Hazel Health was founded five years ago to provide telemedicine services to children in public schools. Launched by a former Apple software engineer and serial entrepreneur, Nick Woods, and named after one of Woods’ children, Hazel Health has grown to work with school districts responsible for 1.5 million children, and has raised $33.5 million to expand its footprint even further across the United States.
The company’s services are even more sorely needed as children are forced into distance learning classrooms by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Denied the network of services that in-person schooling provides for basic healthcare and nutrition, remote services like Hazel Health become, in some cases, the only window into children’s health that some communities have.
When the first lockdown orders came through, the company began working with school districts to develop remote telemedicine services distributed via applications to continue serving the children for whom it provided basic telemedicine services.
So far, 90% of eligible families have enrolled in the company’s telemedicine program and 70% have engaged with the company’s services. These numbers are even more significant when viewed through the lens of the nearly 40% of the company’s users who indicate they don’t have a primary care physician.
“We built this incredibly powerful model that partnered with schools and brought access to healthcare to families,” said Hazel chief executive, Josh Golomb. “At the schools we had an iPad on a stand. You hit a button and in a few minutes you would be talking to a doctor.”
After the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S., the company’s Hazel at Home service continues to provide care to kids.
“As soon as COVID happened there was a lot of recognition by districts that we have to have a solution around student health and wellness,” said Golomb. “Pre-COVID we went from 300,000 in our network of districts to now, when we just passed 1.5 million. [The] rate of engagement went down but our overall expansion has increased dramatically.”
With those kinds of numbers it was no wonder that Owl Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures came in to back the company. Additional financing came from Uprising, the UCSF Foundation Investment Company and Centene Corp.
And the demand just keeps increasing, according to Golomb.
“Our pipeline has exploded,” he said. “A lot of the states have made expansion for telehealth and increasing access a priority. We were going to have eight or nine states that we were going to prioritize. That’s priority number one… another big chunk is really making sure that we can invest in expanding the product to support that volume of states and finding ways to support our families and district partners.”