Klara, our latest investment
UPDATING HOW DOCTORS AND PATIENTS COMMUNICATE
Over the summer I made a doctors appointment using a HIPAA compliant messaging application called Klara. I loved that experience so much that we decided to invest in it (along with Project A Ventures and Christophe Maire) after getting to know the founders. Here is why:
For as long as I can remember, making an appointment with your doctor has sort of been like the Wild West. There is no clear cut path; you most likely have to pick up the phone, and maybe there’s a patient portal, a provider website, or even a fax machine involved. It takes several minutes and sometimes hours of hold time and “ping-ponging” back and forth, and then there’s on-boarding paperwork, photocopies, copays and then more time on the phone with the pharmacy. Similarly, it has been pretty frustrating for health care providers, who have to confirm prescriptions and take notes in paper files or deal with clunky electronic medical record (EMR) systems, and who generally do not have access to other doctor’s notes or efficient ways to keep track of follow-up information. Overall, it’s been terrible and opaque for everyone involved. It would be great to live in a world where doctors, their staff, patients and pharmacists can all communicate on one network.
We think Klara can be that network. Klara is focused on one day becoming the central nervous system of doctor-patient communication and is completely rethinking the old experience and user flow. It brings everything together onto a single platform that connects doctors, their staff, patients, and other medical providers such as pharmacies and labs. Instead of burning time sitting on hold, you enter Klara’s beautiful and asynchronous process where you can communicate with whoever is handling scheduling and on-boarding. All of this happens within the app up front, so there’s no more time wasted in the waiting room doing unnecessary things. The first time I used Klara within minutes I had: booked a time, uploaded my insurance info, filled out new patient forms and as a result saved a half hour of on-boarding hell in the doctor’s waiting room.
There is also an unsung audience that needs a better way to confer with providers and curate their medical information, and that’s the caregiver population — the people who provide regular or round-the-clock care to those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Since Klara allows you to consolidate labs and biopsy reports, records of online visits and consultations, and notes on what post-visit follow-ups and patient monitoring, and also allows you to arrange and triage any sort of pre-visit communications, we hope it will make life a little easier for this hard-working community.
Not only has it been historically difficult for patients to schedule and converse with their doctors, but also doctors are often forced to use legacy platforms that are not built in current technology. EMRs just aren’t intuitive and don’t offer the ability to communicate with other medical professionals: it all has to happen ad hoc offline on the telephone or over email, so we are very interested in the way healthcare providers can benefit from Klara too.
But what’s perhaps the most special thing about the company is the founders. I got to know Simon Bolz and Simon Lorenz after reaching out earlier this summer after I made a doctors appointment on Klara. While many founders center their thinking on the product, the market, or the sales, very few center their thinking on the network level although in many ways it can be the most compelling and defensible. Their thinking around how to build a network of doctors, their staff, patients, pharmacies and other medical providers enabled by a HIPAA compliant communications product was fascinating and got me hooked on their vision for Klara. If your doctor ever sends you a link to Klara, click on it and take a lot of the pain out of what’s become the patient experience.