is launching the beta of its communication platform for doctors and patients next week, says CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Altorfer. The Denver-based startup is rolling out its product at a private medical practice near Sacramento that has 8,000 patients.
Resold by doctors to their existing patients for $40 a month, CirrusMD's platform allows for HIPAA-compliant text messaging and video chats. Unlike competing technology, CirrusMD allows doctors to write prescriptions across state lines, because they have a pre-existing relationship with the patient.
"It is harder to reach physicians," says Altorfer. "It's more patients trying to reach a shrinking number of doctors. In major urban areas, it can be up to 20 days to see a doctor."
As a result, urgent care and emergency rooms get all sorts of patients who have been unable to connect with doctors, and costs skyrocket.
CirrusMD's "fee for access" model counters the dominant "fee for service" status quo. Altorfer says the move is better from a "holistic" healthcare perspective. Doctors pocket the majority of the subscription fee, making the product both a timesaver and a revenue generator.
Altorfer, who started the company with Dr. Blake McKinney, a practicing emergency-room physician, and Elliot Sands in 2012, says he's looking to roll the product out at a large facility in Austin before launching in Colorado later in 2013. Having raised nearly $1 million in angel funding, CirrusMD is in pursuit of additional investments to facilitate sales across the country.
"We want to bring an Apple-like feel of an app to healthcare," he says. "Healthcare is a slow moving industry that hasn't capitalized on improvements in technology that are out there on the consumer side. Ultimately, healthcare is going to have to catch up."
Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at email@example.com.