Vida raises $5 million for app-based health and wellness coaching

By Brian Dolan
09:43 am

VidaSan Francisco-based mobile-enabled health coaching services company Vida has raised $5 million in its first round of funding from Aspect Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang, Signia Venture Partners, The Valley Fund, Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb, Silicon Valley Bank's Kevin Scott, and Skip Battle.

The company also commercially launched its app direct-to-consumer health and wellness coaching services, which cost $15 a week. Vida connects its users to nutritionists, physicians, diabetes educators, nurses, and more via its iPhone app. Vida CEO and Founder Stephanie Tilenius told MobiHealthNews the company also plans to develop an Android app for its service in the future.

Tilenius is a well-known in Silicon Valley where she spent the last few years at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins after leading commerce at Google for a few years. Before Google she was a longtime eBay employee in their PayPal business. In the '90s she founded online pharmacy PlanetRx.

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Vida's app is launching with eight programs available to its paying users: lose weight, get fit, detox, feel better, reduce stress, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent diabetes. Tilenius said that the company's coaches have experience with more than 20 health conditions so the program list is likely to expand. 

Vida has begun a three-month IRB clinical trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center and will soon begin one at Duke University Hospital. Tilenius said Vida is working with Duke (and has a grant proposal out with the American Heart Association) on a cardiac rehab program, while Vida has integrated MD Anderson's recovery protocols for various cancers, like multiple myeloma and leukemia, as part of its study there. Vida believes its offering could be helpful to people managing any chronic condition. Tilenius said the relatively short IRB studies are a great way to quickly show the impact Vida has on its users' lives.

While the programs are currently only available direct-to-consumer Vida is already testing other channels, Tilenius said. They are in discussions with employers about per employee per month pricing, and Tilenius expect to work with providers who want to offer it to their patients too. Insurance companies are on Vida's customer roadmap but likely not any time soon.

"We are a part of this collaborative, connected care model where there is a team in the cloud, the physician is the specialist, and there's a health coach on hand. [With Vida] it's no longer just a one-time visit to the doctor each year. You are getting all your data -- biometric, phenotypic, genomic, blood labs -- everything is in the cloud and you've got a coach in your pocket that is really helping you," Tilenius said. "We think that's where healthcare is moving."


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