Beyond the Pitch
Updox: Making Healthcare Simple for Everyone
It’s been a record-breaking year at Updox.
With more than 56,000 physicians and 72 million patients using its secure communications platform, Updox announced, in May, a $12.7 million preferred equity round.
Then, just a few weeks later, for the third consecutive year, this Dublin-based growth business was named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
But perhaps the most exciting news coming out of Updox is the company’s consistent and industry-leading success in connecting patients’ entire care teams with each other and giving the foundation needed to provide truly effective value-based care.
“For healthcare to be successful, everyone in the ecosystem must be able to communicate—whether it’s the healthcare provider, the specialist, the pharmacy, rehab, long-term care the patient or their family,” said Michael Morgan, chief executive officer, Updox. “It’s not just about sharing data—it’s about being able to communicate and easily connect around topics that matter.”
Providers need to be efficient so that the care they provide is effective.
Updox has always been about communications. Updox started with a web-based universal inbox that allows doctors and practices to manage all patient communications, referrals, faxes, and emails in one place.
As market acceptance accelerated, Updox’s vision grew, too. The company built its business by developing the only fully integrated customer relationships management (CRM) platform for independent physician practices.
“Healthcare has to be efficient before you can be effective,” Morgan said. “That’s why so much time and energy has been spent on large systems for sharing data. While data interoperability is important, excellent healthcare is powered by communications. A lot of technology out there has either been overlooked by independent providers outside of health systems, or it’s just a cool app that promises to make one process more effective. But that doesn’t work. You have to be efficient first and get people engaged. That’s what we did.”
To Updox, that means widening the circle of easy communications to connect pharmacies, long-term/post-acute care, and acute-care providers to the patients and physicians using Updox.
Updox extends its connectivity platform to pharmacies.
Envisioning a comprehensive approach to connect pharmacies with physicians, patients, and authorized family members, Updox sought direction from the marketplace.
“We performed market tests with dozens of pharmacies to be sure there was a market fit,” Morgan said. “We found—and this is the exciting thing about our business—that the Updox platform, as it is, adds the same type of benefits to pharmacies that it provides to our physician practices.”
Pharmacists and assistants are super busy. They deal with lots of paper. They spend considerable time calling patients. Increasingly, patients are turning to community pharmacies for clinical services. Plus, every day, pharmacies are faced with one of the greatest challenges in healthcare today—medication adherence—helping ensure that patients following their physicians’ therapies and take their medications as prescribed.
By expanding into other care settings, Updox is creating unique access points for other partners in the healthcare supply chain – such as payers or pharmaceutical companies – to give them a better way to influence behavior for things like medication adherence.
“What we’re doing hasn’t been done before at this level,” said Morgan. “There hasn’t been a full-scale communications solution like Updox that offers the same, secure, accessible communications channel to all the different providers within healthcare.”
Updox expanded the partnership model that has been so successful in integrating the Updox platform with providers of electronic health records (EHRs) and practices management systems to include leading pharmacy management systems. Interfacing seamlessly with industry leaders that include Rx30 and Computer-Rx, Updox Pharmacy Connect provides pharmacies with the exchange of secure communications – including email, faxes, and forms – with physicians, payers, and patients.
Updox has nearly 100 employees, having added about 40 positions this year, and will continue to add staff. The company’s thoughtful approach to market segmentation and validation, the deliberate process of building strategic business partner relationships, and the management team’s ability to deliver on the business plan, has accelerated the company’s growth.
“We have a recipe that works and a platform that builds value,” Morgan said. “We solve pragmatic problems, prove a good market fit, and then develop solutions that simplify healthcare and people like to use.”
The plan is to continue to build out the communications and human connectivity of the Updox platform and to segment the healthcare marketplace to more specifically address the needs of certain patient populations further.
“Updox is in a unique position to tie together whole healthcare networks to serve patient populations in ways that make patients, providers, pharma, and patients enthusiastic about the results,” Morgan said.
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