Three notable recent mobile health investments

By Brian Dolan

ZocDoc's iPhone and Android Apps

As discussed in our recent report: State of the Mobile Health Industry: Q3 2011, the hubbub over the FDA’s proposed guidelines for mobile medical apps will likely be the most memorable event from these past three months. However, time will tell whether this was also the period during which investment into mobile health began to accelerate.

MobiHealthNews tracked more than 20 venture capital deals during the months of July, August, and September this year – more than any other quarter since we began tracking investments in this sector three years ago. Here's our pick for three of the top investments from recent months.

ZocDoc, an online and mobile physician and dentist appointment booking platform, received two cash injections during the quarter. In early August the company announced a whopping $50 million round. Less than two months later ZocDoc announced that Goldman Sachs had just chipped in an additional $25 million. While doctors pay a monthly fee of $250 to enable ZocDoc to fill their schedules, the service is free to patients. It also works on both Android and iOS devices. The company wasn’t fully distracted by all the fundraising, however, it also brought its service to the Boston area during the quarter.

DrChrono, an iPad-specific electronic medical records vendor, also had two separate funding announcements during the third quarter, but its rounds were significantly smaller than ZocDoc's. In July DrChrono pocketed $675,000. About a month later the startup added $650,000 in additional funding from Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, and venture capital firm General Catalyst. DrChrono received an inordinate amount of press from Silicon Valley press thanks to the investments and other news the startup made during the quarter, but with enviable design savvy and a focus on the most popular tablet in healthcare, its certainly one to watch.

AliveCor, which has developed the iPhoneECG device, announced its first round of funding during the quarter. We broke the news that Qualcomm Ventures, Burrill & Company, and the Oklahoma Life Sciences Fund contributed a total of $3 million to the cardiac-focused startup. AliveCor inadvertently made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January when its founder posted a video demo of the device intended for an industry colleague who was unable to attend CES at the last minute. The demo video went viral in tech and healthcare circles and led to appearances on major news network shows and resulted in iPhoneECG becoming one of the breakout stories of the event. The device still doesn’t have FDA clearance, but the startup is working toward it currently.

Overall, we tracked hundreds of millions of investment dollars that flowed into the space over the past three months -- largely thanks to a handful of big deals like those ZocDoc landed. Still, the investment trend is positive. Learn more about it in our quarterly report, available here.

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