LeadingReach Aims to Close Healthcare’s “Weakest Link,” Referrals

Innovation in healthcare can come from the unlikeliest of places. That seems to be the case at LeadingReach, an Austin, TX-based medtech firm: The startup was founded out of a marketing agency.

LeadingReach wants to shore up what it calls the weakest link in healthcare delivery: the referral. The six-month-old startup sells Web-based software to specialists to better track patients through their care. Do they see a specialist? Did that physician receive the patient’s healthcare records? And, if not, the software allows for electronic transmission of documents, says Tony Frey, the company’s chief operating officer.

Since July, LeadingReach has signed up more than 250 healthcare organizations as customers, he added.

The startup, which has 14 employees, is self-funded and currently profitable, he says. LeadingReach is doing a friends-and-family round of investment.

Here is an edited transcript of my conversation with Frey.

Xconomy: How did you get from being a marketing company to developing a healthIT platform?

Tony Frey: At Sparksite, we create software for events, trade shows, taking the bulky paper collateral that you take to trade shows and made a digital version of it. The software e-mails you digital copies of what you are interested in. This is the stuff that you usually just leave in your hotel room. The software has a tracking feature, who opened what and when, with an integration into Salesforce. St. David’s Hospital (in Austin) was a customer; we do a lot of video for them. They said, “We have that same problem in healthcare around health literacy.” So we developed a version primarily for St. David’s to help them deliver the content to patients. They can flag who is reading the content or not reading. Someone can call, “I see you didn’t read this information; this is what you need to know.” This created a patient-engagement platform. Last November, we split it into two companies. Leading Reach dedicated to healthcare; Sparkside retained being an agency.

X: Tell me how the software works.

T.F.: We just released version 2.0 (in July) as a new platform that builds on top of referral management, into accountable transition of care. When you walk out today of primary care provider [and you’ve been told to get an EKG], they give you a business card for a specialist. But they don’t know if you talked to specialist. Now the existing provider gets to see the entire lifecycle; if you have scheduled your appointment. It connects the providers together and lets them see where you are in the loop digitally, when they’re scheduling you, even with driving … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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