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Conversa’s VP of Operations, Becky James, is based in the company’s Portland office. (Conversa Photo)

Conversa, a digital health startup based in San Francisco, announced an $8 million funding round Wednesday. The new funds will go toward developing the company’s doctor-to-patient communication platform and scaling up its office in Portland, Ore.

The Series A round was led by New York-based Northwell Ventures and also included Epic Ventures, Healthgrades, and other existing investors in the company.

Conversa’s Portland office was established in 2012 and works on the company’s technology, engineering, product development/management and operations functions. The company currently has ten employees based there, with plans to grow the office after the recent funding round.

Last month, the company added its new VP of Operations, digital health vet Becky James, to the office. James formerly spent twelve years in leadership positions at Web MD’s Portland office, most recently serving as the company’s senior director of client delivery.

Conversa offers more than 50 automated “conversation programs,” platforms that allow care teams to communicate with patients. The platforms are each tailored to different conditions, including asthma, congestive heart failure, diabetes and joint replacement.

The goal is to help care providers improve patient health and lower costs by making it easier for patients to stay engaged with treatment.

Seattle-based startup Wellpepper is also working on a patient engagement platform, but geared towards helping patients with outpatient treatment like at-home physical therapy exercises.

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