Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Carena raises $13.3m to expand virtual clinic service

Steve Rogerson
June 16, 2015
 
Seattle-based telemedicine provider Carena has raised $13.3m in funding from Cambia Health and McKesson Ventures.
 
“Cambia and McKesson share our belief that building partnerships with local healthcare systems is the best way to provide high-quality telemedicine solutions for consumers,” said Ralph Derrickson, CEO of Carena. “We are innovating from within healthcare systems to expand the brands consumers know and trust.”
 
The financing round follows Carena’s recent announcement of four health system partnerships launched in 2015: UW Medicine in Seattle; Integris Health in Oklahoma City; Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee; and Hospital Sisters Health System in Springfield, Illinois. Additionally, two health system partners – University of Iowa Healthcare and OSF HealthCare in Illinois – have launched virtual clinics in the past month.
 
“Carena has experienced significant growth this year,” said Derrickson. “We are on track to more than double our revenue in 2015 and continue to increase our customer base with valuable health system partnerships,”
 
Cambia senior vice president of strategic investment Rob Coppedge added: “By investing in Carena, Cambia is supporting the expansion of Carena’s innovative virtual visit capabilities to an increasing number of people nationwide. Cambia is proud to support innovative healthcare solutions designed to provide consumers convenient, cost-effective and integrated healthcare experiences.”
 
Carena’s virtual clinics extend health systems’ services and build their reputation with virtual care from board-certified clinicians. This model ensures convenience and affordability for the millions of patients who have access to these services. Visits via phone or the internet typically last 20 minutes. Common conditions treated include cold, pink eye, cold sore, rash, flu, sore throat and urinary tract infection. When asked, 97 per cent of patients said they would use the service again.
 
“Carena enables health systems to extend their footprint to offer compelling virtual clinic services in their local markets,” said Tom Rodgers, managing director of McKesson Ventures. “We expect this approach to telehealth to prevail by resonating most with patients, and Carena is the clear leader with this approach.”
 
Adoption of telemedicine is gaining support from the investment community and policymakers. Telemedicine funding reached $300m in aggregate in 2014, a 315 per cent increase compared with the previous year, according to Rock Health. In addition, with the passage of new legislation, 27 states and the district of Columbia now have laws in place designed to reimburse telemedicine in the same manner as in-person visits.
 
The latest financers join Catholic Health Initiatives and Martin Ventures in funding development of Carena’s virtual clinics for hospital systems. Approximately 13 million people in 14 states have access to the company’s partner-branded virtual clinics.