San Diego company IntelliDOT announced today raising $13 million in a Series C round lead by Integral Capital Partners of Menlo, CA (press release). The funds raised will be used for sales and marketing of their CAREt bedside bar coding system.

IntelliDOT Corporation provides [a] wireless workflow optimization and medication
error prevention solution for hospitals and other health care
providers. IntelliDOT's CAREt System incorporates a unique wireless
handheld computing device, an enterprise-class server and a
sophisticated, but flexible software application. In addition to
reading conventional bar codes, the CAREt System reads small,
information-rich codes called MedDOTs that can be used to create
customized documentation and communication applications.

IntelliDOT CEO, Thomas Klopack, notes that, "Recent studies have demonstrated that bar code point-of-care technology
can significantly reduce medication errors; however, less than 8
percent of hospitals in the country have adopted the technology." At first glance two things separate IntelliDOT's solution, their unique bar code and the bar code reader (pictured right). Their proprietary bar code, called MedDOTs, is an aztec-like bar code that can encode a large amount of data. The bar code reader appears to hit all the important health care requirements - small, light weight, can be wiped down with disinfectant, and the battery lasts a 12 hour shift.

So let's run down the most common barriers to adoption for point of care solutions:

  1. Poor design - most of IntelliDOT's management worked together at Pyxis, so they've probably got the workflow down cold
  2. Ill suited hardware - they've done a lot of things right with their bar code reader - better than current PDA/bar code readers - the only open question is durability
  3. Proprietary technology - MedDOT comes to mind here, but perhaps there's a good justification for this over a standard aztec bar code
  4. Cost - there are so many things hospitals can invest in to improve patient safety and reduce operating costs, and everything's pretty expensive

It will be interesting to see how IntelliDOT does as a best of breed point of care solution against broader pharmacy systems from the likes of Cerner, McKesson, et. al. The fact that they've got a Novation contract (pdf) can't hurt. Myself, I can't help but root for the underdog.