Telehealth Startup Raises $5.1 Million

A telehealth startup that helps patients with palliative care and advance care planning is expanding after raising $5.1 million. Palliative care is a type of care focused on lessening the symptoms and stress caused by a serious illness.

Austin, Texas-based Iris Plans uses videoconferencing technology to connect people facing serious illnesses with trained facilitators who provide disease-specific education, help with decision-making and assist in completing and distributing advance health care directives. A patient’s thoughts and plans are documented and shared with their loved ones, physicians, the hospital system they use, and are also available online.

The financing round was led by New York City-based Activate Venture Partners and Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners, both of which invest in digital health care companies. Oakland, California-based Better Ventures also joined the round. This was the company’s first round of financing.


Iris Plans’ service is delivered through partnerships with national health care providers and insurance companies, who cover all of the cost for their members. Iris Plans currently serves a customer network of health plans and systems, accountable care organizations and nursing facilities, including senior living and home health care provider Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) and Humana. The startup also last year teamed up with University of Utah Health Plans, which has more than 155,000 members.

Iris Plans will use the new funding to improve and streamline its technology platform and hire more developers, marketers, IT staffers and other employees.

The startup will also expand its national partnerships with health care providers and payers, according to Dr. Stephen Bekanich, co-founder and chief medical officer of Iris Plans.


“We are in advanced discussions with a variety of health plans and health care providers spanning across the country and expect to be growing our footprint from coast to coast in the coming months,” Bekanich tells Home Health Care News.

Written by Tim Regan

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