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Northwell invests $500k in technology startup Playback Health

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwell Health today announced a $500,000 investment in Playback Health, Inc. as part of a targeted $1.25 million seed-round financing in software designed to improve communications between physicians and patients.

Northwell's investment in Playback Health – the brainchild of David Langer, MD, chair of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital – accelerates Playback Health's efforts to build an effective, long-lasting patient engagement solution that uses screen-capture video and other patient-specific multimedia that helps improve patient experience, satisfaction scores and clinical outcomes. 

The technology is being reengineered in the Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and will be deployed in other clinical areas of the hospital and elsewhere across Northwell Health later this year. Upon validation at Northwell facilities, the technology will then be offered to other "early adopter" health systems.  Using the experience gained with these early adopters, Playback Health plans to launch a full-scale commercial offering to the broader market in 2019.

"Northwell Health is a terrific partner for Playback Health and we are very excited to have their confidence and support as we build our next-gen, video-based patient-centric engagement solution," said Gregory Odland, co-founder and CEO at Playback Health.

Problem Solving Technology

Failures in provider-patient communication put patients' safety at risk and lead to billions of dollars in wasted health care costs and lost revenue.  With the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) and other legislative initiatives, Congress has sought to make reducing early hospital readmissions a national priority.  As part of this effort, Medicare is expected to withhold $564 million in federal reimbursements in 2018, affecting over two-thirds of the nation's hospitals.  A 2017 Massachusetts General Hospital study published in BMJ Quality & Safety found that better patient-provider communication and higher patient satisfaction scores can reduce the likelihood of re-hospitalization by 39 percent.  In response to the quickly changing health care landscape, hospitals have had to completely revamp internal metrics toward care outcomes and patient satisfaction scores to maximize payer reimbursements and limit expensive readmission penalties.  Patient engagement solutions that deliver on these critical metrics have become investment priorities for providers, payers and health care IT companies.

Proven Technology

The Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, one of Northwell Health's 23 hospitals, has been using patient-specific video technology since 2013.  In a 2017 retrospective study conducted over a three-year period, use of screen-capture video technology in office visits and for hospital discharges produced a significant boost to patient satisfaction scores, resulting in higher overall hospital ratings.  Playback Health's newly redesigned, next-generation, enhanced mobile technology is expected to significantly improve on these results after its secure, cloud-based platform is deployed and piloted.

"Northwell Health recognizes the value of Playback Health in further enhancing the patient experience and reducing hospital readmissions by using technology that is proactive, interactive, personalized and, most importantly, outcome driven," said Richard Mulry, senior vice president of operations at Northwell Ventures, which invests in start-up companies such as Playback Health, pursues joint ventures and commercializes ideas that originate with Northwell physicians, researchers and other employees.

About Playback Health

Playback Health is designing and developing patient engagement technology for enterprise application.  Our solution enables healthcare practitioners to create, store and share highly personalized, curated screen-capture video, audio and digital documents to inform and educate patients about their specific diagnosis, treatment and discharge.  Patient-centric and mobile, Playback empowers patients with a holistic view of their healthcare experiences to share with family, friends and other care professionals.  For more information, visit

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Playback Health, Inc. and its logo are filed as registered trademarks in the United States and abroad.  The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Last Updated: 16-Aug-2018