Healthcare Business News

Respiratory-health startup Propeller Health gets $14.5 million in new funding

By Darius Tahir
Posted: September 4, 2014 - 8:45 am ET

Madison, Wis.-based respiratory health management firm Propeller Health has picked up $14.5 million in new funding, led by noted healthcare and technology investment firm Safeguard Scientifics.

The new capital will be used to grow Propeller's San Francisco office, to build new products and to further develop data capabilities, analytics and staff, which has been strained by the size and variety of the firm's new partners, CEO David Van Sickle said in an interview.

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The firm has grown quickly, he said. Since its first major funding round of $5 million in April 2013, the startup is covering 75% more patients and has roughly 15 commercial programs in progress. It partners with health plans and hospital systems.

Propeller makes sensors attached to rescue inhalers. The sensors transmit data concerning time and location of use, for asthma and COPD, via smartphone.

As an example of his firm's growing reach, Van Sickle noted that its partnership with Dignity Health in Northern California had expanded to cover roughly 1,400 patients with asthma.

Propeller also is hiring a new chief operating officer, Chris Hogg. Hogg previously was head of EHR firm Practice Fusion's data and analytics team. His addition should help Propeller develop more software offerings, Van Sickle said. The hope is to build software tools that give care managers and physicians “a look across the patient populations that are participating in our programs that allow them to quickly identify who's worsening and needs more attention, and facilitate communication,” he said.

Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir

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