Omada Health raises $48M for mobile prevention program for obesity-related conditions

By Aditi Pai
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Omada HealthSan Francisco-based Omada Health has raised $48 million in a round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors US Venture Partners, Rock Health, and Andreessen Horowitz as well as new investors GE Ventures and dRx Capital. Omada also received strategic funding from two of its customers: Humana and Providence Health & Services. This brings their total funding to at least $77.5 million to date.

Omada's flagship health program, called Prevent, lasts 16 weeks and aims to help those that are at-risk for Type 2 diabetes make positive health behavior changes. The program was based on a 2002 NIH Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) intervention that produced significant results for people with prediabetes. Users are paired with a health coach who monitors their progress throughout the program. Each week, users take an interactive health lesson that covers a range of topics including exercise and nutrition on a mobile device or computer. As part of the program, users receive a wireless-enabled scale and pedometer so that they can track their progress digitally.

Omada Health CEO Sean Duffy told MobiHealthNews that the company had added a few new features to the program recently. One feature allows patients to go complete the entire program on their smartphone -- and never open up a web browser. The company also revamped its interactive curriculum with new games, which Duffy said dramatically increased people's engagement and completion of the program.

The company is also developing screenings for patients in the program to check if they are at risk for other conditions like heart disease and hypertension, in addition to screening patients who are strictly at risk for diabetes and prediabetes.

"Omada now targets individuals who are considered to be at the tipping point for obesity-related chronic disease," Duffy said. "Imagine someone's journey through a chronic disease that's obesity-related. They gain some weight, that's not causing any problems, and all of a sudden their weight catches up to them and they're really at this tipping point. ... And we provide a one-stop-shop solution for those people. The reason for doing that, in addition to prediabetes, is there's really a relatively strong clinical realization and consensus that at that point in someone's journey to obesity-related disease we should be intervening for other risk factors too."

Omada works primarily with health plans and self-insured employers, according to the company, including Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana, Lowe’s, Costco, and Iron Mountain, but the program has also been used with veterans and seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

To date, 20,000 participants have been enrolled in the program. Duffy expects another 10,000 more to be enrolled through the end of this year and aims to reach 100,000 by the end of of 2016. Next year, the company wants to launch in the program in Canada and UK.

In September 2014, Omada Health received $950,000 from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and The Kresge Foundation to expand Prevent to low income populations in the US.