Keona Health Closes $2.5 Million in Series A Funding Investment

April 1, 2014

Oakkar Oakkar and Javed MostafaKeona Health, a healthcare software and automation solutions startup, has secured $2.5 million in Series A Funding

“Keona Health’s software tools are aimed at providing relief for what is widely recognized to be one of the biggest pain points in medicine today, patient call support” said Oakkar Oakkar, chief executive officer of Keona Health and Master's student in information science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS).

Today, the average U.S. medical practice receives 100-200 phone calls per day for each medical provider. With each triage call estimated to take 10-15 minutes, a clinic with three medical providers may spend as many as 2,500 hours each year in answering these phone calls. Studies have shown that Keona Health’s Online Health Advice application allows nurses to spend 43 percent less time on phone calls while still offering efficient triage and accurate diagnoses.

“[Keona’s] approach improves response time, reduces cost and increases patient and staff satisfaction,” says Dr. John Thorp, chair of the Department of Women’s Ambulatory Care at the University of North Carolina and a client of Keona Health. “Their service has the potential of becoming the standard of care for phone triage in ambulatory care around the world.”

In practices using the Online Health Advice application, patients can go to the clinic’s Web site, patient portal or call in to complete their health history through an intelligent, automated interview process. A nurse then reviews patient complaints and responds back to patients as soon as possible.

“I’m greatly encouraged by news of Keona securing Series A funding, reflecting years of hard work and validating Keona’s prospects for significant future growth,” said Jim Kitchen, entrepreneur in residence at Kenan-Flagler business school and founder of UNC’s Venture Lab. “They are one of Chapel Hill’s success stories and I couldn’t be more proud of Oakkar, Stephen and their team.”

The Online Health Advice solution allows any number of nurses or physicians to triage simultaneously, access the system from any Web-enabled device and save triage encounters into the patient’s medical record. Using automation and software tools, medical providers can triage more efficiently, spend more time for seeing patients and make more revenue.

“Keona Health is leading technology transformation in healthcare,” said Ted Zoller, director to the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC, senior fellow for the Kauffman Foundation and angel investor to Keona Health. “The company’s value proposition is enormous and only dwarfed by the market’s potential growth.”

“We are fortunate to have received strong support from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) business and technology community,” says Keona cofounder and SILS professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Javed Mostafa. ”Keona’s DNA is from RTP and it will always be linked to this origin.”

“At the end of the day,” says Oakkar, “patients are the real winners here. They get responsive and personalized care advice, anytime and anywhere.”

To learn more about Keona Health, visit

About Keona Health

Keona Health builds healthcare software and automation solutions to ease the burden of telephone triage on medical practices and help medical professionals better communicate with patients. Triage calls cost healthcare providers $15-20 each, and most go unreimbursed. These calls may cost a clinic upwards of $150,000 per year in lost revenue. Keona Health’s automation solution was recognized at the Allscripts Open App Challenge for best supporting clinical, financial and performance improvement results. For more information about Keona Health, visit and on Twitter @KeonaHealth.

Photo by Dan Sears, UNC at Chapel Hill photographer.


This initiative supports the Innovate@Carolina Roadmap, UNC’s plan to help Carolina become a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society. To learn more about the roadmap, visit