TelePharm Raises $2.5 Million To Bring Telehealth To Rural Pharmacies

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Iowa City, IA-based digital health startup TelePharm announces that it has closed a $2.5 million Series A funding round led by angel investors John Pappajohn, president and founder of VC tech firm Pappajohn Capital Resources, and Bruce Rastetter, and with additional participation from Built By Iowa, an equity fund designed to provide seed funding to local Iowa startups. TelePharm is also participating in Rock Health’s current accelerator class in San Francisco.

TelePharm is helping rural pharmacies stay solvent by reducing the need for full-time, on-site pharmacists at every location. It’s TelePharmacy platform connects rural pharmacies staffed by pharmacy technicians with remote pharmacists who can verifying medications and direct operations across multiple retail locations. The pharmacist and pharmacy tech communicate through secure chat or audio/video connections, and the prescription verification process is built directly into the pharmacist’s workflow. The platform also provides local patients a virtual counseling service that improves patient to pharmacist communication by letting patients ask questions from home, after they’ve read any medication instructions and when they are most likely to realize they have unresolved questions. At that point, patients can initiate a conversation with the pharmacist through a secure web app to get any clarification needed or to discuss unforeseen side effects.

The platform is designed to help rural pharmacies spread overhead payroll costs across multiple locations by providing the technology needed to let a single pharmacist run multiple locations. CEO Roby Miller explains, “The idea for the company came after my family had to close two rural Iowa pharmacies.”

The new funding will be used to scale its operations and expand the TelePharm team. The company has also announced that it will launch two new products, TeleCounsel and TeleCheck, to address the needs of its still-emerging customer base. A representative from TelePharm explains “Some pharmacists we talked to weren’t interested in opening a new telepharmacy, but they wanted to be able to easily connect with their patients in a long term care facility, for instance.” To respond to these needs, TelePharm has decided to split its TelePharmacy offering in two smaller modules, providing just remote prescription verification solutions through TeleCheck, and providing remote patient counseling solutions through TeleCounsel.


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