reduce readmissions for patients with chronic heart failure by 40 percent. The company says several health systems are using RxUniverse today, with others in the process of implementing it.

Rx.Health says it is raising $1.8 million in seed funds — sources of the funds were not disclosed — to support building a new feature it calls bulk prescriptions for providing digital services and changes to care plans to entire groups of patients in a single transaction. The bulk prescription service is designed to reach patients in a health system meeting certain criteria, such as individuals with chronic diseases that do not have their symptoms under control. The service would enable these patients to quickly receive access to digital therapeutics, remote monitoring, and educational information specifically for their conditions.

The seed funds are also expected to help expand Rx.Health to customers other than health care providers. “We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the demand for our services and the landscape of potential clients has broadened,” says chief operating officer Andy Pfau in a Mount Sinai statement. “In addition to health systems, we’re now able to capitalize on the advanced discussions we’re having with payers and accountable care organizations. These discussions always change the application of your products, which in turn naturally fuels R&D.”

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