One Medical Acquires Digital Health Startup Rise For $20 Million

Concierge provider chain One Medical Group announces that it has acquired digital health startup Rise for $20 million. Rise launched in 2013 with an app designed to provide one-on-one diet coaching and nutritional support for users trying to eat healthier and lose weight. The acquisition concludes the fast-paced lifecycle of Rise, which raised $4 million in VC funding before its acquisition, undoubtedly leaving early investors pleased with their return. Google Ventures, Greylock Partners, and Floodgate all participated in the startup’s seed round.

One Medical Acquires Digital Health Startup Rise For $20 Million

Rise approached app development from the perspective of offering a clinical service through its platform, rather than offering a purely technical solution like many calorie-counting and fitness-tracking apps typically do. Rise hired a team of nutritionists and fitness coaches, and committed to delivering personalized, one-on-one support to its users. Coaches used the Rise app to connect and engage with end users to check in with them and keep them motivated. The company monetized this platform through a monthly subscription fee that averaged $40 to $50 per month, a steep price in app store economics. Facing steep competition to gain traction among so many free alternatives, the acquisition benefits Rise in more ways than just financially. Greylock partner John Lilly explains, “It’s hard to build distribution for apps at all today. That’s one of the advantages One Medical has. They have this footprint in the real world.”

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Abbott Earns CE Mark For Needle Free Glucose Monitor

Abbott Laboratories announces that it has obtained a CE Mark authorizing it to begin marketing a new non-invasive glucose monitor in Europe. The approval is limited to pediatric diabetic patients between the ages of four and 17 living in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Abbott Earns CE Mark For Needle Free Glucose Monitor

Abbott’s needle-free glucose monitor is a two-part system. The first part is a disposable patch that is worn on the back of the arm. This patch is responsible for measuring and storing glucose readings. The patch is expected to be worn 24 hours per day for 14 days, and as such is completely waterproof so users can wear it in the shower. The second part is a handheld device that displays glucose readings. Users are instructed to scan the patch with their handheld device whenever they want to check their blood glucose level. At that point, the patch transmits the most recent glucose reading to the device for display. The process is painless for the wearer and takes only one second to register a result. After 14 days, users discard the disposable patch and replace it with a new one.

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Pear Therapeutics Raises $20 Million Financing Round For Substance Abuse Digital Therapy Apps

Boston-based digital health startup Pear Therapeutics has raised a $20 million equity financing round co-led by 5AM Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, and JAZZ Venture Partners, with additional investments from Bridge Builders Collaborative and several private investors. The company was founded in 2013, and closed an undisclosed venture round in 2015. The current funding round is Pear’s first publically disclosed outside investment.

Pear Therapeutics Raises $20 Million Financing Round For Substance Abuse Digital Therapy Apps

Pear Therapeutics is taking an interesting approach to digital health app development. The company develops apps designed to supplement specific medications and treatment plans, and conducts randomized controlled trials to measure outcomes improvements among patients using its support apps. With this information, Pear plans to submit its apps to the FDA, seeking clearance to market them as an efficacy boosting tool to be used in conjunction with certain medications. The company has thus far developed apps to support the treatment of substance abuse, opiate dependence, and schizophrenia.

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Doctor On Demand Adds Psychiatry To Its Virtual Visit Options

San Francisco-based telehealth vendor Doctor On Demand today announced that it would begin offering psychiatry visits as part of its virtual mental health services business. The company notes that its mental healthcare providers generally offer routine, ongoing counseling to patients, and that with the new addition of psychiatry services patients can now be evaluated and prescribed medications to support traditional therapy all within the Doctor On Demand platform. The new services will initially be made available in 27 states, but the company anticipates expanding availability across the country by mid-year.

Doctor On Demand Adds Psychiatry To Its Virtual Visit Options

Mental health is an area that has seen increased interest among biotechnology researchers and digital health entrepreneurs. The toll on national healthcare expenditures associated with mental health services is massive, with $100 billion in annual healthcare services spending, plus an estimated $193 billion in lost earnings and $24 billion in disability benefits. Access to care is also a national issue. In a statement announcing the new initiative, Doctor On Demand reports that 55 percent of the 3,100 counties in the US do not have local mental healthcare workers, and that only 45 percent of those with a mental health illness receive treatment.

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Meta Analysis Confirms Text Message Reminders Boost Medication Adherence

A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Oxford, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have published findings from a meta analysis reviewing 16 studies evaluating the effectiveness of text message-based medication adherence programs. The researchers included only randomized control trials in their review and focused on studies measuring adherence improvements among chronically ill adults. In total, 16 studies were included in the analysis spanning a variety of patient demographics, text message programs, and chronic diseases.

Meta Analysis Confirms Text Message Reminders Boost Medication Adherence

Of the 16 trials included in the review, eight incorporated technology that provided computer-generated personalized text messages for patients, while another eight incorporated standard daily reminder messages. The duration of the studies varied, but average duration was 12 weeks. An important note is that medication adherence was not independently verified, and in all cases self-reporting was relied on to measure improvements. Still, the improvements were significant.

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