Skywriter MD Launches To Bring Virtual Scribes Into The Exam Room


Greenwood Village, CO-based digital health startup Skywrite MD moves out of stealth mode, announcing general availability of its flagship product, Skywriter. The company launched on just $350,000 in seed funding, raised in March 2015, which it has used to recruit a full C-suite, as well as a clinical advisory board. Since then, Skywriter has been busy building and validating its fairly straight-forward product offering.

Skywriter MD hopes to resolve some of the usability issues being experienced by practicing physicians by planting a virtual scribe in the room via a microphone and remote connection to the physician’s EHR. The virtual scribe listens in on the visit, navigating the EHR to relevant points in the chart for the physician, documenting the encounter note in real-time as the visit progresses, and entering orders on behalf of the physician. At the end of the visit, the physician reviews the documentation and orders, and signs off on the chart. Skywriter commits to providing a dedicated virtual scribe for each physician group to ensure that a familiar relationship develops between the scribe and the physician.

The end result, Skywriter hopes, is one that lets the doctor put down the tablet and focus on the patient. As a result, the company hopes use of its technology will reduce after-hours documentation, improve patient satisfaction, increase the number of patients that can be seen per hour, and improve coding accuracy.

The business model is strikingly similar to an early Google Glass startup, Augmedix, which raised a $16 million Series A in January 2015 to bring a Glass-based system that relied on the video and audio connections within the Glass headset to deliver the same functionally to the end user.  With virtually no competition, Augmedix was a novel idea that gained traction and attention quickly. However, the Augmedix platform requires physicians use an expensive and off-putting Google Glass headset, whereas Skywriter works through a more discrete microphone that would likely be perceived as less intrusive by patients.

With just $350,000 in funding, the company is already announcing its flagship product launch and is far beyond where most would be at this early stage.

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