VoCare raises $2.2 million for telehealth device

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Indianapolis-based VoCare Inc. has raised $2.2 million from angel investors to launch a mobile device that connects doctors with patients, and expects to reach $3.5 million in fundraising by the end of the year.

The startup has developed a device that can combine a tablet computer with a cell phone and a pendant device that calls for help in case of a fall. The company intends to charge about $600 for the device, which could replace a traditional cell phone, plus $120 per month for communication services.

VoCare, which has six employees, hired Indianapolis-based AGS Capital LLC to do the fundraising.

VoCare President Steve Peabody said the company will start two pilot projects in November as it launches its product. The pilots involve Indianapolis-based American Health Network, a 200-physician medical group, as well as the Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic, which has about 775 doctors.

Peabody said the company has been able to raise money, in part, because it has secured written endorsements of its product and business plan from many local hospital networks, including Community Health Network, St. Vincent Health, Clarian Health, and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

So-called accountable care provisions in the new health law that propose to pay hospitals and doctors for managing the overall health of groups of patients such as the elderly or homebound has fueled the interest of health care providers in VoCare.

“With the new accountable care policies that are coming out, they really are looking at telehealth generally as a better way to manage population health,” Peabody said. “A lot of these guys are willing to participate once the product’s made.”

VoCare started in Lebanon but six months ago moved its offices to the Purdue Research Park near the Indianapolis International Airport.

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