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Hello Health raises $11.5M to help doctors go paper-free

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For all the high-tech equipment doctors use in their practices, when it comes to communicating with patients, far too many physicians are woefully old-school, relying on fax machines and telephones for sharing tests results and releasing medical records.

But New York-based Hello Health is one company trying to change that with an electronic health records (EHR) platform that helps doctors and patients make the shift to digital.

The company on Monday announced that it had raised $11.5 million from First Generation Capital, which follows a $10 million round raised last year.

As more doctors move their patients’ health information online – incentivized by the federal government – Hello Health says it offers physicians a platform that is not only free, but helps them earn additional revenue.

Through its Web-based system, physicians can share lab results and other information with patients in a HIPAA-secure environment, as well as enable patients to schedule appointments and upload documents. But instead of charging physicians (like many of its older rivals), Hello Health charges patients a monthly subscription fee of $5. Hello Health takes a percentage of the fee and the physician gets the remainder.

“It’s more of a partnership than a simple SaaS model,” said Steven Ferguson, vice president of physician marketing for Hello Health.

With the new funding, Ferguson said the company, which is a subsidiary of Quebec-based Myca Health, plans to build out new features, including those to better manage patients’ medical charts and streamline referrals.

When it launched in 2008, Hello Health was intended to be more of a consumer-friendly concierge service. (And, interestingly, one of Hello Health’s original co-founders, Dr. Jay Parkinson, has gone on to launch Sherpaa, a concierge-like service, paid for by employers, that provides round-the-clock access to doctors.) But later, Hello Health pivoted into its current version.

While Hello Health may offer doctors an interesting business model, it has many competitors in the EHR industry, including public companies Allscripts (s MDRX) and Cerner (s CERN), and rising startup Practice Fusion, which also offers physicians a free option.

Image by RTimages via Shutterstock.