Belong.Life, maker of a social media app designed for those affected by cancer, has closed a $14 million Series B funding round. IQVIA led the round, which also included The Group Ventures and the startup’s existing vendors.
WHAT THEY DO
The company’s free Belong app allows patients with cancer or those caring for them to connect with and support others undergoing treatment for dozens of different cancers. But along with providing a social network, the service includes a handful of management tools, such as a document manager, reminder notifications, access to a clinical trial matching service and in-app chats with professionals able to answer common treatment questions. The company also has another platform that incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive patient engagement for provider, payer and other life science companies.
“We at Belong are focused on building the most robust, hyper-personalized and configurable patient engagement and research platform,” Eliran Malki, cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. “Starting with Belong — beating cancer together, we quickly grew to become the world’s largest social network and patient navigator app for cancer, collaborating with leading and disruptive researchers and publications in the market. Now, in addition to increasing our global cancer reach, Belong will bring its capabilities and expertise to additional diseases and stakeholders, to achieve the vision we established at the very beginning.”
Belong.Life was founded in 2015, and has since entered partnerships with a handful of patient advocacy associations such as the American Cancer Society, The American Society of Clinical Oncology, Colorectal Cancer Canada and others.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Belong.Life wrote in its announcement that the new funding will be used to expand its social network app and patient engagement platform.
THE LARGER TREND
Recent discussions on patient social networks have been dominated by the acquisition of PatientsLikeMe by UnitedHealth Group, as well as the implications such a deal may have for the platform's users. But numerous other services have also cropped up over the years to connect those managing chronic or life-changing diseases, for instance MyHealthTeams' range of disease-specific forums and Facebook’s recent update to its health support groups.
ON THE RECORD
"Our investment in Belong is part of our strategy to identify and accelerate disruptive technologies that can improve healthcare," Tal Rosenberg, SVP of global technology solutions at IQVIA, said in a statement. “Through its unique patient engagement platform with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, Belong can utilize and complement IQVIA’s solutions to transform patient engagement. We are thrilled to work with Belong as they help transition patient engagement from transactions to experiences — giving their customers the type of engagement they want."