Educational App Creator Jiff Raises $7.5M

Jiff Inc. announced Monday that it closed a $7.5 million Series A financing round led by Aeris Capital. Jiff is a Palo Alto-based startup best known for its patient teaching tools on the iPad, but with the company’s funding announcement came a second announcement that Jiff is rolling out a new social network called Circle of Health, which will also include Jiff’s digital apps.

The apps are designed to increase the efficiency of doctor visits by recording personalized tutorials in the office. Before patients leave their doctor with recommendations for a new regimen, the physician records his voice as he uses graphics on the iPad to explain conditions, diseases and treatments. The info sessions are sent to patients where they can view them on any device capable of receiving and playing video. When Jiff COO Phil Carter demoed an app at the Health 2.0 Show last month he referred to the file as “a memorable digital souvenir.”

I first saw one of Jiff’s apps at a startup demonstration and judging event last September called DC to VC. The panel of judges was impressed with the app and gave it the highest ratings of the entire show. But panel members weren’t convinced that Jiff would be so readily accepted by physicians.

Jiff apps have the potential to be a win-win for patients and providers; even if patients forget half the information they receive during appointments, they have a record and can review what was said when they get home. And as the Affordable Care Act holds providers more responsible for their patients’ follow-up care, they like tools that can help them better communicate medical information with their patients. However, since doctor’s visits are less than 20 minutes on average, the judges were skeptical that doctors would be willing to take time from their already too short visits to sit down and record a video.

Jiff said it would use the new funding to deploy its Circle of Health social network as well as develop a suite of health care apps. The closed beta version of Jiff’s network was made available for public access during the South by Southwest Interactive Festival.

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