We’re thrilled to announce that Summer Health raised $7.5M in total seed funding in a round co-led by Alfred Lin at Sequoia Capital and Deena Shakir at Lux Capital. We are fortunate to have participation from Box Group, Chelsea Clinton’s Metrodora Ventures, Shrug Capital, Springbank Collective, Coalition Operators, Moving Ventures, and Kate Ryder (Maven), Andrew Dudum (Hims&Hers), Amira Yahyaoui (Mos.com), Alyssa Jaffee and many others. My co-founder, Matthew Woo, and I are honored to have the support of some of the world’s most important healthcare and consumer technology investors and operators, and we are even more excited that they share Summer Health’s mission to radically simplify access to care.
At Summer Health, we believe every American should have a phone number in their pocket they can text and get access to medical care within 15 minutes. It’s that simple. We’re building a new front door to healthcare, starting with pediatrics, by offering message-based concierge services for urgent care and developmental care. Summer Health is now available in a public beta nationwide, so if you or someone you know is looking for quick access to pediatric care, please sign up today.
Summer Health was born out of my own experience dealing with the healthcare system for my two young sons. Many times, I’ve been stuck with the cost of having to make a trip to urgent care for a bump or scrape after hours, waiting up to 3 hours to be seen, because I didn’t have other options. And I’ve kicked myself for forgetting to ask my pediatrician a developmental milestone question before realizing I needed to wait a year before the next well-visit. Until now, if I wanted timely medical advice or resources I’ve had to rely on low-quality articles fighting for high SEO rankings than solving my need, rather than relying on the traditional healthcare system or actual medical expertise.
This problem is no way unique to me. Accessing medical care is often an involved and unreliable process, no matter how small the question. The medical system is overburdened. Despite strides in telehealth, it’s still over-reliant on in-person care with an emergency room and urgent care default. The experience is plagued by long wait times — the average American waits over 2 hours for the emergency room (and 3+ hours in the top 5 most populous states) and 2 weeks to see a primary care doctor.
Because over 15% of Americans deferred medical care during the pandemic, we’re seeing wait times to see a physician increase substantially in the last 12 months. We learned that 57% of people who deferred care are experiencing adverse effects as a result. This is compounded by the increasing shortage of physicians, as doctors are leaving the field in droves. In 2021, 1 in 5 doctors left the profession, and for specialties like pediatrics, we’re hearing this ratio is even worse.
Summer Health is starting with pediatrics because arguably no one is as hungry for medical information and support as a caregiver is for their kid. The average parent sees their child’s pediatrician 10 times each year in the first two years of their child’s life, and 4 times per year thereafter. This number pales in comparison to the thousands of times per year parents Google health-related questions for their child. A recent study showed that parents try to access medical professionals 67 times in the first year of their child’s life. The important detail: only a handful of these instances actually require in-person care.
Meanwhile, the pandemic knocked down the door for access to pediatric care through telehealth, which is now largely preferred by parents in the US. Over 60% of all Americans are looking for a digital front door. In the US, 88% of people have used telehealth services since March of 2020, and 77% of clinicians say that non-traditional care venues, especially care from home, maintain or even improve health outcomes. After a slow start with telehealth adoption pre-pandemic, pediatrics is one of telehealth’s fastest-growing fields.
At Summer Health, our mission is to radically simplify access to care. We believe that all healthcare should be no more than one message away. We’re starting with a message-based pediatric platform to provide parents with a new front door to healthcare. And we are excited to work toward our goal of putting this magic at the fingertips of all Americans.
Our team feels lucky to be building the solution we, and every parent we know, always wished existed. We’re opening the door to get care reliably, quickly, and without an appointment. Every parent’s care journey can now start with a simple text.
It’s easy: Sign up, and with a simple message, one of our pediatricians can help you with your child’s ailment or guide you to the right place in the medical system within 15 minutes. We can provide you with expert medical advice, a milestone workup, refer you to in-person care, and where clinically appropriate, provide a prescription or lab test. We can also help you find a primary pediatrician in your area or even fill out your school vaccination forms.
We’ll be the doctor in your pocket you always wish you had. Summer Health is now available for $20/month nationwide in public beta. If you are looking for quick access to care, please sign up today.
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Ali Alhassani
Harvard Medical School
Boston’s Children’s Hospital
July 25, 2022