UPDATED 01:55 EDT / APRIL 03 2015

Picnic Health lands $2M investment to improve patient access to health records

stack of files and envelopesPicnicHealth, a Y Combinator backed startup based in San Francisco, has raised $2 million in seed funding to expand its service and grow its team. The service collates patients’ medical records from a variety of sources and makes them available as a “patient-friendly health timeline” accessible via an online portal.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the funding comes from a number of VC firms and angel investors, including Social+Captial, Great Oaks, Slow Ventures, YC partner Paul Buchheit, Scott Marlette, Sam Lessin, Joe Greenstein, Rashmi Sinha, Jameson Shu, Kenny Van Zant, Rishi Kacker, Ramji Srinivasan, Eric Evans and Standford’s StartX Fund.

Unlike other players in the health IT market, such as TrueVault and Aptible, PicnicHealth focuses on providing secure and centralized access to health records to the patient rather than to healthcare providers.

Noga Leviner, PicnicHealth co-founder, devised the service after she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Searching for a way to manage her medical records, she found that most tools were designed for doctors and hospitals. The ones intended for patient use relied on manual data entry.

“For those diagnosed with a serious illness, coping with emotional strain and physical effects is just the beginning,” Noga told TechCrunch. “Patients then face the job of coordinating care. This depends on collecting, organizing, and distributing a growing mountain of medical records.”

Different doctors use different electronic medical record (EMR) systems and patient information tends to end up in a variety of data repositories, including CDs and hard copy files. Patients do get access to their records via email or, in some cases, online portals, but this still does not provide one holistic easy-to-access medical record.

PicnicHealth solves this problem for the patient. Patients give Picnic Health permission to request medical records on their behalf and the company collates information from files, CDs, EMRs and online portals into a personal online database a patient can access from anywhere.

The new funding will be used to hire engineers to build out the platform and to develop a servicing component to collect data from CDs and non-digital sources more effectively.

Picnic Health costs $39.99 per month or $399 for an annual subscription. Its main target audience is cancer patients and people with other chronic illnesses that require a high level of management.

Photo credit: TheeErin via Flickr under Creative Commons license

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