Originally published by Fierce Healthcare on April 19, 2022
In the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced healthcare organizations to take patient care digital, the health tech industry wasn’t prepared to power the switch, according to Source Health co-founder and CEO Colin Morelli.
In virtual care, even simple problems can present lots of complexities, Morelli told Fierce Healthcare. Take patient scheduling, for example, with complicated logistics for patients to wade through like finding the doctor they want to see that’s licensed in their state, is specialized to meet their specific needs and has availability that works for them.
“Teams at virtual care companies are rebuilding every single time they run across one of these issues, spending months and months recreating a lot of the same foundational technologies,” Morelli said.
Morelli created Source Health in 2020 to provide the tech foundations to support virtual care delivery so healthcare organizations don’t have to. The startup just launched out of stealth with $3 million in seed funding to scale its tech stack, which includes patient-facing and clinician-facing tools to help digital health companies scale their virtual care offerings more quickly and efficiently.
On the patient experience side, Source has a prebuilt library of application programming interface tools to enable operations like scheduling, messaging and intake forms. A company’s engineers can slot one or more modules into their existing platform or buy Source’s prebuilt patient platform, which includes all of the modules.
Morelli said younger digital health companies are more likely to select the second option to get their services up and running and to invest in building their own platforms later. Then, the single-widget approach can help solve problems with specific aspects of patient care delivery that arise down the line.
“As an organization, you can decide how much time do we want to spend solving this problem right now? That’s how we think about building patient experience, is giving teams the control to quickly drop things in when they just want to get started,” he said.
Source also offers a clinical platform to help providers manage their workflows. That platform is flexible enough to support all specialties, Morelli said, since providers have many of the same responsibilities regardless of their specialty, including checking which patients they’re seeing today, reviewing the patient’s chart and surveying outstanding tasks.
“We’ve given you everything you need to get things up and running quickly, and then we’ve made it extensible for your team,” Morelli said.
Based in New York City, the startup has eight employees, which includes five engineers plus a product leader, head of clinical strategy and Morelli, the CEO.
The $3 million seed round was led by First Round and was joined by Box Group and other angel investors including the founders of digital health unicorn Ro, where Morelli worked for just over a year before leaving to start Source.
“What I was really passionate about when I went to Ro was this vision to reduce the friction between patients and their care teams,” Morelli said. “When we think about Source, it’s a lot of the same stuff: eliminating the administrative burden of delivering care so patients can connect with the care when and how they need it on our platform.”
Four digital health companies are already using Source’s offerings, Morelli said. The startup plans to announce a few more clients in the coming weeks.
For now, the team is focused on teaming up with organizations that have in-house product and engineering teams, “an indicator that they take virtual care seriously,” Morelli said. The company doesn’t currently go after purely brick-and-mortar or independent practices.
“The Source team is really great to work with. The engineers are amazing. The implementation process has been really enjoyable. It feels more like a partnership,” said Molly McGrath, head of product at Allara, one of Source’s customers also created by a former Ro employee. “I’m excited knowing that our providers have a way to give patients a great digital clinical experience because they have Source in front of them. I’m excited to see the thoughtfulness Source has applied so far to even more products."
While Source has leaned into the operational side of care delivery for its launch, in the longer term, Morelli said the startup expects to direct more R&D efforts to the clinical side.
“How do we help you capture data about your patients efficiently? How do we help you document the encounters efficiently? How do you make sure you’re prescribing the right medications at the right time?” he said. “That’s all work that we haven’t done yet, but that we can imagine as additional components of the platform over time.”