Seattle health tech startup raises $15.6M for remote patient monitoring service co-founders, CEO Jeff LeBrun (left) and CTO Chuks Onwuneme. Originally known as Pillsy, the company has expanded into the larger market for remote patient monitoring.

Seattle startup raised $15.6 million to help meet demand for its remote patient monitoring technology as investor interest in digital health solutions increases amid the pandemic.

Founded in 2015, Optimize sells an end-to-end monitoring service used by customers including independent practices, hospital systems, and more.

Beyond the pill bottle: Why this health tech startup sees a big future in remote patient monitoring

When health providers see that a patient at home needs support because a device such as a blood pressure cuff or a pulse oximeter indicates a potential health issue, the Optimize software provides a variety of communication methods for contacting the patients, including text messages and video calls. The company’s dashboard also provides a way to trigger a bill to the insurer for the clinician monitoring. The system integrates with Electronic Health Record (EHR) software.

Optimize was previously known as Pillsy, which developed a smart pill bottle that sounds an alarm if people forget to take their pills. The company broadened its strategy a few years ago and is now capitalizing on two trends: a recent Medicare policy change allowing healthcare providers to bill for remote health monitoring, and increased attention on telemedicine due to the pandemic.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to implement lasting change in the way healthcare is delivered, and we’re delighted to have strong backing from investors that share our vision for a more accessible, more convenient and more cost-effective healthcare system,” CEO Jeff LeBrun said in a statement.

The startup said revenue recently increased by more than 800% year-over-year. Optimize raised a $3.5 million seed round in June. The company employs less than 30 people.

Venture funding for the U.S. digital health sector is expected to break a new record in 2020; companies already raised $5.4 billion through June, according to RockHealth.

LeBrun and CTO Chuks Onwuneme helped start Optimize with Otto Sipe, who left the company last year. LeBrun previously founded a biotech startup called Algal Scientific; Onwuneme spent eight years at Nokia before launching his own startup, Personify.iT.

U.S. Venture Partners led the $15.6 million round, which included participation from Foundry Group, Daher Capital, Openview Venture Partners, Bonfire Ventures, and SOSV. Total funding to date is more than $21 million.

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