Twistle, a Seattle-based developer of a health care communication platform with automated workflows, today announced that it’s raised $16 million in series A funding led by Health Enterprise Partners (HEP) and MemorialCare Health System’s MemorialCare Innovation Fund (MCIF). The fresh funds bring the company’s total raised to $19.8 million, which CEO Kulmeet Singh said will bolster Twistle’s customer acquisition efforts in the provider and life sciences segments.

“We are particularly impressed with [HEP and MCIF’s] partnerships with leading provider and payer enterprises, and their records of helping innovative healthcare technology companies succeed,” said Singh, who cofounded Twistle in 2011 with Harjinder Sandhu. “We think they are the ideal partners to help us lead healthcare into a new era of communication effectiveness … If we want to deliver great care and bend the cost curve in this country, we cannot continue following the status quo. We have to use automation to increase the effectiveness of our care teams and find better ways to motivate patients to take ownership of their own health.”

Twistle’s eponymous software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, which connects to patients through multiple channels including text messaging, a mobile app, and phone, automates health provider tasks from reminders to information gathering and education. It enables clinicians and patients to automatically send and receive HIPAA-compliant messages as well as photos and videos, and it monitors patient engagement with surveys that can be automatically acted upon to improve satisfaction.

Twistle

Above: Twistle’s mobile app.

Image Credit: Twistle

Twistle helpfully integrates with electronic health records, registries, and predictive analytics tools, and with devices and wearables, and it delivers real-time insights for team-based care models such as Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) and Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH). Perhaps best of all, it allows health care providers to customize its patient portals and pathways.

Twistle claims its customers see a 38% reduction in readmissions on average, as well as a 50% reduction in no-shows and an 84% dip in phone calls.

“Large health systems are confronted with a dizzying array of apps to educate and guide patients, each targeting a different disease or condition, with a unique app experience,” said MCIF managing director Brant Heise. “Twistle’s technology makes a difference for patients, too. Twistle enables health systems to eliminate many point solutions and consolidate on a single platform that integrates with the existing IT ecosystem. Allowing patients to engage through messaging standardizes their experience and makes adoption simple.”

Twistle isn’t the only automated patient engagement platform vying for a slice of the over $12.86 billion market. There’s Relatient and TigerConnect, not to mention DoctorConnect, Luma Health, RelevantMD, Zingit, Mend, and IntakeQ. But HEP managing partner Ezra Mehlman notes that Twistle is already seeing uptake, with customers including UC Irvine Health, Trinity Health, AdventistHealth, Pulse Heart Institute, Lutheran General Hospital, University of Rochester Medicine, Providence St. Joseph Health, and others signing on.

“In our conversations with them, we hear the priority their executives are assigning to hyper-individualized care plans and asynchronous patient communications,” Mehlman said. “They see these as the keys to true patient engagement. We have also observed how many of these leaders select Twistle as their solution after rigorous head-to-head contests. We are thrilled to be partnering with Kulmeet Singh and his team in executing on what we believe is an outsized market opportunity.”

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