Teledermatology company broadens skin conditions, adds Google Ventures as part of $15M Series A

Dermatology is a burgeoning specialty in telemedicine as companies see an opportunity to respond to long wait times for dermatologists. It’s interesting to see how companies are diversifying their approach. Spruce added anti-aging and several other conditions to a treatment portfolio that started with acne when it raised a $2M seed round in September. Spruce […]

Dermatology is a burgeoning specialty in telemedicine as companies see an opportunity to respond to long wait times for dermatologists. It’s interesting to see how companies are diversifying their approach. Spruce added anti-aging and several other conditions to a treatment portfolio that started with acne when it raised a $2M seed round in September.

Spruce has raised an additional $15 million to support the expansion of its business in a Series A round which attracted new investor Google Ventures. Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers led the round and Baseline Ventures and Cowboy Ventures also participated — all of which took part in the seed round last year.

Its $40 a pop fee for its concierge care model includes a diagnosis, treatment plan and 30 days worth of email and text messaging. Patients initiate the service by taking photos of the problem skin area and answer routine medical questions.

Board certified dermatologists review cases and the patients receive a personalized, easy-to-follow treatment plan, which  includes prescription information, regimen instructions, and condition-specific resources. It also includes dermatologist-recommended
product suggestions and tips. They also write e-prescriptions to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, CEO  Ray Bradford noted that something else that sets it apart from other teledermatology companies is its treatment plan designed to help patient stay compliant.

Its service is currently available in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, but Bradford said he expects the service to be available in “most states” by the end of the year. It is currently only available through the iOS network.

He noted that the dermatologists who the company works with are drawn to telemedicine and the interactive experience really matters to them. It tried to build that into its platform by creating a clear interface for both patients and the physicians.

The point of starting out with acne is that it’s a common problem particularly for women in their 20s and 30s. Users have to be 18 and older. But it added other conditions that reflected the broader patient population it seeks such as skin discoloration, rosacea, eczema,
psoriasis, male hair loss, rashes, bug bites and stings.

Bradford emphasized that “the only things we are dealing with are things that can be treated at a high standard of care remotely. We are not treating moles,” though he did say it may revisit that area in the future.

“We don’t see this as a replacement for in-office appointments. There’s a ton of value in dermatology visits, but access is an issue
and there’s a market for letting patients access quality dermatologists.”