Healthcare providers are under pressure to better monitor and care for older and at-risk patients between doctor visits. Current systems focus on providing care only after a patient has gotten sick enough to return to the doctor’s office (or the ER).

So caregivers need an effective way to stay in touch with patients and keep them following doctors’ orders while they’re at home. Outcomes could be improved, costs could be contained, and patients could be healthier and happier.

That’s the challenge Boston-based digital health company Wellframe has taken up. The company has built a care platform that creates personalized care protocols for patients and communicates them to the patient via a mobile app.

The app delivers sets of to-do lists for patients and enables direct communication between patient and caregiver. Wellframe chief executive Jacob Sattelmair describes it as a “GPS navigation system for patients.”

On the provider side, the platform offers a web interface where caregivers can keep track of the status of all the patients they’re monitoring. The platform uses a set of algorithms to predict when patients might require a caregiver’s attention.

Wellframe closed a $1.5 seed round in February with investments from Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush and DFJ Founder Tim Draper, among others. It’s now announcing a new $8.5 million round of funding led by DFJ, with participation from Formation 8, Waterline Ventures, and Queensbridge Venture Partners.

Wellframe says the new money will help it expand its engineering team to accelerate product development in response to growing market demand.

“To deliver a disruptive product in the healthcare ecosystem, we look for teams that possess a unique combination of deep industry expertise coupled with consumer product excellence,” said DFJ partner Emily Melton in a statement. “Wellframe’s team delivers on this thesis, and the validation from both the care management suppliers and end consumers so far has been overwhelming,” she says.

Wellframe says it has already completed several successful clinical trials with top-tier academic medical centers and that it plans to announce a number of commercial partnerships in the coming months.

The company was part of the Rock Health accelerator’s fourth class of startups in 2012.

This year, Wellframe says it has expanded the number of care plans offered through its platform to include mental health, diabetes, and transplant medicine, among others.

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