Health & Medicine

Sacramento’s Sutter Health invests in SF firm using Google Glass

Doctor wearing Google Glass eyewear while examining a patient. Google Glass-powered service from Augmedix Inc. touted as an electronic health records breakthrough, giving doctors more face time with patients.
Doctor wearing Google Glass eyewear while examining a patient. Google Glass-powered service from Augmedix Inc. touted as an electronic health records breakthrough, giving doctors more face time with patients. Augmedix Inc.

Sacramento’s Sutter Health and four other health systems on Monday announced that they have made a combined $17 million investment in Augmedix Inc., a San Francisco startup that uses Google Glass technology to maintain electronic health records and free up doctors to spend more time with patients.

Three of the other investors are San Francisco’s Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives in Colorado and Cincinnati-based TriHealth Inc. Officials said the fourth investor wishes to remain anonymous.

The combined systems have more than 100,000 health care providers treating millions of patients nationwide.

Officials said that the strategic round of funding will allow Augmedix and its investors to scale up the Google Glass-powered service across health systems and private clinics nationwide.

Augmedix said it previously received about $23 million in venture funding, with San Francisco’s Redmile Group leading the strategic round, with participation from founding institutional investors Emergence Capital in San Mateo and DCM Ventures, which has an office in Menlo Park.

The Bay Area company did not break out the specific amounts invested by the five health care systems.

Augmedix, founded in 2012, said its service frees doctors from hours of mandated charting and documentation, enabling them to spend more face-to-face time with patients. Augmedix claims the technology can reduce a typical physician’s charting time by three hours per day.

Google Glass, introduced in the U.S. in February 2013, is essentially computer-embedded eyewear, giving the user hands-free access to a wide range of data.

“New technology tools and services allow us to innovate in ways that deliver a more efficient, affordable and personalized level of care,” Dr. Albert Chan, Sutter Health’s chief of digital patient experience, said in an emailed statement. “Wearable technology holds tremendous promise, especially for enhancing the office visit experience. We are committed to partnering with our patients and value how our growing network of digital health innovators helps strengthen those patient-doctor relationships in new ways.”

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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