Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Practice Fusion, Helping Doctors Go Paperless, Lands $23 Million

Like anyone else who runs a business, doctors want to eliminate paper. And in medical practices there’s plenty of it. The primary feature of any doctors office is the mountain of file folders containing patient medical records, all on paper.

There’s been lots of attempts to convert doctors to electronic medical records and it’s a key part of health care reform. However, a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that as of 2009 less than half of all doctors had moved to an electronic system by the end 2009.

Practice Fusion is a start-up founded in 2007 that aims to make the move to electronic records easier for groups of nine doctors or less. The company announced a $23 million round of funding led by Founders Fund, with participation from Artis Capital Management and Glynn Capital Management, as well as returning investors Morgenthaler Ventures and Felicis Ventures. The round brings the company’s total funding to $30 million. 

While most electronic medical record systems cost about $50,000 per physician, cloud-based Practice Fusion is free. The company makes its money conducting analytics on the health data store in the system. Doctors can use the system to securely chart patient visits, review their records, schedule appointments and write prescriptions, and do all the other routine medical administrivia that is usually done on paper. More than 75,000 healthcare professionals are using Practice Fusion, and the system stores data on 9.5 million patients through Practice Fusion’s network. The network is adding doctors at a rate of 350 a day.

This is the latest deal for Founder’s Fund and its founder Peter Thiel, notable as Facebook’s first outside investor. The fund’s other investments include Mint, which was acquired by Intuit in 2009, Yammer, Spotify, SpaceX, and Palantir Technologies.

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