Virtual Care Platform Conversa Health Raises $12MM as COVID-19 Accelerates the Need for Digital Health

Investors Northwell Health, Builders VC, University Hospitals, P5 Health Ventures and Nassau Street Ventures fuel strong growth of Conversa’s virtual health solutions

Murray Brozinsky appointed CEO; West Shell III transitions to Executive Chairman

Conversa Health, a leading virtual care and communication platform that delivers personalized, automated patient engagement, has closed $12 million in a Series B funding bringing the total raised to over $26 million. Co-leading the round are Builders VC and Northwell Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider with 23 hospitals and 800 outpatient facilities. Joining the round are P5 Health Ventures, Nassau Street Ventures and UH Ventures, the venture arm of University Hospitals, a health system in Ohio with 18 hospitals. Both Northwell Health and University Hospitals are active users of Conversa’s Virtual Care and Communication Platform™, helping patients and care teams across a wide range of use cases, including COVID-19.

Conversa enables health systems to virtually engage, monitor and manage patients more effectively and efficiently than ever before—for chronic care, acute discharge, perioperative, oncology, OBGYN, prevention and wellness, and more. Conversa’s automated care platform engages patients at high frequency and scale, while triaging to higher touch/cost care venues when necessary, optimizing and improving the use of telehealth e-visits, phone calls and in-person consults. Conversa customers experience significant clinical and operational benefits, some of which include:

  • Improved patient satisfaction and engagement—97% of patients feel Conversa helps them manage their care and 87% feel better able to follow their care plan;
  • Lower total cost of care—hospital readmission rates 32% lower in patient cohorts using Conversa; 
  • Increased revenue—over 70% reduction in procedure no show/cancellation rates; and
  • Enhanced care team coordination and productivity—82% of care team members using Conversa would recommend it to a colleague to help them deliver care.

Accelerating the future of care

The COVID-19 crisis illustrates the power of Conversa to help hospitals increase care delivery capacity by automating the outreach to and monitoring of vulnerable patient and employee populations. Conversa’s suite of COVID-19 Virtual Care Programs is being used by innovative organizations like UCSF Health, Northwell, UNC Health, Prisma Health and University Hospitals to provide symptom checking and triage, provide check-ins with quarantined patients, deliver lab results and screen employees, patients and visitors. These programs have been made available to millions of patients and have been used for hundreds of thousands of employee screens over the last month. Also, Conversa was first to help America return to work safely with its Employee HealthCheck™ program for large employers in many sectors of the economy, including retail, manufacturing, universities and other businesses. 

Northwell Health has been at the epicenter of the COVID-19 response, having cared for 50,000 COVID-19 patients, more than any health system in the country. “Even before COVID-19, we have been expanding our work with Conversa throughout our organization over the last few years as they are a critical component of Northwell Health’s vision for virtual health, further strengthening the provider-patient relationship through personalized, insightful engagement,” said Joseph Schulman, Senior Vice President, Population Health, Business Transformation, for Northwell Health. “We have been successfully using Conversa to scale our communications and care for thousands of COVID-19 patients with programs focused on lab results, quarantine, antibody tests and more. Conversa has been an extraordinary partner!” 

Based on Conversa’s strong performance and the growing importance of virtual health, the venture capital community is joining leading health systems in backing the company. Builders VC partner Mark Goldstein has joined the Conversa board of directors. “With its game-changing platform that delivers proven results for leading health systems, Conversa’s moment is now,” said Goldstein, who also is Chairman of UCSF Health Hub. “With COVID-19, Conversa is even more mission critical. Hospitals recognize that ongoing remote patient engagement, monitoring and data analysis, via telehealth and integrated smart apps, is essential to reduce costly, in-person interactions and improve outcomes.” Additionally, P5 Health Ventures joined the round as it specializes in supporting digital health companies that are redefining how health is perceived, achieved and delivered. “In addition to being a proven enterprise virtual care platform, Conversa uniquely collects and utilizes valued patient-generated data to make the patient-provider relationship more meaningful than ever before,” said David Eigen, Managing Director, P5 Health Ventures.

University Hospitals has deployed Conversa’s chronic disease programs across UH’s Accountable Care Organizations and for patients concerned about or symptomatic for COVID-19. “As a patient-centered organization, University Hospitals is intent on meeting our patients where they are,” said Dr. Eric Beck, Chief Operating Officer of University Hospitals Health System. “Conversa is a trusted partner in our digital engagement strategy—it enables UH to scale our ability to connect with our patients, using data and automation to address their concerns in real time, and offers our patients the support they need to manage their care at home.”

Positioned for virtual health’s emergence 

With the surge of virtual care, Conversa continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of providers and health systems, payers and pharmaceutical companies. Conversa is also announcing that Murray Brozinsky has been appointed CEO. West Shell III, Conversa’s co-founder, will remain actively engaged as Executive Chairman. Brozinsky joined Conversa in June 2017 as president and chief strategy officer. 

“I have had the privilege of working with Murray as CEO of 5 companies—over the years, his brilliant strategic insights and multifaceted leadership skills have been instrumental to our growth and success,” Shell said. “We are excited to appoint Murray as CEO while I transition to Executive Chairman to maximize the effectiveness of our team and accelerate our healthcare system’s transformation to data-driven virtual care. In this Series B round, we are thrilled to continue to attract funding from a syndicate of top healthcare investors and partners who believe in our mission and are committed to contributing the resources to support our growth.”

“I’ve long said virtual health is inevitable, but it will likely require a catalyst to get it to the tipping point. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is that catalyst,” Brozinsky said. “The pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities of our health system. Conversa addresses many of these: access, capacity, provider burnout and cost. Our automated conversations empathetically capture patient wisdom and combine it with electronic medical record and sensor data to understand the full picture of a patient’s health at any given moment—we then apply behavioral science to improve their care, experience and health. I’m honored to work with our talented team of caring, data-driven, passionate, proactive problem solvers—and our partners on the front lines—to help create the ‘should be’ healthcare system of the future.”