Digital health news, funding round up in the prior week; December 12, 2022

Steven Loeb · December 12, 2022 · Short URL:

Apogee Therapeutics raised $149M; Palantir renewed its partnered with the CDC; Ubie raised $19M

Top Health News

  • The America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report from the United Health Foundation found that the premature death rate increased 18% between 2019 and 2020, from 7,337 to 8,659; that's the sharpest increase over a single year in the history of the Annual Report. The report also specifically looked at drug deaths, which is the leading cause of injury: they increased 30% nationally, from 21.5 in 2019 to to 27.9 2020, the largest year-over-year increase since 2007. In 2020, 91,799 people in the U.S. died due to drug injury, an increase of 21,169 over 2019, and roughly 75% of those involved an opioid. the rise in drug overdoses coincided with a rise in mental health problems, as the prevalence of frequent mental distress increased 11%, from 13.2% to 14.7%, between 2020 and 2021.
  • Health at Scale, a machine intelligence for value-based care delivery company, announced a partnership with Assured Benefits Administrators, a national third party administrator providing flexible and fully integrated healthcare administration and management solutions to employers across the United States, to bring AI-powered smart health plan administration capabilities to ABA members. Through the partnership, ABA's employer clients will have access to Health at Scale's industry-leading artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered Precision Intelligence to improve employee health plan administration through smart, proactive, customized, hyper-personalized care insights for provider navigation, reducing gaps in care, preventing low-value care, increasing health literacy, and empowering employees and dependents with a personalized care experience that puts them in the center, one member at a time, of care that works for them.
  • LogicStream Health, a clinical intelligence software and data services firm, and First Databank, a provider of drug knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise decisions announced a collaboration in which the FDB MedKnowledge database is integrated into The Drug Supply App from LogicStream Health to help health systems efficiently prescribe optimal drug therapies during drug shortages and reduce delays in patient care and lower costs. The Drug Supply App with FDB MedKnowledge will help health systems significantly reduce clinical and supply-chain staff time with evidence-based alternative drug therapy recommendations when an ordered drug is unavailable. The Drug Supply App eliminates delays in care by providing pharmacy staff with information needed to stock therapeutic alternatives ahead of potential drug shortages.
  • Avenda Healthm a company that creates personalized prostate cancer treatment, received 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its cloud-based platform, iQuest, leverages a patient’s own diagnostic information to map prostate cancer including extent of disease, and produces a cancer probability map with optimal treatment margins. This AI-enabled mapping platform then enables a doctor to treat locally in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, thereby preserving quality of life.
  • The Institute for Healthcare Improvement joined with the American Medical Association, Race Forward, and other organizations to create “Rise to Health: A National Coalition for Equity in Healthcare.” One of the coalition’s goals is to catalyze individuals and organizations committed to health equity and justice to build, change, and transform healthcare with shared solutions and collective actions. “The time has come for a system-wide approach – where healthcare organizations, individual practitioners, payers, professional societies, and pharmaceutical, research, and biotech organizations come together and align activities to make the whole ecosystem of healthcare more equitable, said IHI President and CEO Kedar Mate, M.D., speaking at the IHI Forum taking place in Orlando. Other founding members of the coalition include the Groundwater Institute, the American Hospital Association, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Health Begins, and PolicyLink. Funding support comes from the AMA, IHI, Genentech, and the Commonwealth Fund.
  • Getlabs, an at-home diagnostic collections company, and Blokes, a men's health treatment platform, announced a partnership that brings at-home lab draws to Blokes clients across the country. This move increases convenience and access to effective hormone and testosterone treatments, while also protecting privacy by keeping every aspect of hormone treatment in-house. The effects of hormonal changes and decreases in testosterone can have profound impacts on almost every aspect of a man's life. Blokes is focused on providing easy access to hormonal treatments and services through its virtual platform, with a focus on testosterone replacement therapy, prescription peptide therapy, and hormone support treatments, across all 50 states.
  • Valant, a cloud-based EHR for behavioral health practices, launched its Prospective Patient Management tool to help match new patients with the optimal behavioral health provider. It is integrated with Valant’s EHR platform, offering practices a frictionless way to receive new patient inquiries and quickly match them with a clinician. This can improve a practice’s intake efficiency, patient experience, and clinician satisfaction. With Valant’s Prospective Patient Management tool, behavioral health practices can make informed decisions regarding which patients to treat based on readily available data assessing prospective patient profiles alongside the practice’s clinician profiles and a prioritized list of their best match. Better matches of clinicians and new patients can improve patient retention and clinician job satisfaction. Both have a direct impact on practice revenue.
  • Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former COO and president of the failed blood-testing startup Theranos, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison Wednesday. Balwani was found guilty on all 12 charges he faced this summer, including 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos who was also previously romantically involved with Balwani, was recently sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for defrauding investors. She was found guilty on four of the 11 charges she faced early this year. Both Holmes and Balwani could have received up to 20 years in prison. According to the Associated Press, Balwani's lawyer indicated he would likely file an appeal. Holmes, who is currently pregnant with her second child, has already begun the process to appeal her sentence.
  • The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company and EmsanaRx, a pharmacy benefit manager built by employers, for employers, announced a collaboration with the launch of EmsanaRx Plus, a supplemental drug discount product designed specifically for employers as a standalone pipeline for lower-cost medicines that have been contracted directly with drug manufacturers by Cost Plus Drugs. The EmsanaRx Plus supplemental drug discount product represents a transition for Cost Plus Drugs from operating exclusively in the direct-to-consumer market into the employer market, which provides health benefits for roughly half of all Americans. This new partnership is a response to a growing desire among employers and other health care purchasers to work with new market entrants whose interests are aligned with theirs and that of their employees, namely, to reduce wasteful spending and increase transparency, while maintaining access to high-quality care.
  • MCI Onehealth Technologies, a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and Virgin Pulse, a digital-first health, wellbeing, and navigation company, announced their partnership to bring the world’s #1 platform for employee health and wellbeing to Canadian small through large-sized businesses. The Virgin Pulse platform will be offered by MCI’s Corporate Health Solutions division as MCI Wellness Connect with immediate availability for interested customers. MCI will be offering MCI Wellness Connect to its established base of more than 600 corporate clients while introducing it to additional market segments. Related future offerings may include making MCI Wellness Connect available directly to individual consumers.
  • PAM Health, a provider of specialty healthcare services through more than 70 long-term acute care hospitals and medical rehabilitation hospitals, joined the AtlasJobs talent engagement platform for their talent acquisition needs. PAM Health operates a network of over 100 specialty hospitals and outpatient clinics across the United States. AtlasJobs is a global careers platform that combines an interactive mobile-first experience with AI and the power of programmatic advertising to reach and engage target audiences within specific locations. By providing a dynamic and engaging candidate journey, AtlasJobs positions its clients as employers of choice in a highly competitive job market.
  • Tomorrow Health, a healthcare technology company enabling more efficient and reliable home-based care, announced that it has fully automated the order lifecycle for the full spectrum of durable medical equipment codes. Powered by the launch of Tomorrow Health's Clinical Rules Engine, the latest innovation streamlines today's fragmented DME ecosystem, giving payers the ability to manage the shift of more care to the home. It also is a first step in the company's long-term plan to automate the entire spectrum of home healthcare services payment within its platform, spanning tens of thousands of healthcare payment codes.
  • CALYM Carnot Institute, an academic consortium dedicated to public-private partnership research in lymphoma, and Embleema, a software provider for patient-driven, regulatory clinical data platforms for precision medicine, announced a strategic partnership to develop next-generation clinical research solutions aimed at accelerating clinical innovation. Clinical research in precision medicine currently suffers from arduous patient recruitment and retention, unclear consent frameworks for secondary use of data, and lack of regulatory standards for multi-omics based therapies. CALYM and Embleema’s combination of world-class capabilities brings unique R&D solutions to sponsors for enhanced patient recruitment, consent and engagement, fully-consented and auditable data interchange and generation of regulatory-grade evidence.
  • The University of Florida College of Dentistry announced its collaboration with Overjet to empower the next generation of dentists with artificial intelligence to enhance clinical decision-making and patient communication. The Overjet Dental AI Education Program includes an Introduction to AI lecture series and the Overjet AI Teaching Clinic, a hands-on learning environment that enables dental students to improve their diagnostic and case presentation skills.
  • RethinkCare, a behavioral and mental health platform for employers from RethinkFirst, announced that its evidence-based care resources are now available through PlanSource, a benefits administration provider. PlanSource customers can offer RethinkCare, including its Parental Success, Personal Wellbeing, and Professional Resilience solutions, alongside all other employee benefits to further support their employees and families across the spectrum of their behavioral health needs.
  • Redox, a provider of EHR integration and healthcare interoperability, partnered with Let's Talk Interactive, a company that develops virtual care solutions to make healthcare more accessible. Together, Let's Talk Interactive and Redox are addressing inefficiencies in virtual care and making the EHR/EMR integration experience seamless for healthcare systems. LTI's next-generation enterprise telehealth solution, TrustVideo, leverages Redox's integration expertise with any EHR/EMR system, resulting in the platform's efficient integration with existing workflows of healthcare systems. This enables healthcare systems to integrate virtual care faster than ever before and scale it across the entire system efficiently with no additional cost.
  • IntellectAbility, a provider of tools and training to agencies, governmental entities, and supporters of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and telemedicine provider StationMD partnered to provide health-risk-informed telemedicine for people with IDD using StationMD's telemedicine platform and IntellectAbility's Health Risk Screening Tool. This partnership allows telemedicine providers access to web-based health risk information for their patients with IDD.
  • Evidence-based weight care program Found announced a partnership with online therapy service BetterHelp to offer one month of free therapy to Found members new to BetterHelp in support of their mental health. Found is the first program to approach obesity as a disease, not a decision, and studies have shown that disease carries with it significant psychological burden. Many people who have obesity also struggle with issues related to mood, self-esteem, and quality of life. Found and BetterHelp believe that an integrated approach to weight includes taking care of both mental and physical health.
  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons announced that the Fracture & Trauma Registry will now be powered by PatientIQ. This new partnership will offer healthcare institutions a turnkey solution for FTR participation, thus reducing barriers to tracking evidence-based practices and advancing the delivery of musculoskeletal care. PatientIQ will integrate its cloud-based platform directly with FTR participants' electronic health record to provide a seamless experience that simplifies the ability to collect and submit outcomes data. PatientIQ is a leading healthcare technology company that collects and derives actionable insights from outcomes data at scale.
  • The National Perinatal Association, a provider of education and advocacy around issues affecting the health of parents, babies, and families, announced that it entered into a strategic partnership with AngelEye Health. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement AngelEye, a provider of patient and family engagement solutions for hospital neonatal and pediatric units, will serve as the primary corporate sponsor of the NPA’s Interdisciplinary Guidelines and Recommendations for NICU Discharge Preparation and Transition Planning. Developed with the mission of educating healthcare providers and NICU families, the framework offers best practices for preparing families for their transition from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to home.
  • WebMD Provider Services announced a partnership with SaaS patient communications company Artera to improve access and engagement to patient education materials and medication affordability programs. The companies’ joint capabilities will help providers improve clinical outcomes and ongoing patient engagement, as well as aim to reduce the cost of care.
  • Firstline, a clinical decision support company, announced new gold standard clinical guidance from the World Health Organization is distributed on its platform. For the first time, the WHO has created evidence-based clinical guidance for prescribing antibiotics - the AWaRe Antibiotic Book. The guidance is now available on Firstline, free of charge in all countries. The partnership creates an historic opportunity to improve antibiotic
    prescribing, reduce antimicrobial resistance, and save millions of lives.
  • Redirect Health, a platform that creates and manages healthcare solutions for businesses and employees nationwide, announced its partnership with PicassoMD, a platform that connects healthcare providers for real-time clinical decision support, referrals, and care coordination in a HIPAA-compliant environment. The partnership allows Redirect Health providers to directly consult local and remote specialists to improve patient care, resulting in more time to focus solely on their patients' needs and treatment paths to find faster solutions.
  • Penn Highlands Healthcare and Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology entered into a partnership to provide tuition, clinical rotations and employment agreements to students entering CPI’s licensed practical nursing program. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the option of working at one of the many Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals, outpatient facilities, and physician practices in the 26 counties served by the health system. The partnership is intended to address a regional shortage in nursing.
  • Blue Shield of California members living in Southern California now have access to additional medical care services for a range of illnesses and injuries in the comfort and convenience of their homes through a collaboration with DispatchHealth, a provider of in-home, same-day, high-touch care. Blue Shield of California members living in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties who are enrolled in Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans can access DispatchHealth services. While members with HMO plans must be referred by their primary care physician, those enrolled in PPO plans and Medi-Cal plans (in Los Angeles and San Diego counties) can receive access to DispatchHealth services.
  • Palantir Technologies announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has renewed its work with the company to continue delivering software and digital capabilities to modernize the nation's public health infrastructure. Using the Palantir platform, the agency will be able to employ scalable technology to plan, manage, and respond to future outbreaks and public health incidents. This five year, $443M contract will streamline Palantir's existing programs – including Health and Human Services Protect, Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response Engage, Tiberius, and DCIPHER – into a singular, efficient vehicle. This new approach demonstrates the CDC's leadership in driving inter-agency public health, and the length of the contract allows for long-term planning and operational consistency for the program and its partners. Under this deal, Palantir's technology will support the CDC's "Common Operating Picture", a unique inter-agency enterprise investment that secures strong collaboration across the federal government, jurisdictional health departments, private sector entities, and other key health partners.
  • Today the European Union’s Health Emergency Preparedness Authority and the World Health Organization initiated a new partnership with a € 15 million allocation under the EU4Health programme to boost capacities at national, regional, and global levels for better preparedness for and response to health emergencies. Through these initiatives, HERA and WHO will strengthen global capacities to prepare, detect, prevent, and respond to cross-border health threats by providing information, capacities, and tools against health emergencies.
  • Chicago ARC, along with new partners OSF HealthCare, Americare Senior Living, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Insight Hospital and Medical Center, and Illinois Tech joined a collaborative of leading organizations to create a partnership to tackle healthcare inequities through market-driven, community-informed solutions and attraction of startups that will support the region’s underserved populations. The Chicago ARC venture collaborative announced today its partners voted to advance equity in the management of chronic diseases and access to quality behavioral health services, including those for substance use disorder, through collaborative approaches and solutions as the outcome of its inaugural convening. The meeting included founding health care partners representing nearly 750 health care delivery and training locations across Illinois and neighboring states.
  • Health Catalyst, a provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations, announced a multi-year contract with Carle Health, an integrated health system based in Urbana, Illinois that includes five hospitals, multi-specialty physician group practices with more than 1,000 doctors and advanced practice providers, and Health Alliance Medical Plans—deepening its relationship with Health Catalyst to further advance Carle's innovative analytics capabilities system-wide.
  • MindMaze, a developer of AI-driven neurotechnology, and Vibra Healthcare, a provider of post-acute hospital patient care, announced a partnership to deploy MindMaze’s digital health technology platform in-clinic and at-home for patients within select Vibra hospitals in Kentucky and California as a first step. MindMaze’s digital neurotherapeutic solutions are designed to help patients regain function through digitally-enabled assessments as well as behavioral training of holistic motor, cognitive and cardiovascular systems following Stroke/TBI, SCI, Parkinsons Disease and other neurological indications. This innovative partnership will enable clinicians to provide patients in the clinic and at home with interventions at dosage and intensity levels that are orders of magnitude higher than the current standard of care.
  • Connecticut Innovations and Hartford HealthCare signed an agreement to partner on accelerating digital health solutions and innovative healthcare technologies developed in Connecticut. The agreement formalizes an existing productive relationship between the two organizations, and will allow them to use their respective expertise to identify and invest in companies that are developing solutions to improve health outcomes.


  • Affiliates of privately held merchant bank Z Capital Group acquired Universal Marine Medical Supply International, a provider of pharmaceutical and medical solutions to the maritime industry
  • Essential Pharma, an international specialty pharma group, completed its acquisition of HALDOL, a first-generation ‘typical’ antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia and some other psychiatric conditions, from Janssen Pharmaceutica NV
  • Integra LifeSciences, a provider of regenerative tissue technologies and neurosurgical solutions, completed its acquisition of Surgical Innovation Associates, a company that focuses on revolutionary medical devices for plastic surgery
  • SteriPack Group, a contract manufacturer serving the medical device, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic markets, acquired Kinneir Dufort, user-centered design and product development firm
  • Signati Medical, a medical device company dedicated to advancing men's health, completed its acquisition of all of the intellectual property and technology of SuperiorVAS, including methods to create a vasectomy through ablation of the vas deferens
  • Prime Health Services, a cost management solutions company, acquired the InterGroup provider network, a auto, workers' compensation, and group health PPO network that currently serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia
  • CrowdPharm, a full-service healthcare advertising agency, acquired Boom Ideanet, a creative resource for in-house and independent ad agencies using a network of experienced creative consumer talent
  • The University of Michigan's Michigan Medicine acquired Sparrow Health System
  • CompuGroup Medical US, an e-health company, acquired Medicus Laboratory Information Systems from Diagnostic Systems Consulting, a developer of laboratory information systems

Funding Roundup

  • Turtle Health, a virtual fertility clinic, raised $5 million
  • Enthea, a company making psychedelic therapy a workplace benefit, launched with $2 million
  • Dawn Health, a virtual clinic for insomnia, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Pictor, an immunodiagnostics company, raised $5 million
  • SonoThera, a biotechnology company dedicated to treating the root cause of human diseases through genetic therapy, raised $60.75 million
  • Vaxxas, a clinical-stage biotechnology company commercializing a novel vaccination platform, raised $23 million
  • Infinimmune, a biotechnology company pioneering new methods for antibody drug discovery and development, raised $12 million
  • Avalon SteriTech, a company specializing in public health and environmental hygiene solutions, raised $9 million
  • Virtue Health Group Limited, a provider of digital therapeutics for healthy aging, raised £1 million
  • Pebble, which creates custom benefits packages for SMBs, launched with $12 million
  • Lokavant, a clinical trial intelligence company, raised $21 million
  • WeWALK, the company behind a smartphone connected ‘smart cane’ for the visually impaired, raised £2 million
  • Sonde Health, which monitors patients through their voice, raised $19.25 million 
  • CrowdHealth, a platform for crowdfunding medical bills, raised $6 million
  • Cardiosense, a company leveraging artificial intelligence and multi-sensor devices to enable early detection of cardiovascular disease, raised $15.1 million
  • Alio, a medical technology company reinventing the management of chronic disease, raised $18 million
  • Eigen Therapeutics, a biotech startup on a mission to make cancer easier to find and eliminate, launched with $7 million
  • Ubie, an AI-based symptom checker, raised $19 million
  • Minze Health, a digital solution for the treatment of urinary tract problems, raised $4.1 million 
  • Juno Medical, a company looking to modernize the doctor's office, raised $12 million
  • SaVia Health, which provides clinicians with real-time decision support, raised $8.5 million 
  • Apogee Therapeutics, a biotechnology company advancing therapies to address immunological and inflammatory disorders, raised $149 million
  • Premier Biotech, a provider of point-of-care drugs of abuse testing products and laboratory services, raised an disclosed amount of funding
  • Medical Specialists of the Palm Beaches, a primary care-focused, multi-specialty physician group practice, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Imagenet, a provider of back-office support technology and tech-enabled outsourced services to healthcare plans, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Re-Vana Therapeutics, a specialty drug delivery company developing sustained-release therapeutics for the treatment of vision-threatening ocular diseases, raised $11.9 million 

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