Noom raises $1M more for chronic disease coaching app

By Aditi Pai
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Noom HealthNew York-based wellness app maker Noom has raised another $1.1 million to complete a $16.1 million round led by InterVest, a Korea-based venture capital firm, with participation from LB Investment, Hanmi IT (a subsidiary of Hanmi Pharmaceutical), RRE Ventures, TransLink Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures.

The first $15 million of the round was noticed in an SEC filing posted in early January. This additional $1.1 million brings the company’s total funding to at least $25.7 million.

Pharma company and strategic investor Hanmi plans to work with Noom to develop a program that pairs Noom Health, Noom's B2B behavior change program, with the company's pharmaceuticals.

Noom CEO Saeju Jeong told MobiHealthNews that Noom Health, which aims to help providers manage patients with chronic diseases, combines automated interventions and human interventions to help patients improve their health. Jeong said that offering includes best practices learned from their direct to consumer apps, but those features were improved upon in Noom Health.

For example, in Noom Coach Pro, the paid version of Noom's consumer weight loss app, users can join virtual groups led by a facilitator to help users lose weight. In Noom Health, the company replaced these facilitators with doctors and nurses who work in the backend to communicate with patients through a dashboard when necessary. The provider communication was combined with the automated interventions that help providers understand which patients need they need to reach out to at what time. By combining the two features, Noom said one provider can reach 200 users. 

The first two chronic conditions treated on Noom Health are pre diabetes and diabetes, although the company plans to add congestive heart failure soon. The Noom Health app, available for iOS and Android, helps patients log their meals, receive information on their condition, and communicate with their provider.

Noom first tested the offering with healthcare providers at EmblemHealth in November and Noom is now working on a second pilot with the payor. The company has conducted other pilots with Aetna, New York Presbyterian, and Greater Buffalo United Accountable Health Network since then. Jeong explained that the company's time in the New York Digital Health Accelerator helped them connect with providers and payors for these pilots.

Noom was founded in 2007 as WorkSmart Labs, but changed its name in 2011 to match its flagship product, a weight loss app with a focus on food tracking, called Noom Coach (formerly Noom Weight), available for Android and iOS. The app offers users a virtual coach, which assigns them educational articles and challenges associated with their daily schedules. Noom added the iOS compatibility in September 2014 and also sends nutritional information from the app into Apple’s HealthKit platform.

The company’s two other apps, Noom Walk and Noom Cardio, are Android-only. Noom Walk is meant to be especially battery-friendly compared to other activity tracking apps, because it doesn't use the GPS constantly, and instead leverages the mobile device’s accelerometer.

The company said that its consumer apps have been installed more than 32 million times.

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