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98point6 Uses AI to Help Redefine Primary Care

Pixabay 98point6 Uses AI to Help Redefine Primary Care
The Seattle, WA-based company has raised $50 million in a series C round.

98point6 is on a mission to make primary care more efficient with the use of artificial intelligence. The Seattle, WA-based company said it raised $50 million in a series C round, bringing the total amount raised to $86.1 since the company’s inception in 2015.

The Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs was an anchor investor in the Series C round, which was further supported by existing investors.

The funding will enable 98point6 to scale and fulfill strong commercial demand of its text-based primary care service, grow its product and physician teams, expand the capabilities of the platform, and continue to build its channels. Now available in 40 states and Washington, D.C. (reaching 92% of the U.S. adult population), the service is slated to be available in all 50 states by early 2019.

98point6 combines artificial intelligence with board-certified physicians to deliver affordable, high-quality care right to a patient's smartphone. This technology assists doctors by automating and completing tasks that don't require direct physician interaction, allowing them to focus their time on treating more patients. As a result, 98point6 members have experienced a 97% in-app resolution rate with more than one-third of them receiving care in non-traditional locations such as airports, coffee shops, in-transit or at work.

The latest funding will also allow for expansion into new markets, including health plans, health systems and higher education. To date, 98point6 has contracted with 27 companies nationwide across a range of industries (including retail, technology, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing) and is on track to have 100,000 members under contract through employers by the end of the year. Companies that have launched the 98point6 service to their members include Seattle Children's Hospital, Aegis Living and Zones, Inc.

"Primary care is the main entry point for individuals into an increasingly complex healthcare system, making it the ideal setting for providing patient education, encouraging preventive care and controlling downstream costs," said Jo Natauri, Global Head of Healthcare Investing for the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. "We are excited to partner with 98point6 because they are dedicated to improving the physician and patient experience—empowering board-certified physicians with technology to enhance care delivery and drive patient engagement."

The state of primary care was a topic of discussion at this year’s Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit. During the summit, panelists said an uneven payment system; millennials seeking out other options; and the rise of wearable devices were shaping how primary care would be delivered in the future.

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