SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starting this spring, some Central Texas employees will be able to skip a trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room, thanks to the ground-breaking launch of eMD Access, a new Telehealth service by Austin Regional Clinic (ARC), powered by CirrusMD’s doctor-patient communications technology.
Employees will have access to a team of ARC doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via secure text messaging, image sharing and video chat through Denver, Colorado-based CirrusMD’s HIPAA-compliant online/mobile platform. Andrew Altorfer, CEO of CirrusMD, said, “We’re making telemedicine more accessible to the consumer, which will benefit everyone involved from the patient to the physician to the employer.”
Through eMD Access, ARC doctors will be available to treat many common maladies and can write prescriptions, order tests, and, as appropriate, refer patients to a doctor’s office or emergency room for further medical care. Patients who utilize eMD Access will continue to use their existing primary care physicians and specialists for in-office needs. The service would not be used for true medical emergencies and is not a substitute for primary care management of chronic issues like diabetes or hypertension.
“CirrusMD believes that all healthcare is local. By partnering with medical groups on a regional basis, we enable doctors and health systems to expand reach into their communities. This is a fundamentally different market approach from other national telemedicine companies that use their own doctors, licensed in dozens of states to communicate remotely with patients outside of, and in competition with local networks,” says Dr. Blake McKinney, CirrusMD’s originating co-founder.
Employers and their staff are expected to benefit from more convenience and reduced healthcare costs as well as other advantages. “Ongoing direct physician access through messaging makes the CirrusMD experience different from that of most existing telemedicine workflows that only enable ad hoc video. We set out to lower barriers to physician access through technology and innovative business modeling,” says Dr. McKinney.
Since January of 2015 approximately 125,000 members of Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) commercial and Medicaid health insurance in Colorado have enjoyed direct access to Denver-based board certified emergency physicians over CirrusMD (white labeled as MyDigitalMD for RMHP) with no co-pay required. Data have shown a significant decrease in ER utilization rates for patients accessing a physician via the CirrusMD platform. Avoidable ER visits are a major driver of unnecessary healthcare expense.
Usage and cost savings results generated by CirrusMD include:
- 18 percent of registered users sought treatment
- 23 percent of encounters represented an ER visit avoided
- 43 percent of encounters involved a prescription written
CirrusMD is a 2013 graduate of Velocity Venture Capital’s Entrepreneurs Showcase Accelerator program, a 10-week program based in Northern California that educates and mentors top startups and then connects them with potential investors, advisors and customers. Following their graduation, Velocity invested in the company as part of a $1.25M Series Seed round of financing along side corporate investors that closed in March 2015. “The CirrusMD team continues to gain customer traction, expand their geographic footprint and bring impactful new solutions to market,” comments Jack Crawford, General Partner at Velocity Venture Capital.
Founded in 2012, CirrusMD develops Mobile Physician Access solutions for large healthcare organizations. It’s proprietary technologies allow everyone to access convenient, timely medical care with local physicians in the same way that doctors address concerns for their friends and family – through text and video chat. Its HIPAA-compliant platform allows providers to offer secure text messaging/image sharing and video visits to patients via mobile devices and web browsers. It currently works with large payers and providers in a number of states and will be rolling out its platform nationwide in 2015. For more information, contact Chris Saxman, Chief Operating Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.cirrusmd.com.
About Velocity Venture Capital
Velocity Venture Capital is an investment and advisory firm that capitalizes information technology companies that converge with key market sectors like Security, Medical, Energy, and Education. Velocity targets investments alongside corporate venture firms in the US with special attention paid to startup companies in Northern California.
Velocity also powers the non-profit Entrepreneurs Showcase Accelerator (www.entrepreneursshowcase.com). Launched in 2009, the Showcase is a 10-week program that educates and mentors top startups and graduate students then connects them to other entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 corporations, policymakers and investors facilitating knowledge, experience, idea and resource sharing. Velocity is headquartered at its Entrepreneurs Campus in the Sacramento region just east of the Silicon Valley.