Ringadoc is one of a handful of young HealthTech startups that are on a mission to become “the frontline of primary care.” What does that mean? As we wrote in January, Ringadoc wants to let anyone with an Internet connection talk to a real, live doctor at any hour of the day — at an affordable flat rate.
Not unlike HealthTap, which recently closed a hefty round of financing, Ringadoc aims to provide on-demand digital service through which patients can reach doctors at any time and, more recently, allows doctors to triage their own calls from their smartphone. And, like HealthTap, the startup is beginning to find interest from investors.
This week, Ringadoc finally closed its extended, three-part seed round of $1.9 million. The startup announced the first “tranche” of $750K from Founders Fund’s seed vehicle, FF Angel, in the summer of last year, followed by the announcement that it had closed $1.2 million in January, concluding with the final addition of $700K this week. In addition to Founders Fund, other investors in Ringadoc’s ongoing seed round include Siemer VC, Telegraph Hill Group, Practice Fusion Founder and CEO Ryan Howard and former president of One Medical Group Sharon Knight, among others.
While a next-gen answering service for physicians may not sound particularly exciting to the average consumer or patient, it has the potentially to be very appealing to doctors themselves. Ringadoc gives M.D.s a new platform by which they can manage out-of-office communication, allowing them to ditch their expensive operator-based answering services. In turn, allowing patients to connect directly saves both sides from having to pay for (or arrange) a costly office visit.
Ringadoc Founder Jordan Michaels says that doctors are expecting to see an onslaught of 30 to 40 million new patients in 2014 (thanks to Obamacare). So, whether they know they need it now or not, doctors are going to be looking for new, better ways to increase practice efficiency and manage patient requests, he says. And, for patients, it means being able to ask that pressing health question instead of having to wait until their next appointment.
Since launching its doctor-patient communication platform, Ringadoc has handled over 100,000 calls and doctors have saved over $500K in the last six months, the founders tell us.
For now, the startup is going full-bore after its physician-facing communication tools and will use its new capital to ramp up hiring, and add integrations that complement other platforms and services doctors are already using, like EMRs, for example. Given that Practice Fusion has become one of the largest startup EMR providers in the space and its founder is an investor, it wouldn’t be a huge leap to see that kind of functionality head to Ringadoc in the near future.
By the end of the year, however, the startup hopes to return to the original patient-facing element of the service we first covered last year, which has taken a backseat as the team focused on building out its triaging system. Once it has both sides humming at full steam, Ringadoc could become more of a threat to its competitors, as it will be able to add value on both sides of the table.
Find more on Ringadoc’s communication in our prior coverage here.