Zürich, Switzerland-based Oviva Health, developer of a dietary intervention delivery platform, has secured $12 million in Series A funding. Participants in the round include Albion Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital Partners, Partech Ventures, and Walking Ventures.
Oviva was founded in 2014 after observing dietitians’ need for improved patient engagement and is currently active in Switzerland, Germany, and the UK, CEO and cofounder Kai Eberhardt explained. Along with allowing patients to self-record eating habits, weight, and physical activity, the platform’s mobile app allows dietitians to directly communicate with their patients to provide remote diet and nutrition guidance.
“There’s a lot of players in this space, but I think in Europe there’s already a lot less than in the US. That’s the first thing that differentiates us, in the sense that we are truly focused on Europe,” Eberhardt told MobiHealthNews. “I think what also sets us apart is that many of the larger US companies have taken a disease-focused approach — so, they’ll say ‘We want to treat everything around types of diabetes,’ and that’s not what we did. We wanted to really just focus on the diet part, within the profession of what the dietician usually does in the healthcare space, and integrate with other providers to get the multidisciplinary care you often need.”
Oviva’s platform is designed to offer patients a simple and uncluttered experience, Eberhardt said. While providers have a number of monitoring and communication tools at their disposal, the patient interface can be adjusted to display no more than is necessary.
“For instance, we’ll only show buttons for blood sugar for patients who need to track blood sugar, and we’ll eliminate that for all the other patients,” he explained. “If you look at our platform and our app for the patients, it’s super simple — it looks a bit like Facebook Messenger, or just an SMS messenger or something like that. Keeping it as simple as possible, so that you can also engage with older people [or] less technology-familiar user groups, has always been a focus for us.”
Roughly half of the new funding will be used to further develop the provider side of the platform. This work, Eberhardt said, could potentially include the addition of an intelligent tool to analyze patient treatments and recommend specific interventions. The other portion of the funds will be used to continue scaling the company within its current markets while launching the service within new countries. These new launches will likely stay within Europe, although Eberhardt didn’t rule out an eventual move into the Middle East or, much less likely, the US.
Last week, the National Health Service announced Oviva as one of the five digital providers participating in its Diabetes Prevention Programme. First launched last year, this NHS program will be demoing Oviva’s service and others among more than 5,000 participants living in eight areas of the country. The other participants of the pilot program include Hitachi, Buddi Nujjer, Liva Healthcare, and OurPath.