Praia emerges with $20m for digital health platform

Justin Dearborn, Praia Health CEO

Justin Dearborn, Praia Health CEO

Healthcare system Providence has spun out a new company, Praia Health, focused on a platform to build and sustain connections between patients and health providers.

The new company starts life with $20 million in Series A funding and a mission to develop the Praia Health Identity and Engagement Platform, which was launched within Providence’s digital innovation group (DIG) incubator in 2022 and already handles around 3.5 million user accounts.

Praia is led by Justin Dearborn, a veteran of the digital health sector who was previously CEO of PatientBond, a specialist in patient communications and engagement software that was acquired by Upfront Healthcare in 2022. He has been executive-in-residence within Providence DIG since September 2023.

Shortly after taking up that role, Dearborn said: “Health systems have been hampered in their ability to digitally connect with customers in a meaningful way because the technical environment they operate within is clinically oriented, resource-intensive, and change-resistant.”

“The National Academy of Medicine estimates that medical care accounts for just 10%-20% of impactable health outcomes,” he added. “The rest comes from behavioural, socioeconomic, environmental, and other factors. Those things don’t get addressed in a charted experience. In other words, your healthcare visits are important, but they aren’t everything.”

Praia was conceived to make interactions with health information and services a frictionless experience for patients, according to Dearborn.

The platform is built around digital patient records designed to connect fragmented data sources and allow “identity-driven personalisation,” along with mobile and web software aimed at users, healthcare systems integration tools, and analytics providing insights for healthcare providers.

The new company has spun out with 17 digital health partners signed up to provide services through its digital ecosystem, namely Atlas Health, Cedar, DexCare, Foodsmart, Fortuna Health, Kyruus Health, Livara Health, Medbridge, Modivcare, Omada Health, Rosarium Health, Season Health, Vale Health, Wellthy, Wildflower Health, Validic, and Xealth.

“Partnerships and cross-industry collaboration are new imperatives for health systems, and an open, efficient platform for data sharing and consumer engagement is a prerequisite that hasn’t existed,” said Dearborn.

“There is deep value associated with streamlining the delivery of the broad spectrum of consumer-facing solutions that a health system wants to deploy today – both operationally and from a patient and caregiver satisfaction perspective.”

The Series A financing was led by Frist Cressey Ventures and backed by SignalFire, Epsilon Health Investors, and Providence Ventures. Navid Farzad, a partner at Frist Cressey, Yuanling Yuan a partner at SignalFire, and Providence’s chief strategy and digital officer Sara Vaezy have joined Dearborn on Praia’s board.