Noga Leviner, who is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, searched for a way to manage her records but she said most software tools for records management have been built for hospitals and doctors, and anything built for patients has to be done through manual entry. She was frustrated.
Taking matters into her own hands, Leviner co-founded PicnicHealth, a Y Combinator backed startup based in San Francisco. PicnicHealth makes it easy for people to deal with their medical records, and the service’s target demographic are cancer patients or people taking care of elderly patients.
The service is reminiscent of Google Health, which Google discontinued after a lack of broad adoption. Google said the company saw adoption primarily through tech-savvy patients. Microsoft’s HealthVault is a similar option, but patients have to upload a lot of their data themselves. PicnicHealth wants to take care of it for you.
The web service works by using old-fashioned records requests. Once you sign up, you simply provide details regarding doctors you have visited or locations. Leviner says most people remember either the doctor’s name or the place they visited and so once PicnicHealth has that information, they will put in a record’s request after getting the patient’s e-signature.
From there, PicnicHealth processes the data they received, which sometimes can be pulled in electronically, and they display it in a health timeline, making it a really easy way for patients to read. Several hospitals and doctors also use a patient portal to input some information for patients to view, which PicnicHealth can hook into to grab data.
“When you’re dealing with potentially the hardest moments of your life, you don’t have to worry about these other logistical tasks and the feeling of confusion on what’s exactly going on,” Leviner said.
PicnicHealth, headed by a team of five people, takes responsibility for moving information between doctors. So if you visit a specific doctor but want your primary physician to receive that information, the service will take care of that. There is a request and send records action in the service that lets you input information on where you want your records to go, so that if you switch doctors, your new doctor can receive that information.
PicnicHealth, which is also backed by the co-founders of Counsyl, provides records to doctors in whatever way they prefer and they try to always send a physical record, which they typically fax or sometimes mail a binder with the records. The company hopes that hospitals and doctors will use the service in the future, but right now they’re focused on patients.
“In this stage it’s really important to us that our customer is the patient and the tool is truly being built to make the patient’s life easier,” Leviner said.
There are two price plans: $39 a month for a subscription, which gives you ongoing medical records management, or you can pick the one-time plan that collects all of your existing records, which costs $295. It’s an interesting solution to a thorny problem and, if all goes according to plan, your next checkup could be assimilated.IMAGE BY PicnicHealth