Tonic Health marks second investment for Hearst Health venture arm (VIDEO)

Tonic Health has been building a customer base of healthcare providers by making the task of filling out digital medical screening forms at least mildly interesting through its animated platform. The potential of the platform to generate more and better information and increase patient engagement in healthcare from doctor visits to clinical trials has attracted […]

Tonic Health has been building a customer base of healthcare providers by making the task of filling out digital medical screening forms at least mildly interesting through its animated platform. The potential of the platform to generate more and better information and increase patient engagement in healthcare from doctor visits to clinical trials has attracted backing from Hearst Health’s venture arm.

Partners HealthCare became a customer last year and so have Kaiser Permanente, New York Presbyterian, Medstar Health, and the Veterans Health Administration, among others. Tonic Health, which was co-founded by Sterling Lanier got its start as a way to retrieve data from breast cancer patients.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed, but Ellen Koskinas, managing director of Hearst Health Ventures, will join the Tonic Health board of directors. The investment arm is part of the recently branded Hearst Health, a collection of health IT companies that are owned by Hearst Corp. It typically invests $2 million to $3 million in the first round, and a total of $5 million to $7 million over the course of an investment. Koskinas told MedCity News that it’s focused more on enterprise solutions than direct-to-consumer products.

Tonic Health marks the second portfolio company for Hearst Health Ventures. The first was CareInSync, which helps coordinate care among clinicians and patients.

Another part of Hearst Health — Hearst Health Innovation Lab — prototypes new product ideas in healthcare IT with analysts, developers and data architects. It supports internally developed projects and incubates ideas and products in collaboration with outside clinician entrepreneurs.

Among the companies in Hearst Health are: First Databank, a drug database to help medical professionals make better medication decisions; Zynx Health, which offers clinical optimization programs to improve patient outcomes, enhance safety and lower costs; and MCG (formerly Milliman Care Guidelines), which has clinically validated best practices for health systems and insurance companies. It also has an 85 percent stake in Homecare Homebase.

The amount was not disclosed.