An Israeli digital health firm is looking to expand its footprint in St. Louis and add employees locally after landing a major customer in the region.
The firm, Odoro, has inked a deal for its technology to be used by SLUCare Physicians Group. Founded in Israel, Odoro provides "digital patient access" technology used by health systems for online scheduling, self-registration and patient communications. The firm in October was acquired by Atlanta-based digital health company Clearwave.
The deal with SLUCare will allow for Odoro’s technology to be used for digital registration with more than 600 of the health care group’s providers, including for appointments at the newly opened SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. The new hospital is just the second major hospital system in the U.S. to use Odoro's technology, officials said.
So far, Odoro said its initial rollout of the technology at SLUCare has seen strong engagement, with more than 70% of patients completing their full pre-visit registration digitally. That widespread adoption has been especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic, said SLUCare CEO Kevin Elledge.
“Odoro’s phase 1 project has been a success — enabling SLUCare patients the convenience of self-registering for their appointments from the comfort of their home, which is highly valued especially during Covid,” said Elledge. “The higher-than-expected patient utilization rates have also helped us maintain social distance at check-in locations.”
Odoro said it plans to soon provide SLUCare with technology that enables searching for providers and scheduling appointments online.
The Israeli company was connected to SLUCare through GlobalSTL, the international recruitment arm of local innovation hub BioSTL. GlobalSTL first met the technology firm on a recruiting trip to Israel and ended up inviting Odoro to St. Louis for the 2018 Health Innovation Summit, where the technology company held several meetings with local health care groups, including SLUCare.
Odoro co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Dikla Ranen said she didn’t realize how much potential St. Louis held for her company when she arrived here for the summit, but soon understood the region could be key to the company's growth.
“What we realized when we first came for the summit is that the St. Louis region is a great opportunity and it’s not less important than Boston or (Silicon) Valley, markets that the Israeli companies are used to thinking of,” she said.
Ranen said Odoro hopes to expand its St. Louis footprint, and has strong leads on potential deals with other St. Louis-based health care organizations.
“I hope we’ll be able to see progress within the next couple of months,” she said.
As Odoro looks to expand its customer roster in St. Louis, Ranen said she’d like to see the company add staff in St. Louis. She said the company is actively looking to hire a customer success employee and project manager in St. Louis.
Odoro is the 24th firm, and the 13th from Israel, that GlobalSTL has recruited to do business in St. Louis. Since its launch in 2014, GlobalSTL has lured global companies to the region from several sectors, but notched its biggest successes in the health care and agriculture markets. Its recruitment strategy involves selling St. Louis’ clusters of health care and agriculture technology firms as potential customers to maturing global technology companies, and in turn offer cutting-edge technology to those large firms.