Quickr Is Upgrading the Tech Stack for… Leave a comment

For CEO Ian Cash, a childhood tragedy that left him paralyzed became a catalyst for innovation. Now, with his three co-founders at Quickr, he’s helping primary care providers be more efficient, making health records more actionable, and helping patients access clinical trials.

Investors, learn how you can back Health Transformers like Ian Cash through the StartUp Health Moonshots Impact Fund.

Challenge

The logistical hurdles inherent in basic healthcare delivery have become so normalized that we can forget they’re there. But we’ve got to bring them out into the light if we’re ever going to address them. Let’s start with a patient’s ability to access their own health records. After all, how can you make positive health choices if you don’t know your baseline?

A parent can easily spend hours on the phone requesting health records for their child and then spend weeks waiting for them to be mailed across town. Or a patient can get blood drawn at a lab, and then three weeks later see a doctor at a clinic across the street. The clinic can’t access the labs, so they re-do them, or they fax a request for the results and more weeks of waiting go by. Delays like this cause an estimated $750B in waste annually. Plus, they have a real human cost when it comes to catching illness and disease early.

A similar headache around data access exists on the healthcare provider side, though it takes a different shape. A typical primary care doctor running an independent clinic has to manage a half dozen platforms in order to keep track of patient records, scheduling, messaging, billing, and legal. Each bucket of data exists in its own environment, within a unique platform and vendor. Navigating between these zones of data, reconciling them, and creating redundancies costs providers a massive amount of time. In the end they spend nearly as much time clicking between screens as they do talking to their patients and planning a path toward a healthier life.

The connecting tissue between these two challenges, and the inspiration for Quickr’s first product, is the reduction in administrative burden and the creation of a delightful user experience. The rationale was that in today’s world of Venmo money transfers and one-click Amazon ordering, it doesn’t make sense for patients to sit around waiting for faxes or for primary care physicians to waste precious minutes and clicks navigating disparate, antiquated systems. All while patients are kept from using their health data in practical ways. It’s time for a tech stack upgrade.

Origin Story

When Ian Cash was 13 years old, he got sick. Really sick. It started out as the flu and then spiraled into something much worse. His white blood cells, instead of attacking the virus, went after his nerves, causing an autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But it got worse. Instead of his white blood cells knocking out the protective layer around his nerves, which is common in this disorder, they destroyed entire nerves, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down for five years. Ironically, however, it wasn’t the trauma of this experience that inspired Cash to become a health tech entrepreneur. It was the care he received.

“When I tell people about that time, they always look at me with pity,” says Cash. “But that wasn’t a bad memory for me. Why? Because of my mom. I call her my health guardian. I was on a health journey and she always made sure I was on the right path. She had all of my records, knew how to communicate with my doctors, and made sure we always had what we needed.”

Cash grew up and went to college and every time he’d tell his story he’d be reminded how few people had the benefit of a health guardian like his mother. Even though, by law, people have access to their medical records, the vast majority still don’t know how to access them, or what to do with them.

The problem nagged at him while at school studying mechanical engineering and he quickly realized he was an entrepreneur at heart. He had to solve this problem in some way or at least take a swing. So he entered Draper University, a Silicon Valley incubator for would-be founders established by legendary investor Tim Draper. There, Cash met Adam Bragg, a Princeton grad who had already successfully launched a VC-backed company, and Juan Solares, a two-time founder. They converged at a hackathon where participants had to create a business around the concept of decentralization. Almost immediately the three united around the idea of decentralized patient data, exploring how they could use technology to get that data into patients’ hands in actionable ways.

After the competition, they kept pushing on the idea and built out ways to keep patient data secure. The idea immediately caught the attention of the folks at Draper University and, a few short months later, Tim Draper and his firm completed their investment in the team. That early infusion of capital allowed the team — now co-founders — to go full time with the company and recruit experienced CTO Alex Hansen. Quickr was born.

Under the Hood

Quickr is initially attacking the market by building a medical practice platform for Direct Primary Care (DPC) clinics. These clinics were ripe for disruption because they operate on a subscription model, outside of insurance. DPC patients pay a monthly fee and then have unlimited communication with their provider. Cash and his team saw this as the perfect market to make their entrance because the focus is on preventative care and a positive patient experience. On top of all this, they found that the DPC tech stack left much to be desired.

“They use old electronic medical record systems, old communication platforms, and old billing platforms,” says Cash. “They have to use all of these different aging systems to serve a single patient, and each DPC serves about 1000 patients.” They’re stuck with these old systems, adds Bragg, because enterprise systems like Epic are expensive to implement and don’t cater to small practices.

Quickr combined all the typical software tools used by a DPC office into one easy-to-use platform, so that a physician could have messaging, billing, health records, and scheduling all in one interface. It’s an adaptive work environment where the provider can modify that dashboard to suit their preferences. It’s also intuitive: when the provider clicks on an appointment in the scheduling section, the patient’s records and message history automatically populate, giving the provider an instant snapshot. Quickr’s clients estimate that this will give them back 30% of their time, so they can focus on patient care and reduce costs.

There are electronic health record systems that have been purpose-built for DPC clinics, companies like DrChrono and Elation, but Quickr is distinguishing itself through focusing on the provider’s user experience and by providing a channel for interaction between the provider and the patient.

“We’re making it easy for patients to fill out forms, schedule appointments, chat with their doctor, and then look at their medical records, all in the same interface,” says Bragg, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. The chat-driven interface encourages greater patient engagement, which then sparks a virtuous loop where the patient is now more likely to get involved in their own health.

The patient-facing side of the app also features a full-body avatar which allows the patient to orient themselves around their own anatomy. If you want to review a hand x-ray, for instance, you can tap the avatar’s hand.

DPC clinics are signing up for Quickr, but Cash is quick to emphasize that this is merely their foothold in the market.

“The game plan here is to listen to patients and learn so that we can adapt and grow,” says Cash. The goal is to quickly attach Quickr to a sizeable number of initial clinic customers, which each serve around 1000 patients. That will give them a steady operating income so that they can become solvent within their niche, which in turn buys them time to understand their customers and build out the features that they need most.

Why We’re Proud to Invest

Ian Cash, Adam Bragg, Juan Solares, and Alex Hansen aren’t your typical health tech founders. For one, they’re not industry insiders. They studied finance, engineering, computer science, history, and philosophy. But they know that, and they’re using it to their advantage as they look to rethink health from the ground up. The Quickr team is young enough to take risks, and they’re willing to make waves if it means fighting for patient empowerment. We’re proud to back Quickr as they work to upend broken legacy systems that don’t serve physicians or patients.

“Legacy EHR brands are building for large hospital systems, which care disproportionately about payor reimbursement risk, so it’s really misaligned with patients’ needs,” says Bragg. “That’s because payors currently have the power. But as we get more patients on board we’ll hopefully show how aggregated records can present patients with more affordable and more personalized care options. Then, when patients have a choice, they’ll choose the healthcare options that cater better to their health goals and offer a more personalized experience based on their health history.”

We’re also bullish on Ian Cash and the Quickr team because they’ve made some very smart early moves. By developing a sharp product for DPC physicians they’ve discovered a way to earn quick revenue while honing product features. Quickr’s first client signed on for a paid plan before the team had even finalized their product because their current workflow was so cumbersome. They had so many different programs running to handle messaging and billing and records and legal that they had to go out and buy a bigger computer monitor just to show all the screens necessary. Which speaks to one of Quickr’s early advantages. The people who will foot the bill for the software are also the people whose lives will be improved. The person writing the check is also the person gaining hours back in their life because of more streamlined systems. Once Quickr is embedded with DPC clinics, they’ll roll out a unique and innovative clinical trial offering. With patient consent, Quickr can present clinical trials to its patients as health opportunities, thus making patient engagement in decentralized clinical trials much less expensive.

In the end, we’re proud to back Ian Cash and his team at Quickr because they’re passionate about empowering patients with data, and about helping physicians spend more time providing care and less time tapping and tabbing on a screen. These simple-yet-profound ideas are the building blocks of a health revolution that is still in its infancy and that could change the world for the better.

Join us in welcoming Ian Cash, Adam Bragg, Juan Solares, Alex Hansen, and the rest of the Quickr team to the StartUp Health family.

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