Numbers: iTriage is making progress

We first saw provider search tool iTriage a while back and had Healthagen co-founder and CEO Dr. Peter Hudson demo it at Health 2.0 last year. Hudson helped to design the free mobile app, referencing his own experience as an emergency room physician being bugged by friends looking for care when they had a problem. The aim is to equip patients with medical information that will inform their next steps when seeking treatment. The company zeroed in on creating a single resource to help people solve their medical problems. “That laser focus came out of practicing for over 20 years and seeing all of the different problems that patients face accessing the health care delivery system,” Hudson told us. We’ve seen  iTriage get increasing mind share as well as market share in the physician and facility search market, including deals with Sutter and emergency medicine docs Schumacher Group

The newly updated version 3.0 of iTriage has a simplified interface that employs icons and even an avatar to help patients to systematically narrow down the possible causes and treatments for their symptoms. Then, taking advantage of the phone’s GPS capabilities, the app offers turn-by-turn directions to the nearest medical facilities and can now directly connect people with emergency departments and urgent care centers so patients can notify them when they’re on their way. Hudson calls it the Symptom-to-Provider pathway. Healthagen also bought appointment company AppointmentCity.com earlier this year, and in the increasingly populated world of mobile medical applications, providing action-oriented solutions is what Hudson thinks sets iTriage apart from the rest.

The new version of the app links medications — and lots of them — to different medical conditions; it draws on an expanded database of over 1,000 generic and 2,700 brand name drugs. It’s also connected with a database that contains every medical provider in the country along with its location and contact information. There have been more than 40,000 searches for FQHCs in the past year through iTriage.  Those searches have largely been made possible through Healthagen’s involvement with Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Todd Park’s Health Data Initiative. In 2010 Healthagen integrated Health Resources and Services Administration data on Federally Qualified Health Centers into the app’s provider directory. And this year, facility data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was added to iTriage’s decision support.

Now those numbers. The app, used by both health care providers and consumers, is closing in on 3 million downloads from 80 countries. iTriage claims a user retention rate of 60% over six months–Hudson says an average iPhone app’s retention rate is 3 to 4 percent. More importantly Hudson said Healthagen has generated revenue since its sixth month of being in business, and has raised around $5m thus far. The company makes money from existing providers in the app database who opt to pay an annual premier listing fee. This allows them to advertise the facility’s logo, office hours and even live wait times. “Our users love providers with additional information about them and use ER wait times, schedule availability and information about service lines to make decisions about where to seek care,” Hudson explained. Over one million providers are mapped through the application. Of these, over 700 hospitals, 400 urgent care centers and 14,000 doctors provide enhanced data for iTriage (i.e. pay for listings), and those numbers are growing.

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