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Health Gorilla, looking to be king of the diagnostic lab jungle, grabs $1.2 million

The Health Gorilla homepage

Above: The Health Gorilla homepage

Image Credit: Health Gorilla

Updated 12:40 PM PT with comments from Health Gorilla

Health Gorilla, a startup whose name evokes jungle fitness, has just scored $1.2 million to help tame the jungle of testing labs.

Currently, when your doctor needs to get some lab tests done or orders an X-ray from any of the 9,000 diagnostic labs or 35,000 radiology centers in the U.S., the system she uses is barely modern. There are legacy systems to place an order, and test results are often shuttled around as faxes or physical x-ray sheets between doctors.

To bring some order to this zoo, Health Gorilla is looking to provide what it describes as “the first online healthcare marketplace to connect all doctors and clinicians” with the testing facilities.

Orders and real-time access to results can be managed within the HIPPA-compliant marketplace, with no cost to doctors. The marketplace can help boost the fortunes of electronic medical records (EMRs), given Health Gorilla’s contention that nearly three quarters of all patient records consist of diagnostic lab and radiology center test results.

CEO and co-founder Steve Yaskin told us that the marketplace was launched about six months ago, and “was in stealth mode” for 18 months previously. The new financing was raised in a seed round led by Silicon Valley-based True Ventures, which specializes in early-stage tech startups. Health Gorilla had previously acquired $500,000 from angel investors, and is expecting to close an A round soon.

The new funding is being used largely to prepare a patient portal, Yaskin said. Additionally, Health Gorilla is integrating access to its marketplace into Apple’s HealthKit.

Yesterday, Health Gorilla announced a mobile app for iPhone and iPad, allowing electronic orders to be placed with physical therapy centers, skilled nursing facilities, and medical equipment providers in addition to labs.

The marketplace wants “to provide 100 percent coverage for placing orders with any medical facilities,” Yaskin said, including drug stores. It is also beginning to work closely with medical groups, such as accountable care organizations, which can keep their costs down by analyzing Health Gorilla’s data.

Health Gorilla, founded in 2011, notes that some EMR vendors currently charge for interfacing with each lab and that doctors often cannot place orders from within EMRs. “This is the second wave [after EMRs] that ultimately make these records truly portable,” the company says on its website.

In case you were wondering, Health Gorilla is not the name this startup was born with. Its original name was Informedika, which appears to be as hard to say as to remember. The company rebranded in April.