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HealthTech Company Smile CDR Fuels New Growth in Clinical Data Management

Smile CDR, a leading health data storage and integration company, announced the closing of $20 million in Series A growth capital. Smile CDR is a health technology company that reduces barriers between information and care for those who consume or provide healthcare services with complex information systems. The health tech company aims to expand its vision to transform the current practices in clinical data management with superior security and compliance. 

COVID has been a major catalyst for healthcare in multiple ways because it has laid bare the inefficiencies and inadequacies of the system.

In a recent interview Siva Namasivayam, CEO at Cohere Health said, “We can send people to the moon and potentially to Mars, but in 2020 we were unable to get ventilators to people who were dying. We also saw how much frontline workers were struggling to get the resources they needed to treat pandemic victims. This has led to a dramatic increase in investments into technologies that change how healthcare is delivered. So COVID has been a powerful catalyst in driving more innovation and efficiency in our healthcare system.”

Recently, Smile CDR became the first company to receive certification showing compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule (CMS-9115-F). 

Smile CDR’s latest funding round was led by 30 North Group, a Seattle-based family office, and UPMC Enterprises. Recently, the health tech platform had announced partnership with Astrata. Astrata is a market driver in Quality NLP and analytics. The partnership would enable Smile CDR deliver the next generation of Quality technology with its new eMeasure application that reflects transformational changes in the way NCQA delivers and computes Quality measures.

Currently, Smile CDR offers a suite of services that allow health systems, payers and hospitals to meet U.S. health information interoperability standards rapidly and securely. Smile CDR’s data and integration platform includes a complete clinical data repository (CDR) built around the Health Level Seven (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard used for storing health records and supports all FHIR Resources.

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“Smile CDR has seen significant growth in our core clinical data repository offering around the FHIR standard in the past year and today we partner with some of the largest health systems and insurers in North America,” said Duncan Weatherston, Chief Executive Officer at Smile CDR. “We have a bold vision for the future of healthcare and this new round of funding will allow us to explore new innovations that can continue to add value, improve care and save money.”

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Smile CDR is committed to the idea of a standardized and secure “Internet of Health” that allows health information to be shared from provider to provider and provider to patients, much in the same way that internet connection protocols created the ability for computers and servers to work together and communicate seamlessly and securely. The company will use this round of funding to drive a change in how healthcare information is created, stored and shared, moving beyond its core FHIR-based offering.

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“Up until this point, we’ve succeeded by focusing our expertise on developing groundbreaking products that help payers and providers achieve successful interoperability of health information,” said Weatherston. “The broad and successful move towards interoperability has created new opportunities for innovation that simply didn’t exist in a system where information was not securely connected or portable. We now have the ability to build on that progress to create new products that move beyond interoperability and bring even more value to the market.”

In 2020, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Final Rule stating that health plans must have a patient access application programming interface (API) by July 1, 2021, to provide patients user-friendly access to their records anytime they need it. Earlier this summer, Smile CDR became the first company to receive the Drummond Group Payer and Patient Access FHIR API Certification, validating Smile CDR’s platform as fully compliant with the HL7 U.S. Drug Formulary FHIR Implementation Guide referenced in the Patient Access API requirements of the CMS Final Rule.

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“The digitization and interoperability of healthcare are absolutely necessary to be able to provide high-quality care to patients and members, and Smile CDR has demonstrated validity and success in the digital quality space with one of our portfolio companies, Astrata, Inc.,” said Brent Burns, Executive Vice President at UPMC Enterprises. “Smile CDR’s future vision aligns perfectly with our core principle of creating healthcare innovations that significantly impact the lives of patients.”

Since 2019, Smile CDR has seen rapid growth with a 400% year-over-year employee growth rate fueled organically by revenues from the company’s core FHIR offering. The company partners with more than 23 payers across the U.S., including three of the 10 largest insurers and health plans, in addition to customers in more than 15 countries across the Americas, EMEA and APAC.

Smile CDR’s legal advisors in conjunction with this financing were Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP.

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