Summer Health Secures $12M in Funding to Expand Text-Based Pediatric Care

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Digital Health, Telehealth News

Summer Health has secured $11.65 million in Series A funding to enhance its technology platform, aimed at revolutionizing pediatric care through a text-based service. The platform is designed to respond to medical inquiries within 15 minutes, serving as a virtual extension of a family’s primary pediatrician. This innovative approach primarily targets the accessibility issues faced by parents during non-working hours, where typically, the only alternative is a costly and time-consuming trip to urgent care. By providing immediate text-based access to pediatric advice, Summer Health reduces the necessity for these urgent care visits, easing the burden on parents and the healthcare system.

The idea for creating Summer Health came from Ellen DaSilva, the company’s founder and CEO, who, as a parent of three, experienced firsthand the frustrations of accessing timely pediatric advice. Her background as an early executive at Hims & Hers provided her with insights into the digital health market, which she used to create a service that utilizes the simplicity of smartphones. The service supports text communication and allows for the transmission of photos and videos, supporting the consultation process. This nature of communication ensures that parents can receive healthcare advice without disrupting their daily activities, whether they are at work or attending their child’s soccer game.

Since its creation in July 2022, Summer Health has completed over 30,000 visits, a testament to its rapidly growing acceptance and the need for such services. The recent funding round was led by Lux Capital and 7WireVentures, with participation from existing investors such as Sequoia Capital and Metrodora Ventures, as well as new contributors like Pivotal Ventures, a fund by Melinda French Gates. The investment team includes parents who are active users of the service, showing their personal and professional belief in the company’s impact. As the digital health landscape continues to evolve post-pandemic, investors like Alyssa Jaffee of 7WireVentures see growth potential for platforms that address genuine and expanding healthcare needs.

Summer Health plans to use the Series A funding to expand its technology platform further and broaden the range of its services. Ellen DaSilva has outlined ambitious plans to include features such as visual diagnostics and home testing for children, which could transform how pediatric care is delivered by moving more services into the home setting. The company also aims to enhance its backend technology using generative AI to streamline administrative tasks for providers. This initiative includes a partnership with OpenAI to develop features like automated medical visit notes, which helps in maintaining efficiency and HIPAA compliance. As Summer Health aims to make pediatric care accessible for all 75 million children in the U.S., including those on Medicaid, its innovative use of technology and commitment to expanding access could have a strong influence on the future of pediatric healthcare delivery.

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