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Digital Health Spotlight: How Citus Health is Transforming Care for Patients at Home


The Digital Health Breakthrough Network (DHBN) is currently seeking its fourth class of startups, just as an alumnus of the program is reaching new and exciting milestones.

The Digital Health Breakthrough Network, a partnership between HITLAB and NYCEDC, provides promising startups in New York City with early pilot studies planned and executed by a team of experts in research and participatory design. Driven by a commitment to innovation, job growth, and business development, DHBN supports the development of cutting-edge solutions to transform our health care system. So far, the program has worked with 12 startups that have pushed the boundaries of digital health.

Home health care is one of the fastest growing industries in the US, due in part to lower administrative costs, improved safety and comfort for patients, and a larger population of older adults looking to receive care at home. However, challenges such as ease of use, integration, and trust remain.

Citus Health, a member of the inaugural DHBN class in 2016, knows firsthand how hard it is to coordinate and access home care. Founder Melissa Kozak worked as a home infusion nurse and witnessed the roadblocks to collaboration among home care teams. With Citus, Kozak aims to simplify patient-provider communication and make it easier to receive and deliver at-home care, improving health outcomes.

DHBN helped Citus by pilot testing Call Bell, the company’s patient-facing software application that connects patients to their care team to facilitate real-time communication. HITLAB partnered with PromptCare, a home infusion provider serving New York and New Jersey, to deploy Call Bell with patients and providers over a two-week period. Following the pilot, patients reported a high level of satisfaction with the product—citing faster responses from their care teams compared to using a traditional call center. And the care teams, too, found Call Bell useful in helping their patients.

The study gave Citus the opportunity to improve Call Bell’s workflow for a range of providers on post-acute care teams. Thanks to DHBN, Citus gained valuable insight to onboarding and deploying their product, as well as the training required to ensure adoption, implementation, and maintenance with their partners.

“Working with HITLAB through the DHBN is an amazing and rare opportunity for any early-stage startup,” says Kozak. “Having a team of professionals support you as you learn how to develop your product is priceless. The people you meet and the insights you gain go a long way toward identifying relationships, customers, and ways to ensure sustainability. I’d highly recommend the program to any digital health startup looking for an edge.”

Today, Citus provides a suite of digital health solutions that help post-acute care providers streamline their business processes into digital workflows, improving clinical outcomes for patients and financial outcomes for providers. These solutions address essential segments of post-acute care, including home infusion, along with supporting home health agencies and hospice organizations.

Citus continues to collaborate with PromptCare to deliver excellent post-acute care solutions that benefit both patients and providers. In addition, Kozak was accepted into Dreamit Health, an accelerator that helped her meet investors and raise a seed round to build out Citus’ offerings. She is also expanding the Citus team, which now includes marketing, development, and customer support positions.

Will you be the next digital health startup success story? DHBN is actively seeking applicants for its Spring 2018 class. Visit to learn more and apply for your chance to get an edge in the healthcare landscape.

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