Wearable activity tracker maker Jawbone may have met its demise in 2017, but even then CEO Hossain Rahman was laying the groundwork for a pivot into the health services business.
It now appears that investors are once again willing to back Rahman digital health ambitions, as a new SEC filing reveals that Jawbone Health — the new company founded from the ashes of Jawbone — has raised $65.4 million in funding. In addition, executives from SignalFire, Refactor Capital and Polymath Ventures are named as directors in the document.
According to a service presentation given by the company at last year’s Dreamforce conference, Jawbone Health sees itself as “a personalized subscription service that utilizes continuous health information combined with human and machine intelligence to take care of its members on a daily basis.”
In practice, involves clinical-grade wearables (or possibly even Apple Watches) transmitting user health data to Jawbone Health’s cloud. From there, an artificial intelligence engine processes the data and resurfaces it to the user in a personalized app, while another copy of the data is sent to live healthcare providers for review and a potential intervention handled within the service.
The end goal, according to the presentation, is to use personal devices, AI and other technologies to catch chronic health issues as they’re just beginning to develop.
If we consider that we have roughly half a million minutes in our lives per year, the average number of years spent getting checked for a diagnosis with a doctor, if we’re good, is just 60 minutes a year,” the company said in its service presentation. “It’s just a drop in the bucket, not nearly enough time. If you really want to be preventative, you have to be scanning people all of the time.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Jawbone raised nearly a billion from investors during its heyday, and its eventual collapse served as a two-fold warning: the dangers of over expansion, and the limitations of activity trackers within the digital wellness market. The new filing suggests that Rahman and the Jawbone name still carry some weight within the industry, and that investors are interested in a connected health monitoring service that, if successful, could stamp down on preventable medical expenses.
WHAT’S THE TREND
Jawbone Health’s transition into health services mimics the shift of its longtime rival Fitbit. Alongside its push into the smartwatch market, Fitbit recently touted a 70% revenue growth in its Health Solutions program, which primarily caters to employers and payers.