This is the latest direct investment that IBM has made through its $100 million fund to seed Watson innovations. The investment caps $20 million in Series D funding secured by Modernizing Medicine, raising its overall funding total to $49 million. Modernizing Medicine is the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA), a specialty-specific EMR system, and provider of comprehensive specialty-specific billing, revenue and inventory management solutions. Over 5000 health care providers in the U.S., including approximately 30 percent of dermatologists, use Modernizing Medicine's platform. According to the recent 2015 Black Book Market Research report, the company's EMA Dermatology solution ranked first overall in the dermatology space for the second consecutive year.
The funding from IBM and other investors will help Modernizing Medicine accelerate market expansion in eight medical specialties, as well as enhance and expand its suite of solutions. This includes further development of schEMA, the company's mobile app accessed through EMA that leverages the cognitive computing power of Watson to give physicians rapid clinical decision support at the point of care. schEMA is able to analyze massive amounts of published, peer-reviewed medical data and health care research to help physicians practice enhanced evidence-based medicine.
Available first in dermatology with future development planned for Modernizing Medicine's other medical specialties, schEMA allows dermatologists to ask questions in natural language about possible symptoms and treatments, and within seconds receive an informed, evidence-based response - all without leaving the exam room. This is made possible by Watson's ability to quickly query and identify relevant information contained in thousands of medical journals, research studies and other documents.
"Modernizing Medicine is a great example of the breakthrough innovation we have seen from our partners who are building a new class of cognitive computing solutions powered by Watson", stated Stephen Gold, vice president, IBM Watson. "IBM's investment will help speed the introduction of their schEMA app and demonstrates how Watson can be used by medical professionals to improve how they practice evidence-based medicine."
"Today's announcement is an exciting milestone in our journey to deliver specialty-specific solutions to health care providers, including an entirely new class of cognitive-infused patient care apps powered by Watson", stated Daniel Cane, co-founder and CEO, Modernizing Medicine. "After being selected to join the Watson Ecosystem last year, we're honoured that IBM and our other investors are committed to our vision for schEMA and its ability to help physicians transform dermatology and other specialties."
Developed by practicing physicians, EMA is an ICD-10 ready, Cloud-based native iPad application built using structured data technology plus specialty-specific medical knowledge and workflows. The system is designed to accommodate the accelerated movement towards new quality-of-care reporting and outcome-based reimbursement. The schEMA app, which will be available on mobile devices including the iPad, was showcased at the American Academy of Dermatology conference in San Francisco.
Modernizing Medicine's corporate culture, leadership and growth continue to gain recognition. The company plans to expand its employee base with approximately 100 new positions within the next 12-18 months. The company was recently named the number one Best Place to Work by theSouth Florida Business Journal, and the company was also named in Red Herring's Top 100 North America list, which recognizes the top private companies that are expected to achieve significant growth in the near future. Co-founders Dan Cane and Michael Sherling were honoured with the Leadership in Health Care Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2014.
The medical community has been one of the first to partner with IBM to identify and create Watson technologies. IBM has been collaborating with leading hospitals and research organisations including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and New York Genome Center, to advance Watson's health care capabilities and transform how medicine is taught and practiced.
To encourage greater innovation in this area, IBM is pursuing direct investments in organisations such as Modernizing Medicine that are developing new cognitive apps and systems powered by Watson. IBM's previous investments in the health care space include Pathway Genomics, a clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services, and Welltok, an industry expert in health optimization solutions.