Health IT

Pager hate meets BYOD: MD entrepreneur launches smartphone messaging platform for care teams

Dr. Divya Dhar wants you to know she hates the pager she was given when she became a physician. A lot. They’re unwieldy, time consuming, and don’t have the organizing abilities that SMS technology has. One particularly irksome point is that it reflects little change in the communication technology since her own father became a […]

Dr. Divya Dhar wants you to know she hates the pager she was given when she became a physician. A lot. They’re unwieldy, time consuming, and don’t have the organizing abilities that SMS technology has. One particularly irksome point is that it reflects little change in the communication technology since her own father became a physician.

Still, the Bring Your Own Device craze in hospitals has gotten a bit out of hand. So much so that an estimated 57 percent of physicians to use text messaging to communicate with each other about patients — and that’s a big problem because it’s unlawful.

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So Dhar formed Seratis to develop a HIPAA-compliant, Ios-based communication platform. It’s designed to help physicians and other members of the care team identify who is responsible for each patent. It also helps nurses, attendings, fellows, residents, radiologists and case managers to communicate patient information safely and securely with each other from consults to just touching base. By doing these things it aims to make patient care more efficient and improve outcomes.

Seratis is one of a group of startups that formed DreamIt Ventures’ inaugural health technology accelerator called DreamIt Health class.

Users get a list of their patients and see any threads that have been sent for each one from consults to checking things. This is particularly helpful for shift changes because these handovers are especially vulnerable to miscommunication.

The platform has an analytics dashboard that generates data from the care teams who use it. It shows how many patients are managed and the messages generated by the care teams. It can help users track the number of times a particular word is used so it could potentially serve as an an early warning system.  It’s the kind of of bird’s eye, micromanagement view that healthcare professionals will have to get used to support the shift from fee-for-service to outcomes-based care.

Residents at Penn Medicine are currently piloting Seratis. The company is seeking to raise $1.25 million to support the platform’s expansion.

Developing communication apps to solve care coordination issues is an area that a couple of other startups have identified as being in serious need of an upgrade. Cureatr, a graduate of the New York Digital health Accelerator has been integrated with the scheduling system several hospitals use called Amnion. Voalte is more focused on nurses but it’s a similar idea.