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The company saw its revenue more than triple in 2020, as therapy sessions increased 6,000%
The way we think about mental health has evolved quite a bit in a short amount of time, to the point where people are much more open than they've ever been about their struggles. One of the most important changes has been in no longer considering physical and mental health as two separate things, but instead as being intertwined with one another. Curing mental health problems can help with physical health problems, and vice versa.
That's the approach being taken by Vida Health, a virtual care provider that connects patients with a marketplace of national providers who cover a number different conditions, including hypertension, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression.
On Wednesday, the company announced a $110 million Series D round on Wednesday, led by General Atlantic and joined by Centene, AXA Venture Partners (AVP), and Ardea Partners. Returning investors include Ally Bridge Group, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Canvas Ventures, Guidewell, NGP Capital, and Workday Ventures.
Founded in 2014, Vida Health provides a collaborative care model that includes access to practitioners like coaches, licensed therapists, registered dietitians, diabetes educators and personal trainers to help members with chronic disease management.
The Vida platform also has over 30 health trackers and integrates with over 100 apps and devices, including scales, heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuffs, activity trackers and glucometers, which it can ship directly to employees or members.
In the mental health space, Vida offers evidence-based programs, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness based stress reduction for problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and resilience. It also provides 24/7 access to therapists through text, audio and video.
Vida is one of the few companies that combines mental and physical health, and doesn't think of them as separate entities, Stephanie Tilenius, the company's founder and CEO, told me.
"If you look at our population, the average consumer that we enroll, either as a member from a payer or from an employer, has 3.3 conditions. We'll bring them in and we get their claims data, their prescription data, so we know quite a bit, and we're really creating a personalized approach. If they have diabetes and obesity and depression, we give them a diabetes management program that's tailored towards their goals," she said.
For example, the company also has its Weight Loss+ program, which combines mental health skills-development with personalized health coaching to change behaviors that affect weight. Members get access to a Registered Dietitian or certified health coach, with whom they participate in weekly, one-on-one sessions through text, audio and video in real-time. The program is personalized to each user, taking data from Vida's app and device integrations, along with medical claims data and biometric data.
"It's an integrated model where you have access to help for your diabetes and for your depression. You'll have two providers, one might be a coach or nutritionist, the other would be a therapist, and will measure your progress over time," Tilenius said.
"You're getting different digital therapeutic programs, depending on your conditions, and we use evidence-based programs that get real outcomes, and we ship devices to your home. So, we're tracking all your activity, and, in the case of diabetes, we're looking at your glucose on a regular basis, or your weight, and so we're providing this integrated approach."
In terms of its outcomes, the company has shown a 60% to 70% reduction in depression or anxiety, as well as a 1.5% to 2% reduction in diabetes A1C.
Vida’s clients include employers like Boeing, Visa, Cisco, and eBay, along with some of the country’s largest health plans like Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. In addition to being an investor, Centene is a customer of Vida as well; the company had previously deployed Vida for its health insurance marketplace product, Ambetter, across 20 states, addressing members with chronic conditions. Many of the Centene members who enrolled in Vida are being treated simultaneously for both physical and mental health ailments.
The plan going forward is to continue to invest in the Ambetter business and expand into other areas with Centene as well, Tilenius said.
"They have 20 million lives, they’ve got Medicare and Medicaid, and they've got a lot of different opportunities for us to look at for expansion: they just bought Magellan in the mental health space so there's a lot of different areas that we're looking at."
Vida has seen major growth since the beginning of last year, more than tripling its revenue, in part due to a 6,000% increase in therapy sessions. In addition the company was also selected to be a part of CVS Health's Point Solutions Management service, and Vida became the first major virtual chronic care platform in the U.S. to launch a complete, full-stack Spanish experience, which allowed it to serve the population in states like Texas and Florida.
The company plans to use the new funding it has raised to expand its network of clinicians, mental health coaches, dietitians, and licensed therapists to meet the increased demand; over the past year, the company expanded its existing network by more than 400%, growing to 1,000 providers across 50 states. The company expects to grow in a similar fashion this year.
The funding will also to broaden its commercial efforts, which will mean doubling the size of its sales team, while also going deeper with its machine learning capabilities.
"We use ML across both our consumer and our provider experience. We use it to customize the experience in the app and to serve content, and to do analysis. We're constantly personalizing using machine learning from the consumer perspective," said Tilenius.
"On the provider side, we also use ML to provide the best and most up to date information to the provider to make them as efficient as possible; we call it making them super human, giving them the data they need to provide the right care at the right time."
For example, the company has a chatbot called VidaBot, through which it automates some of the lowest priority work away from the physician, in order to free them up to focus their efforts on more important work. That could be analyzing a food log or doing remote patient monitoring of blood glucose data, both of which can be done by a bot.
What all of this boils down to, ultimately, is that Vida is trying to be is a continuous care provider for chronic physical and mental health conditions.
"Right now, we have much more of a 'beds and meds' kind of system, where we have reactive care and we tend to treat chronic conditions and mental health conditions when it's too late or too expensive. We’re trying to make sure that virtual-first approach to chronic care is the path forward," she said.
"We all need to use digital tools and actual digital providers in bringing to directly to the consumer and provide this day to day solution for managing chronic physical and mental health in a way that is much, much more cost effective than the way we're doing today and pretty much anybody in any country, and we have a huge opportunity to transform the way we do chronic care globally."
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Vida is a mobile, virtual care platform for primary and chronic care that connects consumers to health providers 24/7 for text, audio and video support. Vida's national network of providers cover 20 different conditions. Vida has partnered with Duke and MD Anderson where we are working on clinical studies managing the virtual care of cardiac rehab and cancer patients.