4D Healthware

Nikki Orth
Chicago, IL, United States

Question and Answer

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What’s new about what you’re making? What substitutions do people resort to because it doesn’t exist or they don’t know about it?

We are the platform that centralizes all healthcare related data for patients and caregivers. Today, patients use binders, spreadsheets, numerous apps, etc. to try to piece information together and get information to their physicians and have everything in one referenceable place for themselves.

Who is your target demographic?

Individuals with 2 or more chronic conditions. 75% of the US population has 2 or more chronic conditions. Servicing the needs of these patients with value based reimbursement services is a $90B market. We are focused geographically on a $3B market to start.

What goals/milestones do you hope to achieve with your business over the next 12 months?

To grow from managing 300 to managing 9,000 patients and grow our portfolio of services offered based on new value based reimbursements released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

What financial, organizational and/or personal support have you received to launch your business? Please include amount of money raised to date.

I have raised $2.8M in equity capital to date. I have overcome overwhelming odds and my story was profiled in Vanity Fair magazine as one of 26 women of color who have raised more than $1M in capital.

What publicity or accolades have you received?

I was named to Chicago Crain’s Tech 50, 7 Wonder Women of Chicago, 20 Chicago Software Companies to Watch and Chicago’s Top Ten Startup Founders Over 40. I have lso been profiled in Vanity Fair, Forbes, Crain’s Chicago, Black Enterprise, Physician’s Money Digest, NBC News and in Inc Magazine.

How have you raised money to date?

I started the company with a little over $300K in funds. $65K from friends and family and my own personal investment of $250K. The remaining $2M+ has come from a pre-seed and seed fund comprised of two principle angel investors who have deep knowledge of the healthcare market and are bullish on what we are building. I hope to raise an additional $250K in a combination of debt and equity.

What metrics do you use to measure success?

Because our business is built on a software as a service model, we have strong gross margins (48%) on a per patient basis.  The more patients we have under contract the more we'll be able to improve our bottom line economics.  In terms of the efficacy of the services we are providing, one of the metrics we track is readmission rates.  Our analysis shows that patients who receive care under our contracts show readmission rates of only 10%.  This compares to 27% for unmanaged patients.  We are encouraged by these findings and will continue to track metrics like this as we add more patients to the platform.

How are your products/services differentiated from the competition?

Our product is differentiated in three main ways:

  1. Most current solutions rely on phone calls and spreadsheets, with no tools to actually assist the patient in managing health outcomes.  We have built a software platform that help manage all interactions and continually collects and analyzes data from various smart devices that the patient uses.
  2. Most competitors have designed services around a single CPT code (healthcare billing code) or are trying to retrofit their existing products to ‘fit’ these remote care codes.  4D Healthware has designed systems and processes from the beginning that specifically target all clinical care that can be delivered remotely.
  3. Many competitors do not have the process/approvals in place to get direct reimbursement from insurance companies & Medicare.  We have direct billing built into the platform which our physical group customers appreciate as it takes them out of the billing admin cycle.

What is your path to profitability?

Like many healthcare companies, we charge a per member per month fee that is billed directly to insurance companies.  To break even we need 3,000 patients on our platform and right now we have 500 on the platform.  We have contract relationships with several physician groups that have given us permission to provide services to 4,000+ patients however we need additional funds to hire and train that staff.  We have more demand for our services than we have staff to deliver on that request which is a good problem to have and one that makes us confident about reaching profitability quickly.  

Was there an "ah ha" moment when you decided to start your business?

Yes.  As someone who has personally suffered from chronic illnesses, I have always been fixated on how you can make the healthcare experience better.  There is one specific moment that I remember, though.  I remember getting a bottle of wine, sitting on a couch with a friend, and talking about my vision of managing health from a smart phone.  I remember saying "If Tesla knows what’s going on with every vehicle, why can't we do the same for every patient?  Healthcare should be something you can manage from your smart phone.”