Aaron Patzer launched Mint to help consumers organize their finances. Now he’s raised $5.2 million from investors to launch Vital to bring that consumer-focused mindset to emergency rooms and hospitals to help them organize patient flow.
Patzer co-founded the company with his brother-in-law Justin Schrager, a doctor of emergency medicine at Emory University Hospital. The serial entrepreneur invested a million dollars and two years of peer-reviewed academic study and technical research and development to create Vital, according to a company statement.
Investors in the seed round include First Round Capital and DFJ, Bragiel Brothers, Meridian Street Capital, Refactor Capital and SV Angel. Alongside angel investors Vivek Garipalli, the chief executive of CloverHealth and Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, the founders of Flatiron Health, these investors are hoping that Patzer can repeat in the healthcare industry the magic he brought to financial services.
“The HITECH* Act was well-intentioned, but now hospitals rely on outdated, slow, and inefficient software – and nowhere is it more painful than in the emergency room,” said Patzer, in a statement. “Doctors and nurses often put more time into paperwork and data entry than patient care. Vital uses smart, easy tech to reverse that, cutting wait times in half, reducing provider burnout and saving hospitals millions of dollars.”
Vital isn’t so much replacing the current system of electronic health records as providing a software integration layer that makes those systems easier to use, according to the company.
It’s basically a two-sided application with a survey for incoming patients. An admitting nurse begins the record and as a next step a patient receives a text to add details like height, weight, recent surgeries, medications and allergies, just as they would on a paper form. Patients can also submit a photo of themselves and their insurance card to expedite the process.
The information is then fed back into a tracking board that doctors and nurses use to prioritize care. A triage nurse then reviews the data and affirms that it is correct by taking vital signs and assessing patients.
All of that data is fed into an algorithm that analyzes the available information to predict a course of treatment and help staff in the emergency room prioritize who needs care first.
Vital’s selling the service to emergency rooms with a starting sticker price of $10,000 per month.
“Vital successfully built software with a modern, no-training-required interface, while also meeting HIPAA compliance. It’s what people expect from consumer software, but rarely see in healthcare,” says First Round investor Josh Kopelman, who’s taking a seat on the company’s board of directors. “Turning massive amounts of complex and regulated data into clean, easy products is what Mint.com did for money, and we’re proud to back a solution that’ll do the same in life and death situations.”
In some ways, Vital looks like the patient-facing admissions side of a coin that companies like Qventus have raised tens of millions of dollars to solve at the systems level.