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The company uses AI to help patients monitor their blood pressure, weight, and physical activity
It's well known that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but it may not be as well as well understood that it's worse in underserved communities, including those with education and income-related disparities.
That's one of the problems that Hello Heart, a digital wellness program that aims to reduce health care costs by improving heart health, wants to solve, along with the high cost of heart health to employers.
"Blood pressure is known as the silent killer, but it should also be known as the silent cost driver for employers. Cardiovascular disease is one of the highest cost-drivers amounting to 363B total cost to the U.S. health system annually," Maayan Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Hello Heart, told VatorNews.
"Managing hypertension also touches on many other health issues, which is why it helps reduce costs significantly across the board."
The company 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.
On Monday, Hello Heart announced a $70 million Series D round of funding on Monday led by growth equity firm Stripes. The round, which follows the company's $45 million round in 2021, brings its total funding to $138 million.
Hello Heart, which was founded in 2013, provides a device that uses AI to track and understand heart health via a mobile app. This allows patients to catch serious heart issues before they become a catastrophic event by allowing them to track their blood pressure, pulse, medications, weight and activity. The app also provides real-time alerts to extremely high readings and encourages users to reach out to their physicians and healthcare professionals to catch risk in time.
"Since our last round, we’ve increased the number of peer-reviewed studies proving our impact and that digital-only coaching approach is working. We’ve enhanced our AI to allow for further personalization and coaching engagement," said Cohen.
One studym published in JAMA Network Open, analyzed data from over 28,000 Hello Heart users and found that, one year after enrollment, over 85% of those who had Stage 2 hypertension saw reduced median systolic blood pressure. Another study, from the The Validation Institute, found that employers offering Hello Heart reduced their spending by $1,865 per participant per year.
Hello Heart doubled the number of employer clients it serves in the last three months alone, so it now has over 60 employer clients; the company currently reaches millions of members. It also says that its app has shown the highest engagement rate in the category, with sustained long-term app engagement.
"We hear anecdotally from clients that our engagement rate is higher than the industry, and 97% of our clients continue with us beyond the first engagement, in part because of employee engagement," Cohen said.
The company plans to use the new funding to help fuel its growth, including deepening the use cases of its AI engines to help manage heart health. That will include enhancing lifestyle digital coaching modules and adding whole heart health functionality such as deeper medication tracking capabilities, cholesterol tracking and hyperlipidemia digital coaching.
"We want to be leading the conversation about heart health and help raise awareness to ensure that the national cry for attention on hypertension/heart health is heard. We want to make blood pressure monitoring as common as the routine check-ups that consumers regularly engage as part of their overall well-being (e.g. mammogram)," said Cohen.
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