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Northwell Health invests $500G in patient mobile app

Playback Health's app helps patients keep track of their medical care.

Northwell Health is headquartered at 2000 Marcus Ave.

Northwell Health is headquartered at 2000 Marcus Ave. in Hew Hyde Park. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Northwell Health said Wednesday it is investing $500,000 in Playback Health, Inc., a Mount Kisco-based startup that has launched an app that helps patients keep track of their medical care.

Doctors can create content specifically for patients, who can then view and share the information on their mobile devices.

The content includes audio and video clips, as well as PDFs.

"This allows a doctor to create multimedia that a patient can consume and share whenever they want," said Gregory Odland, CEO and co-founder of Playback Health. "Often a patient doesn't remember much about what a doctor tells them. They're overwhelmed. This improves patient-doctor communication, and it also helps the patient be more engaged in their own care."

The Northwell investment was part of $1.25 million in financing Playback obtained. Northwell has a minority interest in the company and is a "strategic investor," said Richard Mulry, senior vice president of operations at Northwell Ventures, which invests in startups and pursues joint ventures.

Dr. David Langer, the chair of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, is Playback's other co-founder. Lenox Hill is part of the Northwell system.

Playback said it will roll out its product throughout Northwell's hospitals this year.

"We will see what works best, which areas of a hospital depend on this the most, make improvements and then bring it to other health systems in 2019," Odland said.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, with 66,000 employees, is the largest private employer in New York State. It operates 23 hospitals in the region.

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