This morning MyHealthTeams, a social network for chronic care patients, announced exclusively to MobiHealthNews that it landed $9.44 million in Series B funding. This round was led by Belgian pharma giant UCB, who has teamed up with MyHealthTeams on a number of initiatives in the past, notably on creating a spondyloarthritis focused social network.
Adams Street Partners, Qiming US Ventures, CVS Health, The Westly Group, HealthTech Capital and 500 Startups also contributed to this raise.
This Series B round brings total funding for the San Francisco-based startup to $26.84 million.
WHAT THEY DO
MyHealthTeams is a social network designed to help patients with chronic conditions share resources and connect. The platform has 33 “teams,” or specific social networks, that users can join, each focused on a different chronic condition. The site covers a range of chronic conditions, including autism, breast cancer, endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome.
More recently, the startup rolled out a new feature called smart recommendations that pops up on a user's platform and suggests certain questions or articles related to their conditions or symptoms.
“You get this diagnosis and you have this instinct, 'I want to talk to my doctor but I [also] want to talk to 100 people just like me, and really connect with them about what else do I need to know,'” Eric Peacock, co-founder and CEO of MyHealthTeams, told MobiHealthNews. “We start with this to get connected with those folks and then we use education to fill the healthcare gaps that the [system] is not providing.”
UCB isn’t MyHealthTeams’ only pharma partnership. Peacock said the startup has partnerships with 28 life science companies.
“We are working with a number of pharma [stakeholders] on patient engagement, and a lot of research to understand what are the unmet needs,” Michelle Cox, the media representative for MyHealthTeams, said.
Peacock said that it often starts with pharma partners asking about what is going on in the life of their patients.
“We will partner with you if we can be transparent with our members, and number two [the partnerships have] to empower our members,” Peacock said.
He stressed that patients’ privacy was a priority for the company and that it will not share personal identifiable information with anyone.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new money will be put toward growing the network and expanding the platform. Peacock said that the social network covers 90% of chronic conditions but the goal is to cover all conditions.
PatientsLikeMe is another big name in the patient social networks. Recently, PatientsLikeMe was acquired by UnitedHealth Group, making it part of the insurer’s research arm.
Big tech giants are also jumping on board this trend. In May, Facebook announced that it has created a “Health Support” tool that will help users find groups to fit their health concerns and needs.
ON THE RECORD
“Improving health outcomes requires thinking beyond the pill and operating beyond the doctor’s office,” Peacock said in a statement. “Living with a chronic health condition is a daily reality for nearly half the people in the world, and our social networks empower members to find information and support to help them better manage their conditions. This financing will help accelerate and amplify that impact for millions of people.”