eMerge Receives Investment
CINCINNATI, OHIO — MAY 4, 2011 — It was an unusual opportunity for CincyTech — a startup formed by physicians, information technology professionals and health care providers who had spent three years figuring out how to document surgical procedures as they were being performed. The prominent Cincinnati gastroenterologists, along with their technology and business partners, wanted to find a more efficient way to create treatment and reimbursement documentation that would improve quality of care while saving time and money.
Dr. Alan Safdi, Dr. Michael Safdi, Dr. Pradeep Bekal and Dan Walker of the Ohio GI & Liver Institute, and Bharat Saini, a former General Electric technology manager, collaborated to develop software that could help them become more efficient and decrease the chance of documentation errors. Before approaching CincyTech about an investment, they conducted 30,000 surgical procedures using an intra-operative (during procedures) voice-command engine that is now patent-pending. The doctors discovered the voice-command system could not only save time but also improve the outcomes of their procedures because they were gathering so much more information to analyze. Now, nearly five years after launching eMerge Health Solutions in 2006, the five principals of eMerge have completed initial product development, secured an agreement with Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, and developed relationships with other potential clients. eMerge has installed the system in four locations — three ambulatory surgery centers and at Jewish Hospital.
CincyTech invested $250,000 in eMerge as part of a total planned equity round with the founders of $850,000, with $200,000 still to raise. The funding will provide the company with at least 12 months of operating capital and continued product development. Bharat Saini has been instrumental in designing and directing development of the eMerge technology. Prior to eMerge, he worked at General Electric in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in supply chain and engineering IT organizations. Drs. Alan and Michael Safdi are nationally known gastroenterologists and will continue to provide research support for marketing efforts. eMerge will showcase its product May 7-10 in Chicago at the Digestive Disease Week conference — a premier medical education event that draws more than 17,000 physicians and healthcare professionals from around the world.
“eMerge is a first-of-its-kind-product, and is the only system on the market that can fully document procedure details and to complete the report using voice command and control,” said Saini. “This affords the physician and nurses to gain significant productivity benefits without taking focus away from the patient’s care.”
The initial target market for the eMerge product is self-contained GI units within ambulatory surgical centers and hospitals, says CincyTech executive-in-residence Phil Huff, who is serving on the board of eMerge. “We are calculating that gastroenterology represents a $250 million-$300 million market and the total addressable market is $500 million-$700 million across all medical specialty areas,” said Huff. “This is a tremendous opportunity.”
About eMerge (www.eMergehealth.com)
eMerge is a leading provider of intra-operative endoscopic workflow systems that enables physicians and nurses to fully document endoscopic procedures in real-time. Through use of the eMerge system, clients are able to eliminate paperwork and increase productivity, while also lowering costs and producing accurate, perfectly documented procedure reports. For additional information, contact Robyn Forbes, robyn.forbes@eMergeHealth.com or 1.800.707.8537.