Empowering Patients By Accelerating Healthcare Innovation
Editor's Note: This post was updated on November 8, 2021, to reflect the rebrand of AltoMD to Alto Connect.
Today, I’m proud to announce Alto’s Series C round of $50 million. Over the past three years, we’ve proven that Alto’s model works for doctors and patients alike, reducing administration time for physicians and improving drug adherence rates for patients. This new funding will enable us to expand, reaching even more patients, and to further develop our full-stack platform, driving better health outcomes at a lower cost.
Why We Started Alto
Alto removes the complexity from prescriptions to improve patients’ quality of life. Every prescription requires coordination among doctors, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and of course the patient. Traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies depend on fax, phone and paper, which causes delays, errors in fulfillment, poor adherence rates, and 20 hours of administrative work a week per physician.
We’ve reimagined and completely rebuilt the pharmacy infrastructure to eradicate these problems. Through our provider platform (Alto Connect) and pharmacy management software, doctors and insurers spend less time on administration and more time on patient care. For patients, we offer free same-day prescription delivery, but more importantly, cost transparency, personalized in-app and phone support, and faster coordination with doctors and insurance companies to get patients the care they need. Learn more about our app.
The typical Silicon Valley playbook is to enter many new markets rapidly, throw money at problems, and figure things out on the fly. That’s never been Alto’s approach. Because we’re working with critical, life-saving medications, messing up is not an option. We’ve diligently, methodically built robust systems to make certain we leave no patient behind, and we’ll keep that mentality as we expand. Now that we’ve built our critical foundations — the platforms and clinical expertise — it’s time to scale.
We want to make sure all of America can benefit from the Alto experience. Last month, we opened our HQ2 in Denver, where we’ve already hired 60 employees across patient care, pharmacy and clinical operations, as a stepping stone to nationwide expansion.
Therapeutic area expansion
So far, we’ve focused on deeply understanding and serving the retail, dermatology, fertility, biologics, and HIV markets. We’re now bringing the same empathy and customized service to autoimmune, endocrinology, and cardiology — areas where patients are frequently overwhelmed with logistics, paperwork and side effects, and where Alto could offer deep value as a trusted partner.
Pharmacy represents 10% of healthcare spending, a $3.3 trillion market. Most pharmacies focus on just capturing as much of that 10% as possible. A select few are working to eliminate the ineffective portions of pharmacy spending. But even they look at the pharmacy spending in isolation.
The truth is, pharmacy shouldn’t be viewed as a disjoint piece. At Alto, we believe better pharmacy will make all of healthcare more effective and reduce healthcare spending overall. We’ve already seen progress — for instance, Alto’s primary adherence rate is 40% higher than the industry average.
From patients, we’ve heard, “Being able to speak to an Alto pharmacist directly allowed me to figure out how my drugs were interacting and causing painful side effects.” Some patients are cost-sensitive and consider skipping the medications that manage their chronic conditions and prevent hospitalizations. We’ve helped by delivering $11 million in medication savings to our patients so far.
From doctors, a common refrain is: “This is the first time my patients have talked to me positively about a pharmacy, and it’s the first time I can actually see what happens to a prescription after I write it.” This experience is why doctors have been the primary fuel of Alto’s growth. UCSF, One Medical, Stanford, and over 10,000 other providers recommend Alto as their preferred pharmacy.
This early progress is energizing, and only possible because of the dedication of Alto’s hardworking team, investors, and partners. Thank you all! The feedback I’m getting from the health ecosystem is even more inspiring — that our potential is nothing short of transformative for our patients and healthcare as a whole. As far as we’ve come, we’re only just getting started.