Who Is Audax Health Solutions and What Are They Up To?

1-23-2013 9-19-56 PM

Audax Health Solutions, a D.C.-based digital health startup, raises $21 million in initial funding as part of an ongoing $45 million fundraising effort. The funds came over several months from eight anonymous investors. The company has no products or services, did not graduate from a high-profile accelerator program, and is not a health system spinoff. This leads one to ask: who is Audax Health Solutions, and what are they up to?

The company’s website is short on details and long on the kind of altruistic vision statements typical of a digital health startup that has no real revenue stream. Audax’s flagship product is Zensey, an end-to-end digital health platform that combines social networking and gamification. Its features include:

  • An anonymous social network so users can explore health concerns privately.
  • Goals and challenges, with prizes offered.
  • Expert panelists who can answer questions.
  • An online physical.
  • Personalized recommendations and content.
  • One-stop data tracking that will integrate with “all your fitness and medical devices.”
  • The ability to share data with doctors, trainers, or family.
  • The ability to store electronic medical records.

Zensey is the concept of 23-year-old CEO,Grant Verstandig. He was a neurobiology major at Brown University but dropped out his sophomore year to start Audax Health Solutions. His concept has thoroughly won the hearts and minds of some of the biggest names in both healthcare and technology. The company’s board includes:

  • Richard Klausner, MD – former executive director of the Global Health Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also the former director of the National Cancer Institute.
  • John Sculley – former CEO of both Apple Computers and Pepsico.
  • Roger Ferguson – president and CEO of TIAA-CREF and former vice-chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, where he served as the chairman of the Financial Stability Forum.
  • John Wallis Rowe – professor in the School of Public Health at Columbia University, former chairman and CEO of Aetna, and former president and CEO of Mount Sinai NYU Health.

Audax’s executive team is every bit as impressive as its board. With $20 million in the bank and a board of directors that could double as the Bilderberg Group, there is a lot of pressure on Verstandig to deliver on his vision. Over the next five years, he will get the opportunity. Cigna announced on January 4 that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Audax to develop and deploy a platform to engage with millions of Cigna customers.

“The power of Audax Health is that digital personalization, social networking, gamification and analytics can turn a mundane or onerous task into something positive, fun and rewarding. Together, Cigna and Audax Health will develop a powerful platform to engage, educate, motivate and reward individuals to improve their health and health benefits.”  – Mark Boxer, Cigna EVP and Global CIO.

Good luck Grant, no pressure.

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