IBM Invests in Watson-Powered App Modernizing Medicine


IBM today announced that it would invest in Modernizing Medicine, a cloud-based EHR vendor that leverages an API connection with IBM’s Watson supercomputer to deliver specialty-specific clinical decision support tools to providers. The new funding follows a $15 million Series D that was raised in November 2014 and brings its total funding to $49 million.

Modernizing Medicine markets a cloud-based EHR that learns its users’ patterns and preferences and adapts to their workflows over time, reducing clicks and expediting clinical documentation and care coordination. The system catalogues everything entered, from most frequent types of anesthesia used, to most common diagnoses entered, to preferred types of sutures used to close a wound. It then reintroduces this data into the users’ workflow as they go about treating future patients with the same condition, or undergoing the same procedure. The company reports that its customers save an average of 60 to 90 seconds per patient due to this optimization, resulting in a one to one-and-a-half hour reduction in their day.

Because of its ability to adjust to users’ individual needs, Modern Medicine has found a home for itself as a niche vendor, primarily selling its EHR to specialty practices where effective standard content is sparse amongst competitors. The company is being used by 5,000 practices, and has a market share of 30 percent in the dermatology space, its largest consolidation across any specialty.

Now, with fresh funding from IBM, Modernizing Medicine is ramping up R&D efforts to expand its platform across eight new specialties. The company will also enhance its schEMA app, a clinical tool that lets dermatologists verbally query Watson’s expansive medical library for information on a condition or guidance in formulating a treatment plan.

Last year, in an effort to prop up its expensive and floundering Watson business line, IBM announced a new $100 million funding round that it would use to invest in entrepreneurs willing to build Watson-powered  solutions. The fund has been somewhat quiet since its announcement, but has now invested more than a quarter of its total fund in a single deal with Modernizing Medicine.

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