Khosla Ventures backs Twine Health as part of $6.8M round for chronic condition health coaching

By Aditi Pai
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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Twine Health has raised $6.75 million from Khosla Ventures, Provenance Venture Forum, and Tower Capital Partners for its chronic condition health coaching offering. Notably, Vinod Khosla led Khosla Ventures' investment personally.

Twine Health has developed a health coaching system designed for providers working in various care settings, including primary care, on-site employer clinics, health homes, care management organizations, and more. The program helps patients create care plans with their providers. They then use connected devices to track their progress. Other features allow care teams to message with patients via video and text. Another lets them scan a dashboard of their patients that flags potential issues and numbers trending the wrong way.

"We're in an ideal position to accelerate the crucial transition to value-based healthcare by as much as a decade," Twine Health Cofounder Frank Moss said in a statement. "In 2015 we did the hard work of getting actual results with our clinical partners, which were all extremely positive. We now are embarking on a strategy to make Twine a 'must-have' for organizations of all types that bear risk for patient outcomes and are managing to the bottom line."

The company has conducted two clinical trials so far. One of the trials, conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, was focused on hypertension. Researchers recruited 44 participants with uncontrolled essential hypertension for a 12-week trial. Participants in the intervention gorup received digital support from a nurse health coach who communicated with them through a tablet app. Patients tracked their adherence to medication and used a wireless device to sync blood pressure data.

Over the three month trial, the nurse messaged patients to adjust their medication dosage. Participants in the control group communicated with the nurse during in-office visits as well as phone calls and email. After the three month trial, researchers found that participants in the intervention group saw a greater decrease in systolic blood pressure, 26.3 mm Hg vs. 16.0 mm Hg.

In the diabetes-related clinical trial, which was conducted at Joslin Diabetes Center, researchers found that participants showed an average 3.2 drop in HbA1C, compared to a 1.0 drop in HbA1C, which is the average in a traditional setting. 

"The time is coming when much of healthcare will be assumed by smart machines leveraging vast amounts of population and patient generated data to deliver personalized care," Khosla said in a statement. "But as exciting as this is, the human connection between patients and their care teams remains critical in maximizing their potential. The melding of big data and the human experience is exactly where Twine is focused, and the team has already achieved results that are hard to ignore."

Last month, Twine Health hired two executives to the company's management team. Pete Bromann, who previously worked in business development at 3M Health Care, was hired as Twine Health's Chief Revenue Officer and Chris Storer, previously the VP of Marketing at American Well, was hired as Chief Marketing Officer.