Wellframe Raises $1.5 Million Seed Round For Disease Management Apps

3-25-2013 11-26-33 PM

Boston-MA based mHealth startup Wellframe announces a $1.5 million seed round contributed by a powerhouse of digital health angel investors, including: Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush, British Medical Association president Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson VC fund founder Tim Draper.

Wellframe was founded in 2011 by two Harvard trained public health experts and two MIT trained computer scientists. After graduating Rock Health in 2012, Wellframe’s leadership team set to work building its mobile health platform. The mHealth startup has operated largely on a bootstrapping mentality thus far, adding no additional investment capital until its most recent seed round.

In the interim, Wellframe has developed, piloted, and commercially launched its first product, an app that serves as a cardiac rehabilitation support tool. Wellframe’s cardiac rehabilitation app was piloted at South Shore Hospital (MA) in September 2013. The company is also running clinical trials for apps that support pulmonary and mental health patients, and is in various stages of development working on apps that support heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension.

Wellframe’s mHealth apps take best practice recommendations and standards of care for specific conditions, and then breaks those standards down into patient-friendly “to-do” lists that coach the patient through the recovery process, and include medication reminders, exercise trackers, and questionnaires that monitor for specific symptoms. The lists are patient-specific and are gradually delivered over time reinforce the long-term adoption of key lifestyle changes.

As a bi-product of interacting with patients in the outpatient environment, in-between office and hospital visits, Wellframe is capturing a unique dataset on the challenges patients are encountering in the home, where they are trying to learn how to manage a newly diagnosed condition. This data is increasingly valuable as US-based healthcare shifts its focus toward a home-based, preventative model. Currently, the vast majority of population health researchers working toward this goal are focusing on encounter-based datasets, that is, data generated by clinicians when the patient was either in the hospital, or in the practice.

Capturing detailed, disease-specific datasets from the “between visit” timeframe will allow Wellframe customers to start analyzing and improving the effectiveness of various outpatient treatment programs. As CEO Jacob Sattlemair explains, Wellframe will “introduce a new, more real-time, dataset pertaining to how and what patients do between formal interaction with the healthcare system that can be combined with existing analytics to move toward a more dynamic understanding of risk, more granular segmentation, and more strategic resource allocation.”

The company will use its seed funding to add new staff, focusing recruitment efforts on product and engineering hires to support the company’s anticipated expansion into additional care areas.

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