Danny Chu was looking for something to do.
He had sold his internet video company in 2008 and was scouring around for ideas of what his next venture might be.
Chu’s brother, who ran a large medical group in Southern California, asked Chu to look into electronic medical records system and recommend one for his large medical group in Southern California.
So he did. And what he found was disappointing. “They were so bad, so archaic, with no innovation,” Chu said. “I couldn’t in good conscience pick one of these systems.”
Instead he founded his own company, Health Symmetric in 2012. The startup now has 30 employees in Austin.
WHAT THEY DO: Health Symmetric has developed an “open API” platform called SocialCare.
That means that rather than developing proprietary software that is customized for a certain client, the company’s software is programmatically available to software developers, similar to the way companies like Facebook and Apple open up their software to third parties.
How does this work in the real world?
Chu said one of their clients is an “accountable care organization,” which means a network of doctors and hospitals that share responsibility for providing care for patients, particularly Medicare patients.
Accountable care organizations -- known in the industry as ACOs -- came about because the Affordable Care Act wanted to offer financial incentives to doctors and hospitals to provide less expensive care that was still high quality.
Health Symmetric is building tools that will help this ACO -- which Chu declined to name -- manage different data sets on the health of their population, which will help them understand patient outcomes.
“We’re not trying to be an electronic medical records company. We’re more than that. We’re a platform,” Chu said.
WHO THEY ARE: Chu is the sole founder, and he previously started and sold a company called Red Lever that helped brands place videos and other custom content throughout the Internet and on social media sites.
He sold it to Adconion Media Group in 2008 for an undisclosed price.
INVESTMENT: Health Symmetric has done two fundraising rounds, though Chu declined to name the investors or the amounts raised. He did say the amount raised in the second round was “over $10 million.”
He said the company’s investors are “large medical groups” and not venture capital firms.
Chu declined to reveal specifics about Health Symmetric’s revenue, but said the company has several large customers and is “in the black,” meaning it is profitable.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Scaling the company to the next level is the next challenge, Chu said. He says the goal is to grow SocialCare nationally without seeing a decline in quality.
“We’ve got plenty of customers. We’ve just got to be able to serve everybody correctly,” Chu said.
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