Digital health funding in August
So far this year, MobiHealthNews has tracked digital funding that has reached nearly $1.35 billion. August was a healthy month for funding, bringing in $223.86 million across 19 deals, putting it slightly above the monthly average for the year. In the first quarter of 2016, digital health companies raised $770 million, and in the second quarter got almost $500 million. Last month, during a slight downturn in funding, digital health companies got $149 million, and we’re seeing things pick back up, with big deals like Andreesen Horowitz-funded Accolade Health and home care software maker ClearCare leading the pack.
The month was also a big one for acquisitions -- scroll down for a roundup of M&A this month, after the funding roundup. During the month of August, MobiHealthNews reported on 19 digital health companies that raised money. Read on for the details:
On-demand digital health concierge Accolade Health, which provides services for employers, health plans and health systems, raised more than $70 million in a funding round led by Andreesen Horowitz with participation from other investors including Madrona Venture Group. Accolade will use the capital to expand its technology platform, R&D and sales and marketing initiatives. The service can be used on a smartphone or tablet, and guides users through the healthcare system with a multi-modal approach. The goal is to make inefficiencies in the healthcare system transparent to users, as well as directing them to services like telehealth programs or providing price transparency tools. More
Home care backend software maker ClearCare raised $60 million in a round led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. The company will use the investment to pursue new strategic platforms, the company said in a statement. ClearCare’s platform enables home care facilities to manage caregivers and patients. Features include matching clients with nearby caregivers and filling shifts if a caregiver cancels, texting and emailing caregivers to remind them of shift duties, and creating care plans. The system also provides home care facilities with administrative features, like billing and payroll. More
Norwalk, Connecticut-based Zillion, which makes an cloud-based patient engagement platform, raised $28 million in a round led by TwinFocus Capital Partners. The funding will be used expand Zillion’s customer base, increase sales and focus on marketing efforts. Zillion’s digital engagement platform uses face-to-face live video conferencing – including one-on-one, group and webcast – along with interactive messaging, curriculum scheduling, alerts and reminders; plus digital workforce management, analytics, monitoring, and goal tracking. More
San Diego, California-based Curology, which offers prescription skincare products based on smartphone photos and an online questionnaire, patient-provided information, raised $15 million in a round led by Advance Vixeid Partners, with participation from prior investors Sherpa Capital andForerunner Ventures. The funding will be used to expand Curology’s offering: an end-to-end online solution wherein users remotely share photos of their skin with a licensed medical professional employed by Curology. More
Swedish digital health startup Kry, which connects patients with healthcare professionals via video, has raised $6.8 million (€6.1m) in a funding round led by London and San Francisco-based Index Ventures and Stockholm-based Creandum. Berlin-based VC Project A also contributed. Currently available in Sweden, Kry will use this investment to expand internationally and continue building up its healthcare offering for its existing customers. More
Marc Benioff-backed Gobiquity, which makes a vision-screening app for children called GoCheck Kids, raised $6 million in a round led by existing investor Interwest Partners. The company, formerly known as iCheck Health, previously raised an undisclosed strategic investment from Benioff and a $750,000 seed round from Interwest. Gobiquity officially launched GoCheck Kids last November. The company began rolling out the product to pediatric practices at the end of 2014 on handheld devices that were issued to practices, then gradually added more functionality prior to the official launch, which allows physicians to download the app on their own iPhone or use it on a preloaded handheld device. More
Israel-based Check-Cap, a clinical stage medical diagnostics company that is working on an ingestible sensor capsule to screen for colorectal cancer, has entered into an agreement with a single healthcare company for $5.9 million in financing. Check-Cap, which does not have a commercial product as of yet, will use the net proceeds from the offering to advance the ongoing clinical development of its preparation-free colorectal cancer screening system that uses an ingestible imaging capsule that transmits X-rays to the intestinal wall and back, creating 3D images of the colon’s internal surface and purportedly enabling detection of clinically significant polyps. More
MDSave, a Nashville, Tennessee-based healthcare transparency company, secured a $5 million investment from Cambia Health, a holding company that owns a number of large insurance plans. MDSave is a 4-year-old company with offices in Nashville and San Francisco. The company raised $14 million last year from MTS Health Partners in New York, plus some seed funding prior to that. This raise brings the company’s total funding to $21.5 million. The company’s approach to cost transparency is a little different than many in the space, who use claims data to give cost estimates. MDSave actually works with providers and insurers to bundle healthcare payments then acts as a middleman to sell those products to consumers. More
New York-based Happify, which makes a mental health assessment platform available via an app or website, raised $5 million in a new round of funding that will allow the startup to expand its staff and focus on creating partnerships with health plans and large employers with a new arm of the company, Happify Health. Happify provides app or web-based programs that act as readily available check-ins for emotional health and wellbeing. The platform offers more than 60 programs comprised of topics ranging from resilience and mindfulness to depression and anxiety, plus programs to help people deal with the secondary stress from chronic physical conditions. Now, Happify will focus on bringing these into the workplace. More
San Francisco-based Bloomlife raised $4 million for its smartphone-connected pregnancy-tracking wearable, bringing the startup’s total funding to $6 million. The round was led by Marc Benioff and Efficient Capacity, with additional contributions from LanzaTech Ventures, The Chernin Group, Kapor Capital, and Act One Ventures. Bloomlife’s first product is a direct-to-consumer offering for women in the third trimester of a pregnancy. The sensor, worn on a woman’s belly and affixed via an adhesive patch, detects contractions and displays statistics on a companion app about their duration and frequency. But future generations of the device will include much more information, including some functionality that will require FDA clearance, CEO Eric Dy told MobiHealthNews. More
Israel-based Beyond Verbal, which analyzes speech to determine human emotion and wellbeing, raised $3.3 million in a round led by Hong Kong investment holding company KuangChi Science, with participation from Winnovation and Singulariteam. The company, founded in 2012, launched its Beyond Wellness API in 2014, which turns any smartphone or mic-equipped wearable device into an emotional wellbeing sensor using technology that doesn’t consider the actual content or context of spoken word, but instead studies intonation in the voice. The company has two free, consumer-facing apps, Moodie and Empath, and one for clinicians called Beyond Clinic. The goal is to enable voice-powered devices and apps to interact with the user on an emotional level, “just as humans do,” according to Beyond Verbal’s website. Built on 21 years of research, the company has cataloged 2.3 million voice samples across 170 countries, and has been granted eight patents for its API. More
Health2Sync, a Taiwanese diabetes management startup, raised $3 million in a round led by WI Harper Group, with participation from Cherubic Ventures, iSeed Ventures, and SparkLabs Global Ventures. The investors are mostly firms with a presence in both Silicon Valley and in Asia. Funds will be used to expand the program outside of Taiwan and into surrounding markets, especially Japan. The company provides a multi-part patient management platform that includes a patient-facing app, a cable that connects different kinds of glucometers to a smartphone, and a data analytics engine that uses patient data to make automated, personalized recommendations. More
Australian digital health company DoseMe, which makes a precision dosing tool platform for clinicians, raised $2.6 million, bringing the company’s value to $20 million. Investors were Greg Spurgin and Gary Cunningham, who founded US orthopedic physical therapy company Results Physiotherapy. Spurgin will join the DoseMe board, along with seed investor Steve Baxter, DoseMe CEO Charles Cornish, and company founder Dr. Robert McLeay. DoseMe works by providing clinicians and other healthcare providers with an app or web-based tool to accurately dose patients. More
New York-based startup Koko, which uses artificial intelligence for crowd-sourced cognitive therapy, raised $2.5 million in funding, with Omidyar Network and Union Square Ventures leading the round. The company also announced the launch of KokoBot, its new chatbox experience that will be available on chat networks Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Kik. KokoBot, which is based on technology developed at the MIT Media Lab, provides a peer-to-peer network for users to deal with symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression. Interactions go through KokoBot, which moderates content and, theoretically, exposes users to principles of cognitive therapy. Users tell the KokoBot whatever is stressing them out (or inducing anxiety or depression), and the chatbot then routes the message to an appropriate KokoBot peer who has elected to help out. More
Garwood Medical, which has filed a patent application for a wound healing system, raised $2 million in funding, according to an SEC filing. The investors were undisclosed. In July, the company received a contract with the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics, and is developing a new class of electrical stimulation devices with integrated sensor and communications technologies to enable treatment for chronic wound healing, bone growth and peri-prosthetic infections, according to the University of Buffalo’s website. More
New Haven, Connecticut-based 3Derm, a teledermatology startup that allows patients and non-dermatologists to capture clinical-quality 3D images of skin, raised $1.66 million, according to an SEC Form D filing. The goal is to expand its New England customer base and add clients in Midwest and Southwest markets following their commercial launch earlier this year. 3Derm’s goal is to either avoid unnecessary visits to a dermatologist or minimize the time for patients to get dermatologist feedback on suspicious-looking skin conditions, citing an average wait time of 29 days per patient for a visit. More
San Francisco-based iBeat, makers of a heart-monitoring wearable positioned to compete with PERS devices, raised about $1.5 million in a funding round led by Maveron, Subtraction Capital and Correlation Ventures. Other investors include Ali and Hardi Partovi, former NFL player Russell Okung, KKR partner Henry Kravis, Band of Angels and industrial design firm Ammunition Group. Notably, former Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard is the founder and CEO of iBeat. The funding will be used to recruit talent, expand the company’s infrastructure and commercialize iBeat’s heart-monitoring wristworn device. The goal of the watch is to reduce death from cardiac arrest by intervening whenever a heart rate change might warrant it. More
Oakland, California-based Workit Health, which offers a digital counseling program for substance abuse, raised $1.1 million in funding in a round led by Montage Ventures and Lux Capital. The company will use the funds to expand its current offerings, hiring addiction counselors, software engineers and sales representatives so it can establish partnerships and prepare for a direct to consumer launch later this year. The company’s first product is a 90-day digital program, available via personal computer or tablet, that pairs one-on-one support from a network of certified counselors with interactive, customized digital content. Workit is currently offering it to employers, providers and health plans. The startup is currently participating in the Healthbox Studios accelerator cohort in Los Angeles. More
MedMinder, a Needham, Massachusetts-based company that makes cellular-connected smart pill cases, raised an additional $500,000 from an undisclosed investor. A longtime player in the connected pillbox space, MedMinder has only raised about $2.3 million in funding to date, all of it from undisclosed private investors. The new funding will be used to support the company's recent expansion into the mail-order pharmacy space, founder and CEO Eran Shavelsky told MobiHealthNews.With the new pharmacy service, MedMinder will deliver patients' medications in pre-packaged trays that correspond to the compartments in MedMinder's line of smart, cellular-connected pillboxes. Patients will only have to pay the co-pay for the medications, with no extra charge for delivery. More
Digital health acquisitions in August
In addition to funding, August was an impressive month for acquisitions in the digital health space.
Apple’s acquisition of PHR company Gliimpse was probably the most high-profile. The company helps people collect the “bread crumbs” of their health data in one centralized repository. Ever since Apple launched its HealthKit framework in mid-2014, the company has seen enabling health data sharing as its entry point into healthcare, and Gliimpse fits right into those plans. Apple also has a history of working with EHRs, most notably Epic, to integrate HealthKit data. Gliimpse's code could help Apple products to more easily interact with hospital systems, or it could bolster safety and security for the company, as those are also major selling points of Gliimpse.
Another major acquisition was health IT company athenahealth’s purchase of Filament Labs, makers of Patient IO, which allows patients to access their care plans through a series of actionable daily tasks on a mobile or web-based application. Patient IO will form the basis for athenahealth’s new patient-facing application, athenawell. Patients can use Patient IO to play more engaged, ongoing role in their own care, including medication management to recording self-reported data or learning more about their health.
Two more acquisitions rounded out the month: Pennsylvania-based CRF Health, provider of electronic clinical outcome assessment solutions (eCOA) for clinical trials, acquired pioneering digital health company Entra Health and Cardinal Health, an Ohio-based healthcare products and services company, acquired TelePharm, an Iowa-based company which, among other things, uses telemedicine to connect pharmacists to patients. All four of the month’s acquisitions were at as-yet undisclosed price points.