Agile Health lands $2M to adapt SMS smoking cessation to diabetes management

By Neil Versel

Agile HealthAgile Health, maker of an SMS-based smoking cessation program for employers and other group purchasers of health insurance, has raised $2 million in private equity to finance development of a similar offering for diabetes management, according to regulatory filings and published reports.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Agile Health disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it issued $2 million in new shares. MedCity News reports that the money came from three unspecified investors to create a system that will help people with diabetes adopt healthy lifestyles. "It's all about changing and achieving better outcomes by behavior change," company CEO Gary Slagle told MedCity News.

Slagle and his Agile Health co-founder, Scott Werntz, are former CVS Caremark executives.

Agile Health's Kick Buts smoking cessation program – not "butts" because it is meant to combat the "I want to quit, but..." excuse, according to the Nashville Business Journal – provides customized messages to encourage and support people who are trying to give up cigarettes. It also offers access to online games meant to distract participants who might otherwise crave a smoke, as well as discounts on related stop-smoking products like nicotine gum.

The 26-week program is based on technology partner HSA Global's Stop Smoking Over Mobile Phone (STOMP) platform. STOMP was behind a program in the UK, detailed in a study published in The Lancet in June 2011, that had twice the success rate in helping people kick the habit as those in a control group.

Agile Health is targeting the end of the year for launching the new diabetes management system.

The company is not related to Agile Diagnosis, a Rock Health and Y Combinator graduate that raised $2.5 million at the beginning of the summer to fund a mobile clinical decision support service.