“The biggest differentiator is this concept of the industrialization of care,” said Dr. Ronald Razmi, a cardiologist and the company's co-founder and CEO. “We make the data actionable.”
Acupera, which was founded in 2011, works with about half a dozen health system clients, including Mennonite Health System in Puerto Rico and St. Vincent Health in Indiana. The company does not disclose revenue, but Razmi said it has raised $15 million and has about 40 employees.
Its investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Whittemore Collection and Liebkind LLC.
Acupera's platform pulls data from multiple sources including EHRs, insurance claims and pharmacy records. It creates individualized care plans by applying its algorithm to the combined data sets. “When we show up with the product, it looks different from what other people have seen,” Razmi said. “It actually needs to be a marriage of software and medical expertise.”
The software's analytics identify where there are gaps in care, including in some cases the need for services outside of healthcare, such as housing and food. For instance, when a patient with uncontrolled diabetes comes in, the software performs a number of assessments. It might ask: Does the patient know the benefits of checking her blood sugar, and does she know how to check it?
Acupera's technology acts as an extended virtual-care team, Razmi said. As the questions are answered, an action plan automatically pops up on the screen, suggesting areas in need of an intervention. It also assigns those tasks to the appropriate person on the patient's clinical team.
“When you need to manage 200,000 patients, you really need to automate,” Razmi said. “This is where technology can start doing the heavy lifting.”
Montefiore Health System in New York City began working with Acupera in 2014 after a five-year search for a software program that could assist its care-coordination efforts. The academic medical center, the lead participant in New York state's Medicaid Health Homes program, integrated Acupera's technology into its existing pediatric case-management program, in part because it wanted a solution that could be used by both nonclinical and clinical staff.
“A lot of platforms are built on systems that look like an EHR ... The user interface is not like a Windows or Mac experience, or a Google experience,” said Dr. Henry Chung, Montefiore's chief medical officer. “Everyone has a different level of technical expertise in care management.”
Once the platform creates a patient's care-management plan, the software generates pop-up windows that flag tasks that need to be done, rank them by priority and show who's responsible.
“Let's face it, if you have a housing issue, that's a first priority before checking A1Cs,” Chung said. “That's the beauty of this very flexible, customizable approach.”
The platform also enables care for patients who don't have a primary-care connection. “It's not enough to think about care management as simply residing in the EHR,” Chung said. “EHRs are data repositories, but they really don't drive workflow.”
It's too early to show outcomes at Montefiore, Chung conceded. But Razmi noted that other clients have reduced emergency department visits and the total cost of care for diabetics.
Acupera officials are currently in discussions with a number of health systems and working to scale the business, Razmi said.