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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 690,000 people in 2020; that's more than cancer, which kills 598,000 annually, and COVID-19.
On top of that, it is one of the top costs for employers, explained Maayan Cohen, CEO of Hello Heart, a digital wellness program that aims to reduce health care costs by improving heart health.
"Heart disease and hypertension are the biggest factors in healthcare costs, responsible for over $300 billion dollars a year, or almost a billion dollars a day. We know that employers are looking for a best-in-class solution from a company that deeply understands digital heart health. That’s Hello Heart," she said.
On Wednesday, the company announced that it raised a $45 million Series C led by IVP, along with Hello Heart’s existing investors, including Khosla Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, Maven Ventures, and Resolute Ventures, bringing its total funding to $68 million.
Along with the new funding, Somesh Dash, General Partner at IVP, joined the company's Board of Directors.
"IVP are experts in growing later-stage start-ups and helping them get ready for IPO. Somesh’s experience in this area, as well as his personal interest in digital heart health, will be instrumental in our growth," said Cohen.
Founded in 2013, Hello Heart combines hardware and artificial intelligence to help reduce cardiovascular disease. It provides its users with a blood pressure monitor and an app that tracks blood pressure readings, as well as weight and physical activity. It also gives them alerts for out-of-range hypertension, and has patient-enabled medication adherence reminders.
"Hello Heart’s device with AI technology allows users to track and understand heart health via a mobile app, allowing them to catch serious heart issues before they become a catastrophic event. Plus, we’re able to keep these users highly engaged with an unmatched user experience," Cohen explained.
The company users are very diverse, and located in all parts of the country, she told me: their ages range from as young as 20 all the way up tp 101 years old, with the average user age being 54 years.
"Some are using the program to better understand what increases their blood pressure, some are looking to get off their blood pressure medications and stay off, and some are looking to avoid another visit to the emergency room," she said.
Given that heart health is such a big problem, it's not surprising that there are a number of different companies looking to solve it, including Heartbeat Health, Eko, and AliveCore. One point of differentiation for Hello Heart is it's ROI, with the company delivering 2x the clinical outcomes than any other solution in the market.
A cost-savings analysis performed by Evive showed that Hello Heart offers a 34% cost reduction in cardiac claims in just one year, while a peer-reviewed study performed by researchers from UCLA and Harvard Medical School found that 70% of users reduced their blood pressure and the average decrease of systolic blood pressure was 22 mmHg.
The company now has more than 30 Fortune 500 clients and several distribution partners, with its clients ranging from medical device manufacturing and health systems to jumbo-sized retailers. The company also has a relationships with CVS Health, which added Hello Heart to its Point Solutions Management platform last year.
Hello Heart also saw an increase of use from users when Covid hit, with 79% of users who were using the app once a week increasing their usage, while 42% doubled their use.
"In addition, Hello Heart has tripled its business over the last year. The program has been critical to ensure the populations struggling with high blood pressure have access to managing their health from home," said Cohen.
Now that it has this new funding, the company, which has about 60% female employees, including its leadership team, plans to expand its engineering team to further tech innovation and drive deeper AI around cardiovascular health. The company also plans to use the money to expand its go-to-market teams across sales, marketing and customer success.
"We will continue to be the leader in digital heart health, driving preventative care for cardiovascular health. Our plan is to go deep on heart health innovation and grow as an independent cash flow positive organization," Cohen said.
(Image source: helloheart.com)
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