Virtual obstetrics care management platform Babyscripts has raised an additional $6 million in a strategic funding round led by Royal Philips, with participation from StartUp Health and NueCura Partners.
Of note, Philips’ investment comes with a minority stake and plans to package Babyscripts’ provider and patient platform alongside the international health tech company’s other obstetrics-focused products, Babyscripts President and cofounder Juan Pablo Segura told MobiHealthNews.
“A lot of this funding is focused on us being able to grow quicker in the US through [Philips’] network, through their resources, through their assets,” Segura said. “But then there’s this additional opportunity where we’re combining some products together. They have this asset called ‘Pregnancy+’, it’s a direct-to-consumer app, so we’re now working with Philips to link a consumer experience to a healthcare experience to essentially push patients to certain healthcare systems that we work with.”
Babyscripts’ platform offers providers a digital patient management dashboard with data collected through connected devices such as scales, blood pressure cuffs, and a patient mobile app. From these, the platform delivers insights identifying which patients may require a follow up or intervention. Thanks to its acquisition of iBirth last year, the platform also includes a patient-facing app experience that provides pregnant women with support and insights based on their data.
What’s the impact
Currently, Babyscripts’ services are actively managing more than 150,000 pregnancies in 20 US states, according to the company. This number only stands to grow with the boost from a larger, more established medical device maker active in the obstetrics market.
“Philips has an international footprint, they’re a $40 billion company,” Segura said. “They’ve decided to make digital health the future of their business, and within digital health they see the mother-baby environment as, really, the most important part of digital health. They’re the second largest ultrasound maker and seller in the US, they work with hundreds of health systems here in the states. … It really is a great combination of their clinical expertise, their medical device channel, leveraging all that to grow faster but also starting to combine certain experiences and starting to create a really unique experience in the market.”
Segura noted that most of his company’s activity so far has been limited to the eastern US, and that the funding and partnership will allow Babyscripts to begin its push toward the western side of the country. In addition, he hinted at news to come regarding additional partnerships within a new corner of the healthcare market.
“We’ve been solely focused on working with the provider up until now, because we’ve had this thesis that working with the provider, offering this clinically validated experience, is really the way to build up the infrastructure and move the needle on outcomes. We’re starting to see movement in that direction, and so now we can start to bring in these other stakeholders like managed care to create even more impact and differentiate the solution even more.”
What’s the trend
Beyond its iBirth pregnancy app acquisition in June, Babyscripts has been signing a handful of deals aimed at expanding its reach. Among the more public of these were the not-for-profit health system MedStar Health, WellSpan Health and the Wisconsin Health Network. The company also brought on a new chief clinical transformation officer near the end of last year.
On the record
“We see great potential in Babyscripts and their business model and look forward to working closely with them to expand their offering and customer base in the United States,” Iman Farzaneh, head of mother and child care in Philips, said in a statement. “Babyscripts’ solutions fit perfectly with our own mission to improve people’s lives through meaningful innovations. Helping to safeguard the health of mothers and their babies during pregnancy, birth and the first years of life is a very important part of it.”