Digital gastrointestinal health company Vivante Health has raised $6 million in Series A funding, according to an announcement. New York-based NFP Ventures and Nashville-based FCA Venture Partners participated in the round.
What they do
Headed by Livongo founder Dr. Kimon Angelides, Vivante makes a digital program for digestive health and disease called GIThrive that includes, among other tools, a 24-7 support line to a gastrointestinal care team. Compared to other chronic disease programs, Vivante is pitching its product as a management tool that is more specifically tuned to the needs of individuals who experience discomfort or illness from gastrointestinal issues.
“Digestive disease is very different than diabetes or other chronic conditions,” Angelides, Vivante’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Other than invasive procedures or questionable remedies, there is nothing in between. The lack of much-needed psychosocial, nutritional, medication and educational support creates gaps in care that leave people frustrated and suffering. It’s inevitable that this suffering seeps into the workplace, damaging productivity and sending healthcare costs even higher. We aim to change this.”
Vivante has offices in Houston, Nashville and Athens, Greece.
What it’s for
Vivante said in its announcement that the new funding and partnerships will fuel its plans to sell the GIThrive platform to health plans and employers.
While the number of digital gastrointestinal management platforms certainly pales in comparison to those for other major chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease, there are a few app-based tools out there. Oshi Health, for instance, launched a mobile platform for inflammatory bowel disease patients earlier this year, while the academia-backed My GI Health platform has offered patients symptom support and clinical trial enrollment for a few years now.
Similarly, this past week also saw the release of the FoodMarble AIRE, a direct-to-consumer connected device that can help patients with digestive issues identify foods that might give them difficulties.
On the record
“Digestive health is a growing issue, and one that individuals often deal with silently, asking for little to no support,” Shawn Ellis, managing director of NFP Ventures, said in a statement. “Digestive diseases impact not only employee health and financial well-being, but also a company’s bottom line. Left untreated, employees will require time off to refocus their attention on recovering from day-to-day complications. We share Vivante Health’s mission to increase access to services, decrease cost barriers, and positively impact employees’ personal and professional lives.”