Annum Health raises $2.5M to build out digital treatment platform for heavy drinkers

By Heather Mack

New York City-based Annum Health, a stealthy digital health startup created by the founder of behavioral health support company AbleTo, has raised $2.5 million according to an SEC filing. MedCity News confirmed with Annum Health founder Michael Laskoff that the company has raised a total of $5 million.

The company’s goal is to use digital health tools to help those with alcohol dependency. While the methods are still yet to be disclosed, Laskoff indicated to MedCity News that Annum would look to his former company AbleTo, which used telehealth features, as a primer. The company will use the recent funding to further develop and eventually roll out its program sometime in 2017.

Dr. Mark Willenbring, an addiction psychiatrist who works with the Alltyr Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota is Annum Health’s chief medical officer. On his website, he describes the current addiction treatment system as “not built on science, but on an antiquated rehab model that has not changed much since 1955.” To address that need in an alternative way, Willenbring has focused his three-decade career on bringing together aspects of illness – substance abuse, mental and physical disorders – to treat chronic complex conditions.

Laskoff told MedCity that Annum Health is potentially looking at employers as potential customers, as many people who may technically be heavy drinkers or binge drinkers – having five or more alcoholic drinks at the same time on the same day within the past month – don’t consider themselves as someone with a problem (and don’t seek treatment) even though it may be affecting their health.