Zava, Cara Care and Lifen secure funding and other news briefs

Also: McKesson acquires British startup Echo; Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust partners with Alcidion.
By Leontina Postelnicu
07:20 am

Funding news. Berlin-based digital health company Cara Care has secured $7m (€6.2m) in Series A funding in a round led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Asabys Partners. Existing investors Atlantic Labs also participated, bringing the total amount raised to over $9m (€8m).

Cara Care was founded by André Sommer and Jesaja Brinkmann in 2016, and it has developed a mobile app aiming to help people affected by digestive health issues manage their symptoms. The company says the new investment will support them in carrying out additional research and expand their footprint through new partnerships.

“We believe mobile software can have a significant therapeutic effect on these patients, as GI [gastrointestinal] diseases are highly influenced by factors such as diet, stress, mental health and physical activity,” Sommer said in a statement.

“By identifying individual triggers for symptoms and flares, we can tailor interventions to reduce symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. Based on the health and lifestyle data, it is further possible to optimize medication intake, increase adherence and match the right therapy with the right patient.”

Communication platform Lifen, which aims to enable healthcare organisations and private practitioners exchange medical data securely, has raised €20m in a funding round led by Partech, with participation from Idinvest Partners and Mayjcc eSanté, as well as existing investors Serena and Daphni.

Lifen, founded in 2015 by Franck Le Quay, Philippe Douste-Blazy, Alexandre Huckert and Etienne Depaulis, says the new money will be used to accelerate deployment of their solution and double its team. Le Quay, who is also the CEO of Lifen, said company estimates indicated that institutions using Lifen would save over €3m in 2019.

“Lifen’s solution is designed to help all healthcare establishments in their digital transformation. We are pleased to support major establishments in the healthcare ecosystem like the Strasbourg University Hospital, the University Hospital of Angers and even the Ramsay General Health Group,” Le Quay added.

London-headquartered telemedicine provider Zava has also raked in $32m (€28.3m) in Series A financing, with the round led by HPE Growth. Founded by David David Meinertz and Amit Khutti in 2010, Zava says it has provided three million paid consultations in six European markets, and it will use the new funds to accelerate growth.

“Zava offers a unique and highly scalable model to deliver a more convenient healthcare experience to patients while radically improving the efficiency of healthcare professionals, enabling healthcare systems to reduce the overall costs associated with primary care,” said Harry Dolman, partner at HPE Growth. “We are excited to be working with David [Meinertz, Zava cofounder and CEO] and his team to expand Zava into statutory healthcare systems and bring Zava in a first step to the rest of Europe.”

McKesson buys digital health startup Echo. McKesson has acquired British startup Echo, whose offering is an app for medication management and ordering of repeat prescriptions, the company announced this week. Echo was founded by Sai Lakshmi in 2015, who stepped down as chief executive officer in 2018.

McKesson said the acquisition of Echo was part of its new digital health strategy. “We know that our customers are always looking for ways to make their lives easier by managing more things online. That’s why growing our digital capabilities is one of our top priorities.

"Our goal is to develop innovative technologies that enable us to better serve our customers and patients by providing them with added choice and convenience," said Catherine McDermott, chief digital officer at McKesson UK.

NHS trust partners with Alcidion. Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has unveiled a five-year partnership with Alcidion, through which the trust will deploy their entire product suite – the Miya Precision platform, Smartpage messaging solution and Patientrack e-obs and early warning system - in what is believed to be the first implementation of its kind outside of Australia.

Alcidion’s UK General Manager, Donald Kennedy, said: "Dartford and Gravesham is incredibly impressive in its digital health ambitions, and will become an important reference site as one of the pioneers of using real-time data and mobile devices to improve patient safety. We look forward to supporting the trust on its digital health journey."



New digital health accelerator selects six ventures for its first cohort. Startups developing a digital solution to cut down waiting times in emergency departments and an on-demand “pocket therapist” are among the ventures selected to take part in the Propel@YH programme in May, commissioned by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) in England.

The accelerator aims to bring new solutions to patients in the area and the wider health economy. The six selected for the first cohort are: DigiBete, Healthcare Engineering, HeteroGenius, Medicsen, Medicspot, and Scaled Insights.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be selected for the first Propel@YH cohort, and excited at the prospect of participating in the programme,” said Barry Singleton from Scaled Insights.

“It’s our belief that we can contribute to improving health outcomes for all, working alongside academics and clinicians, focused on personalisation, prediction, prevention and people-centred healthcare. It’s incredibly rewarding that the people behind Propel@YH recognise the opportunity to facilitate our aspirations to co-create ‘tech for good’, and help us on our journey.”

Editor's note, 24 June: This article was updated to include the Yorkshire & Humber accelerator news.



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