Startups, Health IT

Healthcare startups take on the challenge of improving medical equipment delivery, tracking

DSV, a global logistics business, notes on its website that supply chain visibility is the biggest challenge to getting supplies delivered on time. Parachute Health is one company that is using its technology to address this challenge and ensure patients get medical equipment on time.

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When Parachute Health founder and CEO David Gelbard’s father was discharged from the hospital following spine surgery, the hospital ordered a walker to assist him as he recovered. But for weeks, it didn’t arrive and Gelbard’s father subsequently fell, adding years to his rehabilitation.

Gelbard’s business is designed to add efficiency and provide transparency to the durable medical equipment ordering process. One of the current challenges, Gelbard observed in a phone interview, is the heavy reliance on fax machines to fulfill these orders. He estimated that at least 15 percent of orders for medical equipment are never delivered.

Parachute Health’s approach is modeled after e-prescribing for medication and is designed to integrate with Epic and other electronic health records. Launched two years ago, Parachute health has been able to scale to 60 percent of the New York City market and 20 states, according to Gelbard.

Tony Gonzalez, regional vice president at Landauer Medstar in Manhasset, New York, said the adoption of Parachute’s technology the company reduced faxes and phone calls by 80 percent, and reduced order abandonment from 40 percent to under 5 percent, according to an emailed statement provided by Parachute’s public relations contact.

Last month the company closed a $5.5 million Series A funding round led by Greater New York Hospital Association Ventures, Loeb Holding Corp., former UnitedHealth Group executive Anthony Welters, and former McKesson Extended Care president Fred Browne, among others. The funding will be used to help the company focus on ten key markets and get implementation teams on the ground there, Gelbard said.

Medical equipment logistics is an area of interest for the healthcare industry. In addition to ensuring that patients get critical medical equipment in a timely manner to reduce the risk of readmission, hospitals are also working with healthcare startups and established companies to develop more effective ways to track and manage their own medical supplies.

DSV, a global logistics business, notes on its website that supply chain visibility is the biggest challenge to getting supplies delivered on time, closely followed by IT  integration issues.

Emanate Wireless developed a set of sensors for tracking medical equipment power consumption, temperature, and predict the needs for equipment and maintenance.

TraceLink is using different technology solutions to help the pharmaceutical industry manage an increasingly complex drug supply chains and to guard against counterfeit drugs.

Kit Check is a company that has focused on helping hospital pharmacies track medications, including auditing controlled substances.

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