August Health digitizes older communities for better care

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Older communities often rely on paper-based or outdated systems to manage their activities, making it difficult for healthcare professionals to keep track of residents’ needs. August Health aims to change that with a SaaS system built specifically for nursing homes. The company has raised a $15 million Series A led by Matrix Partners and returning investor General Catalyst. The round also included Dan Baty, founder of Columbia Pacific, and Arin Whitman, founder of Formation Capital. This brings the total amount August Health has raised to date to $17.6 million.

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The company’s vertical SaaS program that manages care and compliance for thousands of older residents and also includes a virtual care platform that allows doctor visits via telehealth. Co-founder Erez Cohen says about 74% of senior communities are still working on paper.

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Cohen is the second founder whose first startup, Mapsense, was acquired by Apple in 2015. He met his co-founder, Dr. Justin Schram, at a playground in Bernal Heights in 2020 where both of their children were playing.

Cohen recently left his position at Apple, where, after the acquisition of Mapsense, he led the Product Development and Development team and looked for mission-driven opportunities. At the time, Schram was the medical director of Landmark Health, a medical group specializing in older patients.

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Many lived in senior communities, giving Scar the opportunity to see how many homes are still running on paper and outdated tech systems, making it difficult for Landmark providers to access their patient information. For example, if a healthcare provider wanted to know a patient’s medication list, treatment plan, history of recent events, or trends in weight and vital signs, they had to dig through paper records on the spot. This presented a problem, especially when there was an emergency.

“Justin shared with me his experience of working in older communities where some of society’s most important functions are performed, but communities are underserved with today’s high quality technology to support their extensive and complex care operations,” Cohen told TechCrunch, adding that COVID highlighted these Problems.

Cohen added that they began visiting communities where Dr. Scar previously had patients and saw an opportunity to support administrators and caregivers by building software that would automate busy work, simplify compliance, and streamline community services.

People working in nursing homes often struggle with time-consuming paperwork, including moving packages, face sheets, emergency folders, medication records, and care plans. “When some information is updated in one place, it often remains out of date in another, and it becomes difficult to determine the source of the truth,” Cohen said. “It’s led to lawsuits, it’s often left out of date when disparate recordings have resulted in injury or death.”

Paper records also make basic analytics difficult to track. For example, Cohen said nursing home staff often have trouble keeping track of (for example) how many falls have occurred in their facility, how much they should charge for new tenants, and average visual acuity across communities.

In addition to impacting resident care, this leads to staff burnout. Many nursing homes are facing understaffing and are struggling to hire younger employees, especially during COVID, Cohen said.

August Health helps by creating a digital board for each resident with all the essential information needed to coordinate their care, communicate with family members and outside providers, ensure state compliance, and conduct business with analytics visibility. For example, it digitizes the settlement process by collecting each patient’s medical, social and personal histories, as well as their preferences, and synchronizing them in real time.

Family members access the portal to complete information, update records, get information about resident care and payment options. This data feeds directly into the community care record, where community staff can conduct assessments, create care plans, create progress records, track incidents, create and store required records, and manage medications and track trends.

Importantly, August Health’s compliance tools also perform real-time compliance assessments based on state-specific requirements and generate automatic reminders if requirements are missing or need to be updated, Cohen said. “The solution helps track and automate compliance, which is a huge challenge for customers as it has historically required a lot of mental work, notes and Excel spreadsheets to manually track due dates to avoid citations or penalties.”

Cohen said August Health’s biggest competitors are legacy systems originally built for other industries. For example, Yardi was created as a general real estate and real estate management software, but the acquisition added home care tools. PointClickCare, on the other hand, was created as software for trained emergency nurses and is a hospital-level electronic health record, which means Assisted Living users are often difficult to navigate. Other options include AL Advantage, Tabula Pro, and Caring Data.

The startup monetizes through two main products: an import-only product that is limited to an initial admissions workflow. August Health charges monthly for each active resident. Most of his clients also use Assisted Living’s comprehensive software platform, which also charges communities monthly for each active resident.

“We’re partnering with our clients to ensure they don’t pay for empty beds, but only for actual residents in the community,” Cohen said.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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