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Vinik, Jenkins up investment in health tech company Bridge Connector

Margie Manning

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik was among the investors in a new $25.5 million Series B financing for Bridge Connector.

The round was led by Axioma Ventures, a venture capital firm co-founded by Howard Jenkins, former CEO of Publix Super Markets.

Portrait of Jeff Vinik. (Scott Iskowitz/TBL)

Bridge Connectors, with headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee, is a technology company that helps healthcare providers, vendors and payers share data more easily. Both Vinik and Axioma have previously invested in Bridge Connector, which has now raised more than $45 million in total funding.

“We believed strongly in Bridge Connector’s mission to improve interoperability in healthcare when we made our seed investment, and they’ve exceeded all of our expectations along the way,” Jenkins said in a news release. “The company’s growth in the two years since has validated our belief in the technology and brightened the outlook for an interoperable healthcare system. With the company on track for 800 to 1,000 percent growth in 2020, we are eager to see how our continued investment will help Bridge Connector impact the industry and create a healthcare system that works better for patients.”

The latest investment will further support the growth of Bridge Connector’s Destinations, a platform that connects health data systems.The technology allows organizations of any size to connect data systems and give care teams the most accurate patient data in real times — a process that will “democratize health care,” according to Bridge Connector’s news release.

“The level of support we have received from our investors and key partners demonstrates the disruptive power of what we are doing,” said David Wenger,  Bridge Connector founder and CEO. “The lack of integration in healthcare has resulted in care teams relying on antiquated technology like fax machines to relay mission-critical information. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been clearer that this inability to share patient data between healthcare technology vendors creates dangerous care gaps that can mean the difference between life and death for some patients. Bridge Connector is building an ecosystem of connected solutions that is solving this problem.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules earlier this year to give patients more control of their health data. The growing use of telehealth during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on minority communities are additional factors in the need to make health data more easily available, the news release said.

The average hospital uses about 16 different electronic health records platforms that limit data sharing. Bridge Connector has finalized various collaborations with some of the most influential stakeholders in health IT, including Epic, Allscripts and Salesforce, as well as other system integrators such as MuleSoft. Those collaborations represent calculated steps toward creating a centralized hub of integration solutions for all data platforms that any health care provider or payer can access, the news release said.

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