December 4, 2023Read More
We are thrilled to announce that we have raised $16 million USD ($20 million CAD) in funding. Led by Questa Capital, and with participation from our original investor Radical Ventures, the new financing is a testament to the progress we’ve made in our mission to empower patients with access to their diagnostic imaging and medical reports so they can play a more active role in their care and achieve better health outcomes. It also allows us to accelerate our efforts to bring PocketHealth to more patients and care providers across Canada and the U.S. through investments in product innovation and hiring.
When we founded PocketHealth, we had a simple goal in mind: to make it easy for patients and care providers to access and share diagnostic imaging and eliminate the need to rely on an antiquated technology: the CD-ROM. The idea came from Harsh’s personal experience with the healthcare system while working in Silicon Valley as a software engineer at Google. After injuring his ankle, he went to get an X-ray and MRI, and at the end of the appointment, the technologist handed him two CDs with copies of his images and told him to share them with the doctor.
Harsh was shocked. Here he was, at the epicenter of technology, surrounded by companies like Netflix and Dropbox who long ago had solved the problem of digital file sharing, and he was holding CD-ROMs in his hands. Like most of us, he didn’t have a CD drive, meaning his own images were inaccessible to him. And in order to get a diagnosis, he was responsible for physically transporting them to his doctor.
Imaging is almost always a source or confirmation of medical diagnosis, and can often be the spark for a long-term care journey. While the emotional nature may range from delight (maternity) to anxiety (tumor discovery), most patients who have moved through an image-based journey have felt the same pain and frustration Harsh felt. Today, X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs and other visual assets are essential for understanding a treatment course or for soliciting second opinions. Yet at a time where patients are at their most vulnerable, they find themselves in frustrating records release expeditions, requiring in-person visits, CD-ROM hardware and locked image-sharing networks.
We saw these challenges as an opportunity to create a cloud platform that would make it easy for patients and healthcare providers to access and share diagnostic imaging and reports. With the help of a handful of early adopters, we built PocketHealth — the first patient-driven image sharing platform that enables patients and healthcare providers to securely share medical imaging and diagnostic reports with anyone, anywhere, and across any network. We focused on giving patients better access and control over their imaging records, while minimizing disruption and change management for care providers.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, healthcare facilities that previously relied on sharing CDs in person suddenly needed a different way to transfer critical medical information. We were able to help minimize physical contact and interaction, which made image sharing safer for staff and patients.
Sharing critical health information is a global problem. While we started in Toronto and have built meaningful partnerships with many hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities in our home province of Ontario, we have been expanding rapidly. Our platform is now used by more than 600,000 patients across 550 care provider sites in Canada and the U.S. We have more than 600 million images on our platform, and every day, patients and providers transfer millions of medical images on PocketHealth.
And we’re just getting started. An investment in your own care requires more than just access to your medical information. We want to be able to do more to help patients understand their own diagnosis, so they can have more informed conversations with their doctors and advocate more effectively for their own care and the care of their loved ones. Earlier this month we released Report Reader, which allows patients to tap or click on anatomical or medical terms common within most medical imaging reports and view term meaning in easily understandable language.
Our Series A funding will enable us to invest in adding exciting new features and functionality to PocketHealth. We will also be growing our team, and are hiring across Product, Engineering, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success. These functions will be instrumental in expanding our product offerings, increasing our patient adoption, and growing our footprint across North America.
The past six years have been an incredible journey to support healthcare workers and empower patients. We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from both our community and the industry at large as we work to improve the patient experience. We look forward to continuing to build a world where patients have the information and knowledge to become empowered, engaged and active participants in their healthcare journey.
Harsh and Rishi Nayyar