Engaging Care, the Swedish healthtech startup founded by Annica Belfrage and Charlotta Tönsgård (who was previously CEO of online doctor app Min Doktor), has raised €2.5 million in seed funding. The round is co-led by two European venture capital firms: Connect Ventures and Crowberry Capital.
It follows the company’s €800,000 pre-seed funding in July from a number of well-known European investors, including Neil Murray’s The Nordic Web Ventures, Hampus Jakobsson (venture partner at BlueYard Capital, and co-founder of TAT, which sold to BlackBerry for $150 million) and Sophia Bendz (Atomico partner and former global marketing director at Spotify).
Aiming to digitise healthcare beyond traditional electronic medical record systems, Engaging Care is developing a SaaS and mobile apps to enable healthcare providers to better connect and communicate with patients. Its first product, launched late last year, is a communications platform that allows healthcare providers to share information and interact with patients in a secure way.
The SaaS is already deployed with several paying customers that use the platform on a daily basis for both their healthcare professionals and patients.
“Interaction between healthcare professionals and patients is generally speaking still a very analog activity,” Engaging Care CEO Tönsgård tells me. “The work is centered around exchanging information at face-to-face meetings. Our healthcare professionals are a scarce and expensive resource, and sometimes their time is wasted in a careless way.”
Tönsgård argues that digital technology is the solution, and that new digital tools such as Engaging Care enable the knowledge built up by healthcare teams to be accessible to more patients “faster and easier.” This in turn frees up medical professionals to spend more time on the things that actually matter. “Our tool allows healthcare teams to have a reliable place to collect knowledge and communicate effectively with their patients,” she says.
As one example, the Organ Transplant Unit at Sweden’s Skåne University Hospital is using the Engaging Care application to complement face-to-face knowledge sharing with a digital library accessible to both patients and the team 24/7. This is enabling patients to have greater autonomy over their healthcare and make more informed decisions.
“One of the challenges when it comes to the digitization of healthcare is the high workload that already exists. For that reason, we will continue to release new features that lower the threshold for adoption, making it easier for professionals to integrate our tools into their day-to-day work,” adds Tönsgård.
“We believe that safe, scalable communication is the key to increase the efficiency of healthcare long term, while also helping patients to become more aware and independent about their own health. One specific feature we’ll be focusing on the next months is to enable patients and healthcare professionals to prepare physical meetings beforehand. Our trials with clinics show that this is an important path to both more efficient meetings and meetings with higher quality.”