Canadian Startup Professional Performance Wants to Turn Health Care Digital

As an undergraduate student at Laurier University, Andrew Ringer saw a problem that he would later solve with his startup.

His close friend’s mother was a nurse at a large healthcare organization and would “come home literally with boxes of patient charts,” spending hours every night managing them. Needless to say, the friend’s mother wasn’t having fun. 

Nearly two years ago Ringer cofounded Professional Performance, a Toronto-based startup that develops software to usher health care data collecting into the 21st century. The company was founded with the simple idea of revolutionizing how mobile health care works to improve the lives of practitioners and their patients. In doing so the company provides tools to streamline and improve patient care.

Their main tool is called ProHealth, a simple, innovative, and secure electronic health record (EHR) platform for field nurses. These nurses are typically required to fill out heavy paperwork and fax it to head office where someone the other end manually enters the data. “So it’s a very archaic and slow process,” said Ringer. “We arm those nurses with tablets and mobile software so they can manage all their patient records directly from the point of care.”

A challenge for the CEO was driving the right solution for an industry not exactly known to be “tech savvy.” He says it’s extremely important to offer simple and innovative solutions for a healthcare provider.

The company has bootstrapped to date, polishing off a refined product and trying to drive sales rather than hit the “VC roadshow.”

“I think that too often companies are caught up in the culture of VC funding just for the sake of funding and not necessarily driving better products and better outcomes,” said Ringer.

Prior to founding Professional Performance Ringer worked under Jeff Nugent at Contingent Workforce Solutions, once a startup that worked out of Waterloo’s Communitech co-working space. They’re a consulting service that automates the management of contract and non-employee workers for employer organizations. The company grew from zero to $40 million in revenue and Ringer was there for the ride.

Nugent emphasizes that there is a need for something like ProHealth, calling it an “unbelievable product that will create an incredible amount of efficiency.” He has provided a mentorship role for Ringer, passing on his knowledge in everything from building proper infrastructure to marketing to running a constantly engaged team from a thought leadership perspective.

While the ProHealth tool specifically targets field nurses, their solution can be relayed into several different areas in the health care space, according to Nugent. He hopes Ringer can convince the industry that ProHealth is something that should be legislatively necessary (although this will certainly take some time). Better record keeping could be insurance against malpractice suits, something that Professional Performance’s solution can surely offer.

“‘You better buy us as an insurance policy’ is a quicker sales process than trying to do an ROI assessment of ‘you can save 24 hours of a workers time over a three month period,'” explained Nugent. “If these home health care providers have better documentation on what they’re doing it will either create a big revenue stream or limit their liabilities.”