Higi raises $40 million for its health tracking kiosk, app

By Aditi Pai

Health kiosk company higi has raised $40 million from its existing investors. While higi CEO Jeff Bennett told MobiHealthNews higi's Chairman William Wrigley was among the existing investors who participated, he did not disclose any additional names. The announcement comes just a week after a different health kiosk company, telemedicine-focused HealthSpot, shut down

Healthspot had raised at least $23 million plus an undisclosed investment from Xerox.

This $40 million is the first investment that higi has received since its merger with Stayhealthy, another health kiosk business, in August 2015. Prior to the merger, higi raised three undisclosed rounds.

Higi’s kiosks, located in nearly 10,000 retail locations across the US, track weight, body mass index (BMI), pulse, and blood pressure. The company also offers an app and online portal that syncs with more than 50 health and fitness apps.

Using the app, consumers are able to participate in challenges and earn points. The points earned can be used to redeem rewards like a discount to grocery delivery service Hello Fresh or money towards clothing at an activewear store.

“We built the platform to connect consumers to their healthcare neighborhood,” higi CEO Jeff Bennett told MobiHealthNews. “The reason why we work with retailers, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other organizations in the community is we think they have infrastructure, influence, and trust to help people who live in that community to improve their healthcare and empower the consumers to take control of their healthcare. What we have done is we have built out our network to enable partners and enable consumers to collect data and share data. A big part of what we will do in 2016 is give both our partners and consumers additional tools to touch each other and engage with each other and make the interactions more meaningful.”

The company’s app has been commercially launched since 2015, after a beta period, and is now the fastest growing part of the business.

“The stations have been out there longer so they’ve probably collected more data from that, but I think when we look at the future as far as where the investment is going to be made, a lot of it is going to be made in the platform providing services on the mobile app and the website,” Bennett said. He added that higi also plans to invest in connecting additional devices that the consumers want to higi's program so consumers can easily track and share their data.

The company’s user base, according to higi, grew to 30 million people in 2015, and higi users collectively tracked more than 100 million miles last year.

Outside of partnerships with pharmacies, grocery stories, and other retailers, higi is also working increasingly with providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies.

“There are several payers out there that have realized that they need to find a way of touching people, not only the chronically ill patients but just managing heart disease or diabetes or obesity. But they need such a broader population,” Bennett said. “And one of the best ways of doing that is to partner with someone that has infrastructure, influence, and trust.”

Higi is helping payers and providers, especially providers that are moving to accountable care, to work with with retailers to collect data from members. Higi is also partnering with pharmaceutical companies to promote various services and products that may be relevant and using the pharmacist to discuss these products further.

In September 2015, a study that examined historical data from higi found that combining health tracking with incentives, rewards, and challenges can contribute to consumers' lowered blood pressure.

Higi has been focused on incentive-driven health tracking for a few years now. At the end of 2013, higi acquired challenges and rewards platform Earndit, which billed itself as a system that gave people more immediate rewards for their exercise, since the delayed, natural rewards of exercise are often not enough to keep us motivated.