Digital health news, funding round up in the prior week; November 28, 2022

Steven Loeb · November 28, 2022 · Short URL:

Merck acquired Imago BioSciences; raised $27 million; HC9 Ventures launched $83M fund

Top Health News

  • A coalition of anti-abortion medical groups and providers sued the Food and Drug Administration, challenging the agency’s decades-old approval of mifepristone, a pill that is used in medicated abortions.The lawsuit was filed in Amarillo, Texas, by the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that has helped author states’ anti-abortion laws and defended Mississippi in the case that led the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. The lawsuit argues the FDA unlawfully fast-tracked the approval of mifepristone through a process intended for treatments of life threatening illnesses. The group alleged the agency failed to protect the health, safety and welfare of girls and women and never studied the safety of the drugs under the labeled conditions of use.
  • The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC Health) and national value-based health care company UpStream Healthcare announced their partnership to advance the health and wellbeing of Medicare patients within their expanding network across the state. UpStream is a participant in the CMS innovation center model known as ACO REACH, an advanced alternate payment model (APM) for physicians in value-based arrangements that requires assuming financial risk for Medicare beneficiaries while committing to advancing health equity, stakeholder feedback and participant experience. Over 300 primary care physicians caring for more than 30,000 seniors are expected to participate in the value-based model.
  • HC9 Ventures closed its first fund with $83 million to invest in healthcare software and services startups at seed and series A stages. HC9 focuses on early-stage investments in healthcare software and services businesses, with an emphasis on companies that address care delivery or operational needs for payers and providers. Additionally, the team looks for founders who are seeking an engaged investor, businesses that have transformative potential and opportunities where the HC9 and its community can add meaningful value, according to the general partners. HC9 has made three investments to date: Forge Health, a provider of “one-stop-shop” mental health and substance use care for individuals; Psych Hub, the go-to solution for mental health education and navigation; and vision care startup XP Health.
  • Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers, the largest autism therapy healthcare provider in the nation, is advancing autism spectrum disorder research through new virtual reality additive design pilots. Hopebridge’s clinical pilots will implement VR within applied behavior analysis programs in several centers across the country. Hopebridge’s pilots will utilize Akiva, an immersive virtual reality learning experience that combines gaming with artificial intelligence to create a predictable learning ecosystem that enables children with special needs to develop sensory, cognitive, perceptual and fine motor skills. Hopebridge’s employment of Akiva through Oculus Quest VR headsets will allow clinicians to monitor and record the additive benefits of VR paired with applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to enhance the rate of acquisition of behavior skills in children with autism.
  • Replay, a genome writing company reprogramming biology by writing and delivering big DNA, announced the launch of Telaria, a HSV gene therapy company targeting rare skin diseases. It is the second of Replay’s product companies to leverage its high payload capacity herpes simplex virus delivery vector, synHSV. Telaria’s co-founders are leading HSV scientists, entrepreneurs, and specialists in genetic skin diseases.
  • Blue Water Vaccines, a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational vaccines to address significant global health challenges, announced the signing of an exclusive, global license agreement for the development of a live attenuated, oral Chlamydia vaccine candidate from The University of Texas Health San Antonio. 
  • Alignment Health Plan, a Medicare Advantage insurance carrier from Alignment Health, and the American Diabetes Association have renewed their partnership to educate and empower the Alignment community with tools and resources for diabetes self-management. Through this year-long agreement, Alignment is demonstrating its commitment to help people make the right food choices by sponsoring a series of virtual cooking classes to help people learn to cook healthy, budget-friendly meals. Alignment and the ADA kicked off their first of four classes — free and open to the public — with Homemade in October and will continue into the first quarter of 2023.
  • The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and its subsidiary professional organization, the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security, have teamed up with the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center to provide members with knowledge to protect their organizations from cybersecurity threats. CHIME will distribute information collected by Health-ISAC, including newsletters, lists of vulnerabilities, threat bulletins, and other actionable and relevant information. This may include indicators of compromise, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of threat actors, advice and best practices, mitigation strategies, and other related material.
  • Brainomix, an AI-powered medtech solutions company, announced a new partnership with Pixyl, a medtech specializing in medical neurology imaging. As part of the collaboration, Brainomix will distribute Pixyl's Neuro.MS  Software as a Service solution, which is used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.
  • Claritas HealthTech, a healthcare technology company specializing in advanced medical image enhancement and AI assisted diagnostic tools to aid and optimize the diagnostic workflow of clinicians, announced it selected Bengaluru in Karnataka as its base for its Indian business headquarters.
  • InnerScope Hearing Technologies, a company in the Over-the-Counter Hearing space, announced that its subsidiary HearingAssist launched a complete line of FDA-Registered Over-the-Counter Rechargeable Hearing Aids and assorted hearing and hearing related supplies Rite Aid is now offering HearingAssist OTC Hearing Aids that adults can buy directly without visiting a hearing health professional and paying $5,000 or more. HearingAssist OTC Hearing Aids are quality hearing aids for a fraction of the price, ranging from $499.99 to $799.99 for a pair, complete with a pocket-size charging unit that holds up to 3 to 4 charges (each charge lasts up to 18 to 24 hours). Rite Aid offers Shop now. Pay later. Those that qualify can break up the payments into four interest-free installments, or HearingAssist OTC Hearing Aids are FSA or HSA eligible and can be purchased on using an FSA or HSA card.
  • Eleos Health, a provider of CareOps Automation for behavioral health, announced a partnership with AllHealth Network, a nonprofit mental health organization, to provide their front line team with augmented intelligence tools that will reduce administrative workload and empower them to focus on top-notch client care. Through the use of Eleos, AllHealth Network is able to take another step towards that brave space, and will have more time to devote to counseling, psychiatry, substance use treatment, and crisis services for communities throughout South Denver for over 18,000 people.
  • Medimap, a medical clinic directory, announced it has signed a strategic partnership with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to improve patient care and reduce emergency room wait times. The new partnership will make use of Medimap's powerful software technology and its partnerships with a large network of medical clinics in the Winnipeg area by directing Manitobans with low acuity needs to local walk-in clinics. This will help improve Manitobans' access to care by diverting patients with low acuity needs to local medical services that have the capacity to see them, thereby reducing wait times at emergency rooms across the city.
  • Lunit, a provider of AI-powered cancer solutions, announced that it signed a global distribution agreement with, an end-to-end healthcare technology platform that enables the development, validation, and deployment of AI solutions across clinical workflows. Under the agreement, Lunit will deliver Lunit INSIGHT CXR, an AI solution for chest x-ray image analysis, and Lunit INSIGHT MMG, an AI solution for mammography analysis, through CARPL's platform across five countries: U.S., Australia, Brazil, India, and Singapore.
  • BC Platforms, a provider of healthcare data management and analytics, announced that it has been chosen as key partner in a European Commission project. Under the EC's Horizon Europe program, Helsinki University Hospital, has been awarded a contract to lead a EURO 7 million (approx. USD 7.2 million) consortium project termed ONCOVALUE. BCP will work closely with HUS as a key delivery partner in this major EC project. ONCOVALUE is an Artificial Intelligence-based framework which assesses, in real-time, real-life effectiveness of novel cancer therapies. It does this by standardising data processing in hospitals enabling them to efficiently measure the cost effectiveness of new cancer therapies for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and regulatory purposes. BCP will aid in core aspects of the project, including creating the technical architecture and providing the data analysis, to ensure this technology can transform unstructured patient data from medical notes and images into structured data and real-world evidence that clinicians can use in treatment management and with health regulatory and HTA bodies.
  • AirTank announced the launch of CareCart, an eCommerce platform developed exclusively for the medical technology and healthcare sectors. Already a leader in medical device and healthcare eCommerce digital marketing, AirTank recognized a need for an industry-specific platform to ease clients’ most common pain points. Powered by AirTank’s existing eCommerce platform, ZiftrShop, CareCart is an agile, scalable solution built with the specific needs and compliance requirements of medical and healthcare applications in mind.
  • Persistent Systems, a global Digital Engineering provider, expanded its relationship with AWS by partnering with Amazon HealthLake to help its Healthcare and Life Sciences clients accelerate their care transformation journeys. The partnership will enable Persistent’s clients to improve quality of care and scale their population health initiatives with industry expertise and capabilities in integration, data and analytics, coupled with Amazon HealthLake’s platform.
  • IFF announced its plans for accelerated entry into the personalized nutrition sector through a strategic partnership with Salus Optima, a British-based, digitally-enabled personalized nutrition, health and wellness company. The initial focus for the partnership will be metabolic health, including obesity, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol and pre-hypertension, which impacts over 25 percent1 of the adult population globally. Together, the companies are developing an unmatched capability to help consumers understand their unique metabolic response to food, supplements, activity and sleep, accessible via mobile phones and wearables. By leveraging Salus Optima's core technology with IFF's portfolio of health-enabling ingredients from its Nourish and Health & Biosciences business divisions, brand owners can offer consumers a differentiated and engaging personalized nutrition experience that addresses the aspects that influence metabolic health.
  • Strategic Radiology, a coalition of independent, wholly physician-owned private radiology practices, chose Ferrum Health to support and accelerate the discovery, validation, and management of clinical AI across its member institutions. In response to the growing use of artificial intelligence across all imaging modalities and the explosion of FDA clearances over the past several years, Strategic Radiology's adoption of the Ferrum Health platform ensures that its members have a secure, standardized, and cost-effective way to enable member groups to continue to lead in both clinical technology adoption and quality of care. Strategic Radiology will use Ferrum to monitor for algorithm performance, bias, and drift across its practices, as well as to share learnings on clinical impact and business ROI of the 50+ algorithms available on the Ferrum platform.
  • Highmark Interactive, provider of digital health tools and hybrid care solutions, announced a business update for a new strategic partnership. Highmark has signed a master service agreement with Medworks to be their exclusive partner in providing brain and mental services through Highmark technology and Highmark's Partner Network. Highmark offers Medworks a unique ability to provide rapid go-to-market support by leveraging its HPN and integrating Highmark technology directly into the Medworks workflow. Each Medworks™ customer is subscribed to Highmark's FDA cleared EQ Software technology platform for remote monitoring of neurological function.
  • Bayhealth announced its partnership with Unite Us Delaware, a technology company that coordinates health and social care services. The partnership will help Bayhealth provide care beyond the hospital by identifying social determinants of health and ensuring patients have every tool they need at home to stay healthy. Together, Bayhealth and Unite Us Delaware will be able to securely connect people in need with community-based resources that can be difficult to navigate. The network provides a central point of contact where healthcare providers, social service organizations, and individuals can securely access and refer people to needed services while monitoring progress and measuring outcomes.
  • Moving Analytics, a provider of virtual cardiac rehabilitation and prevention, has joined the American Heart Association Center for Health Technology & Innovation's Innovators' Network. The Center is focused on building and fostering health technology relationships to develop innovative and scalable solutions. The Innovators' Network is a health care technology consortium that connects entrepreneurs, providers, researchers and payers. Innovators' Network members also have access to the Association's digital guidelines, recommendations, and best-in-class science as they develop digital healthcare technologies. Members collaborate with the Center in different ways, including the building of models for clinical outcome studies, lowering the significant cost of developing those studies independently, helping connect the science to technology, and providing evidence that a digital platform improves healthcare outcomes – a key concern for providers and payers.
  • 3M Health Information Systems and Rad AI today announced a strategic sales partnership in which 3M will resell Rad AI's Continuity incidental findings management and Omni impression generation solutions as a value-add to customers using 3MTM M*Modal Fluency for Imaging solution. 
  • Lebanese Health Tech platforms DRAPP & COMIN partnered to expand services in Lebanon & Egypt. Through this partnership, insured patients at COMIN can benefit from Online Consultation Coverage on DRAPP, from all specialties. Under this new agreement, DRAPP and COMIN insurance aim to create an omni-channel experience, bringing doctors and patients together, providing access for a better health and specialized care for every individual.
  • Ten state attorneys general called on Apple to implement stronger privacy controls for third-party apps that collect consumers’ reproductive health data. In a letter sent Monday to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the group of state AGs raised privacy concerns in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Third-party apps available on Apple's App Store such as period tracking apps and pregnancy and fertility apps collect consumers’ private reproductive health data, which can be "weaponized against consumers by law enforcement, private entities, or individuals," the state AGs wrote in the letter.


  • PanGenomic Health entered into a definitive to acquire Mydecine, a biotechnology company developing the next generation of innovative medications and therapies to address mental health disorders, and its subsidiary, Mindleap Health, a telehealth platform for psychedelic integration
  • Merck entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Imago BioSciences,  a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms and other bone marrow diseases
  • The 55 Group, a provider of software that transforms the traditional approach to procurement, construction and the management of the built environment, acquired  Moodbeam, maker of a device that logs and tracks a user's mood
  • CorEvitas, a real-world data intelligence company, acquired Pregistry, a provider of safety studies during pregnancy
  • Millstone Medical Outsourcing, a provider of medical manufacturers’ post-manufacturing and aftermarket services, completed its acquisition of MycoScience, a contract manufacturing company specializing in syringe and vial filling of highly viscous materials
  • Uniphar, a healthcare business focused on multinational pharmaceutical and med-tech manufacturers, acquired pharmaceutical services business BModesto Group
  • RxCelerate, an out-sourced drug discovery and development platform, acquired drug discovery company Methuselah Health
  • Inflow, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy based self-help app, acquired tele-health clinic Lina Health
  • Futura Partners, a business consultancy, acquired the Bagatin Medical Group from Ognjen Bagatin
  • Navigate360, a K–12 student wellness and physical safety solution, acquired PBIS Rewards, a SaaS platform that simplifies the implementation and management of a framework for supporting students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional and mental health
  • ResMed completed its acquisition of MEDIFOX DAN, a provider of software solutions for a wide variety of out-of-hospital care providers

Funding Roundup

  • Wesper, a clinical-grade FDA-cleared wireless home sleep lab, raised $9.6 million
  • Opna Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel oncology therapeutics, raised $38 million
  •, a provider of ambient clinical sensing technology, raised $27 million
  • Capitol, an AI solution that helps healthcare insurers make critical decisions by visually unlocking data and bypassing decision bottlenecks, raised $10 million
  • Bonatra, a men’s health and wellness startup, raised ₹5.5 crores
  • Temedica, which develops digital companions for different diseases to get patient-generated data, raised €25 million
  • Novi Health, a Singapore-based health tech company and specialist clinic, raised $5 million
  • NirogStreet, a technology-enabled and doctor-led community commerce platform, raised $12 million
  • Nyra Medical, a medical device company that is developing a novel transcatheter mitral valve repair technology, raised $20 million
  • Empatica, a company that designs and develops AI-enabled wearables, software and digital biomarkers, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • FogPharma, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a new class of precision medicines, raised $178 Million
  • HealthKart, an omnichannel healthtech platform, raised over $65 million

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