CHCF Health Innovation Fund invests $725K in mPulse to help Medicaid plans text members

By Aditi Pai

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) Health Innovation Fund has invested $725,000 in Encino, California-based mPulse Mobile. This brings the company’s total funding to just over $14 million.

mPulse Mobile spun out of secure mobile messaging company mobileStorm about a year ago to focus on the healthcare sector, which was the fastest growing sector for mobileStorm. mPulse’s secure messaging offering is designed for various healthcare organizations including payers, pharmacies, providers, and medical device companies. 

The program is tailored to reach and engage these organizations' patients, members, and customers. mPulse messages can be sent via SMS, a secure messaging service on a website, or integrated into the healthcare organization’s existing app as its messaging function.

“The adoption of mobile communications by Medicaid plans is critical to engaging California’s low-income population, and mPulse Mobile has delivered on this promise to their customer base of more than 50 health care organizations,” Health Innovation Fund Senior Program Officer Jared Teo said in a statement. “Health plans can now help newly enrolled Medicaid members better navigate the system with a tool they use everyday: texting.”

mPulse is already working with Inland Empire Health Plan to engage its Medi-Cal beneficiaries, according to the company. mPulse is also working on launching pilots with other Medi-Cal plans.

"Being able to communicate with hard-to-reach populations and engage them in their health is a core part of our company's strategy," mPulse CEO Chris Nicholson said in a  statement. "We are excited about our partnership with CHCF to reinforce our strategy and better enable us to expand our offering across the Medi-Cal population.”

Earlier this year, in January, mPulse Mobile raised $8.3 million from HLM Venture Partners, OCA Ventures, Merrick Ventures, and Jumpstart Ventures. A few months later, mPulse raised another $3 million.

CHCF has invested in a few other digital health companies in the last few years.

In September 2014, San Francisco-based Omada Health received $950,000 from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and The Kresge Foundation to expand its prediabetes program, called Prevent, to low income populations in the US.

And the year prior, the CHCF Innovation Fund announced that it invested a total of slightly more than $1 million in Propeller Health for its connected inhaler technology.