Startups, Health IT

Clinical messaging platform Klara raises $3M in seed funding

Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Germany’s Project A Ventures led the round, with participation from Atlantic Labs and Groupe Arneault.

Klara Technologies, a startup maker of a secure healthcare messaging platform, has closed on $3 million in seed funding. Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Germany’s Project A Ventures led the round, with participation from Atlantic Labs and Groupe Arneault.

Lerer Hippeau Ventures was an early investor in digital health startups Doctor on Demand, Maxwell Health and Oscar Health. Groupe Arneault, of Paris, has invested in corporate messaging platform Slack, among others.

New York City-based Klara offers Web and mobile apps for accessing the platform, but Co-founder and Managing Director Dr. Simon Lorenz said it would be simplistic to think of Klara as an app.

“We’re not simply a messaging app,” he said. “It’s really an organizational messaging tool.”

Klara, which started in early 2014 as a consumer-facing telemedicine company, now is positioning itself as a hub for managing all communications regarding individual patients.

“We see healthcare as a network,” Lorenz said. “We want to connect everyone that is involved in the care of a patient.” That includes primary care physicians, specialists, clinical and office staff, insurance companies, care coordinators and, of course, patients themselves.

Klara has integrated with health IT vendors, most notably Epic Systems, and is in the process of integrating with athenahealth. This allows any authorized user to read and share clinical notes, schedules and other patient-specific details through the platform.

“We really want to interconnect the providers and interconnect the patients,” Lorenz said. He said that Klara has 500,000 active patients and counts about 500 clinical teams as daily users. Mount Sinai Health System in New York is among the largest customer.

Future plans include integration with billing software and e-prescribing systems. The former, Lorenz said, might allow patients to pay bills through the Klara platform.

Already, it’s being used to automate referrals from primary care physicians to specialists and for insurance prior authorization. Lorenz said the company has signed up every specialty pharmacy in the Big Apple because it’s good for their business — and because pharmaceutical companies have been pushing specialty pharmacies to adopt apps like Klara’s.

“The better the prior authorization, the more likely prescriptions will be filled,” Lorenz said.

Photo: Klara