Vineet Singal

BHSI Fellow Vineet Singal’s CareMessage Supports Patient-Centered Care in U.S. Clinics

Applications for the 2014 Bluhm-Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship are now open and we’re profiling the social innovators, civic leaders and creative thinkers who make up the ranks of BHSI alum.  And if you’re a social entrepreneur 35 years old or younger with a civic venture that is helping re-shape our society for the better, apply to be a 2014 BHSI Fellow here.

Since speaking on the CIW stage this past October, 2013 Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellow Vineet Singal’s health-education tech platform, Anjna Patient Education, has expanded its client base and rebranded.  Now named CareMessage, the organization provides tailored text messaging services to clinics, doctors and other organizations in 16 states across the U.S.  These text messages are everything from reminders for appointments and prescription refills to nutritional facts to messages that support health and lifestyle changes.

Vineet Singal

2013 BHSI Fellow’s nonprofit CareMessage uses technology to support medical clinics across the U.S.

Singal credits the company’s rapid growth—with a patient base that has been doubling weekly over the past few months—with the medical community’s “very real” need to expand and provide care that goes beyond the doctor’s office.  Physicians, clinics and hospitals have all seen a need to include outreach efforts as a part of the standard care provided to patients, particularly those patients in under-served communities.
“It’s becoming even more of an issue with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it’s a new influx of patients into the healthcare system,” Singal added, noting that CareMessage is also in the process of developing messages for mental health, an area insurers on the health exchange now must provide coverage for under the ACA.
Also key to CareMessage’s success is its recent participation in the Y Combinator program, which provides seed money and advice to startups.  As a part of the prestigious startup accelerator’s first class of nonprofit organizations, CareMessage has focused on strengthening its revenue streams while simultaneously expanding its impact.
“At scale, [we] can generate revenues from paying customers and at the same time be able to serve a population of clinics and hospitals that are very underserved,” Singal explained.  “So, that is the model we have observed and are following.”   
Singal has plans to bring this model to Chicagoland.  After being introduced to Sinai Health System’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel Rachel Dvorken at Chicago Ideas Week in October, Singal and CareMessage recently partnered with the medical organization to bring CareMessage’s tech platform to Chicago-area patients and doctors.  Singal hopes to launch a pilot program that would eventually lead to system-wide implementation in 2015.
“[We’re] really excited about working with Rachel and Sinai Health Systems, and it’s all because of Chicago Ideas Week.  It was really fantastic to be able to connect with [Sinai Health Systems],” Singal said.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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