Pingmd raises $1.33M to connect parents and pediatricians

Dauphin Health, the startup behind the free app pingmd which connects parents with their children’s doctors, has raised $1.33 million of what could be a $3 million round, according to a regulatory filing dated last week.

The SEC document (hat tip to investment database CB Insights) indicates that the New York-based company is pre-revenue and lists Matthew Greenfield of Rethink Education and Stonework Capital, Ernest Pomerantz of StoneWater Capital and health entrepreneur and angel investor Rudy Mazzocchi as directors.

CEO Dr. Gopal Chopra, who co-founded the company with his wife Dr. Manju Chopra, said they started the company after his wife observed that pediatricians and hospitals weren’t keeping pace with their increasingly digitally-savvy patients.

“Both of as, as physicians, realized that there is a lot of inefficiency in the delivery of care, which is where a lot of people are focused from a cost efficiency perspective,” he said.  “Workflows and triage systems have really broken down…. EMR (electronic medical records) and a lot of health IT services have not really addressed that, even though we talk about it. It’s not integrated.”

Even though patients may come to the doctor’s office with connected tablets and smartphones, physicians still rely on slower, clunky analog systems to access information and communicate with patients. And, with less time to see individual patients, Dr. Chopra said his wife and other doctors contend with a “spillover effect” of patients who follow up with phone calls and emergency room visits because they need additional physician support.

Through the company’s free iOS app,  parents can keep track of their children’s vaccinations, allergies and milestones, as well as securely communicate with their children’s doctors. For patients, it provides a way to quickly share information with doctors (including relevant pictures and video) and, for doctors, the company says, it reduces call volume, saves money and time and streamlines their workflow.

“It’s geared towards getting the physician the right information to make a decision,” Chopra said, adding that they decided to focus on pediatricians because they’re the right demographic to engage with the device and are highly engaged.

The app is part of a growing class of mobile apps aiming to help patients track their medical information and communicate with doctors. HealthTap, for example, also lets patients communicate with doctors (including their own) via mobile and web platforms, as well as store medical information, but doesn’t specifically target parents.

To date, pingmd, which has hired seven employees, said it supports thousands of patients on both coasts, and has seen emerging expansion in other parts of North America and Europe. While Chopra declined to elaborate on the business model, he said it would be version of freemium.