Home Health Care Providence Spins Out New Patient Engagement Startup With $20M in Funding

Providence Spins Out New Patient Engagement Startup With $20M in Funding


A new tech startup has been spun out of Providence’s Digital Innovation Group. On Tuesday, the Renton, Washington-based health system spun out a platform seeking to build stronger relationships with patients by personalizing their healthcare journeys and connecting them to relevant resources and services. 

The startup, named Praia Health, also announced the closing of a $20 million Series A funding round led by Frist Cressey Ventures. Other participants in the round included SignalFire, Epsilon Health Investors and Providence Ventures.

Providence started developing the Praia platform about two years ago and began implementing the technology within its health system in January 2022, said Praia CEO Justin Dearborn. The platform is designed to help improve consumer engagement through a health system’s website or mobile app, as well as enable “true personalization at scale,” Dearborn declared. 

Praia’s platform is centered on its identity and profile technology. This aims to unify fragmented data sources and point solutions — such as those designed for care navigation, appointment booking, billing and care delivery — at a consumer level. 

One of the platform’s most important characteristics is the fact that it establishes a single sign-on for patients, Dearborn noted. Once a person’s log-in information is verified on the Praia platform, they can use that same ID whenever they seek care through any other apps their health system offers — which reduces friction for patients and could make them more engaged in their care journey.

To Dearborn, Praia’s overall goal is to personalize healthcare journeys for individuals and to give health systems a more accurate picture of their patients’ health. The need to connect the dots for healthcare journeys is getting more urgent by the day, as patients are increasingly seeking care at alternative care sites, he pointed out. 

And all patients behave differently, which is an important consideration that health systems’ websites and apps should recognize, Dearborn added.

“Take Amazon for example — your homepage is different from my homepage, and your experience is different from mine. It’s similar to what happens with [Providence’s website] — when you log in, we know what’s relevant to you,” he remarked.

Praia also ingests patient data to deliver tailored recommendations — sometimes clinical and sometimes not. For instance, the platform can encourage patients to get a mammogram, or it could give them information about joining a fitness center in their area.

The platform, which Praia sells to health systems using a SaaS model, currently supports more than 3.5 million user accounts. That will increase in the coming months, as Indiana-based Community Health Network has signed on to implement the technology, Dearborn noted. 

As it continues to seek new customers, Praia will be competing with other companies promising to boost patient engagement, such as League, b.well and Clear. Dearborn argued that Praia will be able to differentiate itself from other companies in the space due to the depth of its platform and the fact that it was built at a health system.

Praia marks the fourth technology incubation spun out of Providence’s Digital Innovation Group. The previous three startups are Xealth, a startup seeking to simplify the integration of digital tools into providers’ workflows; Circle, a women’s health app that was acquired by Wildflower Health in 2018; and DexCare, which offers a platform designed to help health systems coordinate and manage digital care services.

Photo:Yutthana Gaetgeaw, Getty Images

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