Scouting Report-August Health: Bringing Senior Living Into the Digital Age
August Health raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners and returning investor General Catalyst with participation from Dan Baty, the founder of Columbia Pacific, and Arine Whitman, founder of Formation Capital. August Health’s goal is to apply technology to improve the quality of care for seniors in senior living and has designed a SaaS software system to help digitize patient records. The company feels this will help improve both the care for residents and operations as most senior living communities still rely on paper recordkeeping systems.
A study by the CDC found that less than 20% of residential care communities use electronic health records (EHRs) leaving over 80% of residential care communities, essentially still relying on paper record keeping.
According to a survey by Senior Housing News, 56% of workers in nursing homes and assisted living settings reported feeling burned out at work as a result of the continued response to the Pandemic.
Of the senior living communities using record-keeping technology, most were deploying legacy technology typically designed for an adjacent industry according to August Health.
Senior care facilities, because of issues with paper-based record keeping, often have trouble tracking things as simple as (for example) how many falls have occurred in their facility.
August Health was founded in 2003 by Co-founders Erez Cohen, Dr. Justin Dr. Schram, and Michael Watts. The co-founders all have prior experience as entrepreneurs with their own companies. Cohen previously founded the company Mapsense which was later acquired by Apple and Dr. Schram was a medical director at Landmark Health which provides home-based medical care to individuals with multiple chronic conditions. During his time at Landmark health, Dr. Schram noticed that most senior living facilities were still using paper-based record-keeping systems. This was not only time-consuming but made finding specific documents difficult especially in an emergency situation.
According to Cohen, he and Dr. Schram started visiting communities where Dr. Schram previously had patients and saw an opportunity to support administrators and caregivers by building software that would automate busywork, simplify compliance, and streamline community services. As noted in a recent article in TechCrunch, the two found that “people working at senior care residences often struggle with time-consuming paperwork, including move-in packets, face sheets, emergency binders, medication administration records, and service plans.” As a result, information is not updated across the facility, and having a single “source of truth” is difficult. This has led to the creation of August’s two main products which it currently markets, 1) a move-in-only product that deals with the patient intake process and the move-in-packets described above, and 2) an end-to-end Assisted Living software platform that allows for easier access to resident documents when they need it. Both products are billed on a per active resident per month basis.
August Health's software platform modernizes the functionality of senior living communities by digitizing their resident's records and care coordination. The platform allows for easier tracking of analytics, an online portal for tracking forms, updating information, and compliance tools with built-in reminders to fix outdated information. This solution not only makes accessing resident information easier but also takes stress off the staff members by automating many administrative functions. August Health attempts to differentiate itself by allowing customers to tailor their software to ease of use allowing staff members and residents to find the documentation they need. Moreover, August Health has comprehensive features that allow their platform to integrate everything from resident move-ins to medication management, emergency packets, progress notes and alert charting to a family portal for viewing patient care and billing matter.
The Big Picture:
August Health’s SaaS platform is very practical for older individuals, incorporating all their needs into one software. This software modernizes senior living facilities by switching the paper records to a digital format, making it easier for providers and staff to keep tabs on their residents. This has become increasingly more important as more patients are being transitioned to post-acute care, and more rapidly. As one study noted “what’s [care that’s] come out of the hospital now was always treated in the hospital years ago, to a large extent. People are coming out quicker. They’re coming out sicker.”
In addition, for the residents themselves and for family members, August’s software gives them access to their own records, telehealth appointments, and assistance moving in and out of the facility. As a result, the platform helps improve access, efficiency, communication, and the quality of care for those within the community. For example, in an emergency situation, a staff member can easily pull up a resident's record to see if they have allergies to certain medications without the hassle of going through reams of paper. Moreover by automating records and giving family members and caregivers access (with permission) will free up the time of facility staff who will no longer have to find the information on the paper records. Given the ability to establish a single source of truth and ensure consistent care August’s software has the potential to help significantly improve outcomes and reduce costs.
August Health digitizes senior living communities for better care; $18 million tech startup eyes creating efficiencies specifically for assisted living; Over 50% of Assisted Living, Nursing Home Workers Report Burnout; 24% Say They Had Covid-19