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(Navigating Cancer Screenshot)

Seattle-based startup Navigating Cancer has raised $12 million for its digital platform that lets cancer doctors interact with their patients. The round drew investments from existing investors including Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Rustic Canyon Partners and Orix Growth Capital. Total funding is $30 million to date.

Navigating Cancer CEO Bill Bunker. (Navigating Cancer Photo)

Navigating Cancer’s software platform connects oncology patients and their caregivers. Patients can message doctors, log when they take medications and record symptoms, and caregivers can triage patients and handle their questions.

“We’re all about enabling patients to have better experiences and better outcomes,” said Navigating Cancer CEO Bill Bunker, who joined the company this past September. Most of the new cash will go toward building the core product.

The company plans to double in size this year, from 50 to 100 employees. Bunker said Navigating Cancer is mainly hiring engineering talent and people with clinical experience. The company first launched in 2008 and reaches 1.7 million patients across 1,200 healthcare practices.

Navigating Cancer’s bid to make patients more engaged is based on a widely shared view that more engaged patients have better outcomes, including reduced costs, higher adherence to medications and improved behaviors such as maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

“We’ve seen great moment in the business in terms of oncology practices picking up our platform,” Bunker said.

Navigating Cancer recently partnered with healthcare giant McKesson on an enhanced version of its patient relationship management software.

Bunker, who joined the company seven months ago, said the company may raise additional money beyond the $12 million it reported in a recent regulatory filing. Bunker was was previously CEO at aerial imagery and analytics company EagleView and at ClarityHealth prior to that. The company’s chief technology officer, Bobby Thomas, is a veteran healthcare technology executive.

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