Catalia Health gets $2.5M to improve medication adherence with a social robot

By Jonah Comstock
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Catalia Health, which makes an AI-powered patient engagement robot called Mabu, has raised $2.5 million in a new round led by Khosla Ventures. Additional investments came from new investors NewGen Capital and Macnica Ventures and existing investors Q Venture Partners Limited, InnoLinks Ventures, Abstract by Flight.VC, DeNA and Lucky Capital. This brings the company's total funding to $3.75 million.

“This investment enables us to hit two major milestones: roll out Mabu to our first patients and obtain significant data that will show the benefits of our platform to patients and customers,” Catalia CEO Dr. Cory Kidd said in a statement. “We’re pleased to have Khosla Ventures, one of the most prominent healthcare technology investors, back to lead our second round of funding.”

Mabu is a tablet built into a sculpted, stylized body that's meant to serve as a personal healthcare companion for patients at home, particularly elderly patients. The robot has conversations with patients via the tablet every day and adapts to their particular behaviors and preferences. It can remind patients to take medications, ask how they are feeling, and contact their caregiver if need be. It can also send them text message reminders during the day.

Currently the company is testing Mabu as a medication adherence aid in ongoing pilots with pharma companies, healthcare systems, and home health organizations. 

“NewGen Capital is excited to join the Catalia Health team because we see great potential in utilizing artificial intelligence and natural language processing to improve patient care and monitor and increase pharmaceutical adherence,” Homan Yuen, managing partner of NewGen Capital, said in a statement. “We firmly believe technology can be used to enhance quality of life and this is a clear example of that.”

The company will use the funding to build out and deploy its care management system for three different conditions. The company plans to have the first two rolled out by this summer.