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Dresdner Kleinwort Capital invests in US healthcare technology

The group has led an $18m third round of financing for ePhysician, investing alongside Benchmark, Palm Ventures and drug chain CVS.

The investor group included investors Benchmark Capital, Palm Ventures and CVS Corporation, a US pharmacy chain. ePhysician will use the funding to enhance and expand the company’s suite of hand-held clinical applications and broaden the company’s sales and marketing effort to physicians.

ePhysician’s integrated product suite enables doctors, on one wireless hand-held computer, to send prescriptions securely over the internet, capture important patient diagnosis and billing information, and access reliable, objective drug information. More than 400,000 prescriptions have been sent electronically to pharmacies to date, and 8,000 physicians use ePhysician products.

Jonathan Walker, managing investment partner at Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, said: “ePhysician’s management team has consistently delivered on milestones and shown vision in building a solid business model. We were pleased to lead this investor group, which recognized ePhysician’s strong performance to date. ePhysician is the only company to offer an integrated suite of applications to enable, on a hand-held computer, prescribing; patient diagnosis and charge capturing; and drug reference.”

A company statement cites a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine which revealed that preventable medical errors result in up to 98,000 patient deaths each year, and that computerised physician order entry systems reduce adverse drug events by more than 50 per cent. And according to the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), practicing physicians in the US are currently losing in excess of $25bn a year in denied or reduced fee-for-service claims. These lost claims occur because physicians often do not have adequate documentation for their patient visits or bill their services incorrectly.

ePhysician was founded in 1998 by its managing director Stuart Weisman to improve the experience of practicing medicine while also improving patient care. The company is based in Mountain View, California.