Summary:

PatientSafe, a San Diego-based medical technology company, on Monday announced that it had raised $20 million in a Series C round of financing led by health care giant Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund.

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photo: PatientSafe

Most of the mobile health iOS (AAPL) apps you likely read about target consumers. But PatientSafe is among the companies leading the way in adapting consumer technology for clinical conditions.

In the past couple of years, the company’s technology, which is largely intended for nurses, has rolled out to 65 hospitals across the country. And on Monday, PatientSafe plans to announce that it had raised a $20 million Series C round, bringing its total amount raised since 2010 to $50 million.

Healthcare giant Merck led the round through its Global Health Innovation Fund (GHI) and Camden Partners, TPG Capital and Psilos Group also participated. Further indicating Merck’s interest in the company, Max Kahn, an investment principal at Merck GHI, has joined PatientSafe’s board.

The San Diego-based health company was founded as Intellidot in 2002 but rebranded as PatientSafety in 2009. In 2010, it introduced PatientTouch, a clinical app for the iPod Touch that helps nurses document patient information (such as temperatures, other vital signs and pain assessments), communicate with other nurses and physicians via text and phone and manage other workflow tasks.

patientsafe3The app itself is like a mobile-optimized, healthcare-specific Yammer for hospital staffers that also plugs directly into Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems. But in addition to the app, PatientSafe’s system includes a “jacket” for the iPod Touch that looks a bit like the Mophie Juice Pack and extends battery life, protects it from fluids, drops and other hospital conditions and includes a bar code scanner.

As interest in mobile health and EMRs grows, PatientSafe is drawing on both trends to give hospitals a way to more easily capture patient information and communicate in real-time. For example, if a nurse learns that a patient’s medication dosage isn’t sufficient, she can log in the patient’s record and send a message to an attending physician in real-time instead of waiting to track her down.

“[It was developed to] improve patient safety and the efficiency and productivity of the nursing care,” said PatientSafe president and CEO Joe Condurso. “Ideally, it will address improved outcomes.

Some EMR software companies, like AllScripts, PracticeFusion and McKesson, provide various mobile options. But those tend to lack the workflow management functions offered by PatientSafe.

Condurso said that on any given day, 7,000 PatientSafe-equipped devices are in use and that since 2009, more than 100 million medication administrations have been completed with their technology.

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