Phreesia acquires MediFind to expand offerings, inform patients

Technologies connect patients with physicians, conditions like AADC deficiency

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by Mary Chapman |

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Phreesia has acquired MediFind, which uses advanced analytics to help patients, particularly those with serious, chronic, and rare disorders such as aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency, find better care.

Phreesia offers digital solutions to healthcare providers, life sciences companies, and other organizations  to help patients take a more active role in their care. The company, whose goals are to enhance patient experience, drive efficiency, and improve healthcare outcomes, last year enabled more than 120 million patient visits. MediFind’s online platform is designed to help patients make faster and more informed decisions by connecting them with leading experts, health systems, healthcare technologies, and clinical trials.

The companies share a similar mission and focus, according to David Linetsky, Phreesia’s senior vice president of Life Sciences.

“At Phreesia, we’re always thinking about how to arm patients with the right tools and relevant information, whether that’s a message at the point of care to speed a rare disease diagnosis, a reminder to schedule overdue preventive screening, or educational content about vaccine safety and effectiveness,” Linetsky said in a company press release. “We welcome our MediFind colleagues as we think about these challenges together.”

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A boon for care of rare diseases like AADC deficiency

The MediFind platform lets users search for a specific condition and obtain information on a disease, find the experts working in their area, and discover clinical trials and registry studies. Users may also use its symptom checker, where they can enter their symptoms and get hits on potential conditions.

The company employs proprietary algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to review medical information across a broad range of datasets. Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to analyze data, learn from the analyses, and make a prediction.

The technologies can connect patients with leading physicians in specific fields and conditions such as AADC deficiency, an extremely rare disease, with only about 120 cases reported. An identification is based on factors such as physician research production, patient volume, and peer standing.

Patrick Howie, MediFind’s CEO, founded the company after his brother was diagnosed with a rare cancer and saw the challenge in finding top-shelf experts and therapies.

“I’m incredibly proud that our platform can help sift through the noise and identify doctors at the forefront of their fields,” said Howie, now the vice president of Phreesia’s product management. “With Phreesia’s size, scale and experience, we’re now going to be able to reach many more people, which is very exciting.”

Rob Weker, a three-time cancer survivor and patient advocate, said it’s difficult to navigate through confusing and conflicting information to determine a provider’s expertise.

“It’s challenging for patients receiving a serious diagnosis,” Weker said. “Quickly finding a doctor with expertise and experience in your condition is critical. Having access to an easy-to-use, patient-oriented tool like MediFind that provides quick, highly reliable fact-based information is invaluable.”