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INVEST Pitch Perfect winner spotlight: Luma Health keeps patients connected between visits

Luma Health’s platform automates scheduling and referrals by way of textual content message. Screenshot from MedCity Invest

Often, a painful expertise will spur founders to start out a brand new firm.

For Luma Health CEO Adnan Iqbal, it was tearing his ACL throughout a soccer match. He was instructed that he must wait three weeks earlier than he might even get in for an appointment. But after calling in a number of occasions, he was capable of get in and get to surgical procedure inside that week.

Luma Health CEO Adnan Iqbal

He relayed his expertise over lunch to his pal and co-founder, who was ending a radiology fellowship at Stanford. He, too, was going through scheduling issues.

“Patients were waiting five to 10 weeks to see him when he had eight to 10 openings on his calendar,” Iqbal mentioned in a cellphone interview.

The thought was to create a easy repair to this damaged system. Not solely wouldn’t it make for happier patients, however it might additionally increase well being methods, which face unused capability on a given day.

For most appointments, patients name in, and are instructed a doctor received’t be accessible for one more month or two. Assuming the physician is busy, patients hurriedly make an appointment. But they’re unlikely to maintain it.

“Any patient that schedules more than two weeks in the future is at a high risk of disappearing. Their schedule changes, life changes, they forget to cancel or they’re a no-show,” Iqbal mentioned. “Within a 48-hour window there are such constant changes to a hospital’s schedule and a lot of people fall through the cracks, unfortunately.”

This leaves name facilities making an attempt to contact patients to fill last-minute openings, however with blended outcomes.

Luma’s strategy is to ship automated textual content messages to patients that enable them to schedule or verify a go to simply by clicking a hyperlink. For instance, it may possibly let patients know they’re due for his or her annual properly go to, or that they have been referred by their main care doctor for a colonoscopy. Patients obtain reminders the day earlier than, together with directions, similar to having somebody to drive them in for his or her process.

After the go to, it follows up with questions, similar to whether or not the affected person is feeling nauseous or light-headed, that may result in a video go to if wanted.

Iqbal mentioned the corporate sees referrals upwards of 60%, the place usually simply 15% to 30% of patients observe by with a referral.

The firm has been round for 5 years now, and 16 million patients use its platform. In the final yr, the corporate began to see rising curiosity in affected person engagement platforms, as well being methods started to assume extra about their “digital front door.”

The Covid-19 pandemic solely additional magnified that, as clinics wanted a option to route patients to the precise level of care – and quick.

“We started seeing that pull in 2019. Once the pandemic hit, it really accelerated that transformation. It went from a top-five priority to a must-have,” Iqbal mentioned. “It’s been all hands on deck”

The firm labored with UC San Diego Health to implement its platform in simply eight days. They wanted to have the ability to message 1 / 4 of one million patients on which areas to go to and what providers have been accessible.

Luma’s different purchasers embrace UCSF Health, public well being system Cook County Health and Salud Family Health Centers, a federally certified well being middle in Colorado.

In the long run, Iqbal hopes to deepen Luma’s work on the scientific facet and assist stratify affected person danger.

“How can we guide them further in the journey than we are able to today?” he mentioned.

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