Press Releases


Iris Plans Wins First Place at Prestigious Vator Splash Health Competition

AUSTIN, Texas, March 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iris Plans has been awarded the First Place prize at the 2017 Vator Splash Health competition in San Francisco. The nationally recognized competition invites healthcare innovators to present their cutting-edge technology solutions throughout several rounds of judging.

This year, eight finalists were narrowed from companies around the country to present to a panel of judges at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Judges were comprised of leaders from the healthcare sector and the nation’s top investment firms. Reinforcing the value of Iris Plans’ solution to provide Advance Care Planning (ACP) with scalable technology, judges awarded Iris Plans the top prize for 2017. 

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Iris Plans Announces Partnership with University of Utah Health Plans to Provide Advance Care Planning across the Intermountain West

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iris Plans, an innovator in Advance Care Planning (ACP) for people with serious medical conditions, has teamed with University of Utah Health Plans (UUHP) to improve quality of care and member experience while lowering cost. “Iris Plans is delighted to launch this partnership with such an innovative partner recognized for its leadership in high quality care,” said Steve Wardle, CEO of Iris Plans. University of Utah Health Care, UUHP’s parent, was recently ranked as the number one health system in the nation for Quality and Accountability by Vizient, after seven years in the top 10 of this prestigious ranking.


Iris Plans Receives Venture Backing From Bay Area’s Better Ventures

Funding to Be Used for New Release of Technology Platform and Launch of Major Partnerships

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iris Plans, a tech-enabled Advance Care Planning (ACP) service for people facing serious medical conditions, announced today that Better Ventures has joined the company’s seed financing round. Iris Plans has now raised its original target of $750,000 for this round and will likely increase the size of the round due to additional investor interest.

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Austin-Based Telehealth launches nationally

March 11, 2016

Austin, TX - Iris Plans, a tech-enabled healthcare service, announced today that it has closed its initial seed round of $400,000 in venture funding and launched its service nationwide in the US. The company utilizes a telehealth platform to provide disease-specific Advance Care Planning (ACP) services to people with chronic illness...

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Media Coverage

Healthcare planning-focused start up wins 1st place at 2017 Vator Splash Health

March 29, 2017

Austin, Texas-based Iris Plans, a company that provides care planning solutions, won first place at the 2017 Vator Splash Health competition in San Francisco on March 23.

Iris Plans, a start up, aims to help people with serious medical conditions stay in control of their healthcare. The company offers secure videoconferencing, connecting patients and their loved ones with an expert who helps them plan their care journey. Through the use of this technology, the company also aims to eliminate unnecessary healthcare delivery.  

The Vator Splash Health is a nationally recognized competition that rewards healthcare innovation and technology solutions.

Better Ventures closes $21 million fund to back the next Tesla or Patagonia

January 5, 2017

Oakland-based venture capital firm Better Ventures recently closed its second fund at $21 million according to cofounder and managing director Wes Selke.

The firm was originally founded as an accelerator called Hub Ventures to help social entrepreneurs running so-called “triple bottom line” startups. These companies measure their success not only by revenue and profitability, but also by their products’ quantified, positive social or environmental impact.

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Digital Health Tools Help Patients, Doctors Plan for End-of-Life Care

November 29, 2016

Healthcare providers are using mHealth to help patients and their families prepare for the end of their healthcare journey.

Through a secure online platform, providers can meet with patients, family members and caregivers in any location to map out advance care plans. They can bring in specialists and counselors to explain the different paths to end-of-life care, resolve family conflicts, even explain DNR orders.

“Towards the end of life, many patients get care that they wouldn’t want if they really understood what it entails,” Steve Wardle, CEO and co-founder of Iris Plans, a Texas-based developer of online palliative care tools that launched this past March, recently told Xconomy. “This puts patients in the driver’s seat and empowers them to be more active in their decision-making.”

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Iris Plans Uses Telemedicine to Innovate Delivery of End-of-life Care

November 28, 2016

Xconomy Texas — Austin
Iris Plans is using telemedicine for an often overlooked part of health care: advanced care planning.

Iris recently announced a partnership with the University of Utah Health Plans, and is now providing technology-enabled advanced care planning for about 50,000 members. Iris has created an online office where doctors, nurses, or social workers can advise patients and their families about forming a plan for end-of-life care.

“Towards the end of life, many patients get care that they wouldn’t want if they really understood what it entails,” says Steve Wardle, Iris Plans’ CEO and co-founder. “This [Iris’ solution] puts patients in the driver’s seat and empowers them to be more active in their decision-making.”




September 15, 2016

Iris Plans, an Austin, Texas-based tech-enabled Advance Care Planning (ACP) service for people facing serious medical conditions, raised $750k in seed funding.

Backers included Better Ventures. In addition to its investment, Better Ventures Co-Founders and Managing Directors Wes Selke and Rick Moss have joined the Iris Plans Board of Advisors.

The company intends to use the funds for new release of technology platform and launch of major partnerships.

Led by Steve Wardle, CEO, Iris Plans provides a service that uses targeted technology and algorithms to allow strategic partners, mainly health insurance plans, to identify patients with serious medical conditions who will most benefit from Advance Care Planning (ACP).


Quality of life to the end of life: a Gerontechnology tour

April 18, 2016

...At the Louisville Innovation Summit, I met a palliative care physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Stephen Bekanich, a co-founder and medical director of Iris Plans, a telehealth platform to provide disease-specific ACP services to people with serious chronic illness. Dr. Bekanich shared that he changed the focus of his career to ACP after watching his grandparents (who raised him) go through serious illness. Even as a physician, he didn't "have the knowledge and abilities needed to facilitate these critical discussions."

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This startup helps families plan when somone gets very sick

March 30, 2016

Iris Plans is selling a telehealth connection to palliative care

When my grandparents entered an assisted living center and were in the final years of their lives, it was up to my parents to sit in on conversations about end of life planning. They worked through difficult, but important, discussions about how my grandparents would want to be treated or medicated or resuscitated if and when they couldn't make those decisions for themselves...

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