Digital health news, funding round up in the prior week; January 3, 2023

Steven Loeb · January 3, 2023 · Short URL:

Gold Kidney raised $60M; BioRegenx and Findit merged; DOJ filed a lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen

Top Health News

  • Quantori, a provider of data science and digital transformation solutions for life science and healthcare organizations, announced a partnership with Databricks, a data lakehouse company, to power innovation across the entire drug lifecycle by unifying data, analytics, and AI on a simple and open multi-cloud platform.
  • Movano Health announced its first wearable called Evie, a smart ring designed specifically for women. While Evie can monitor all of the typical health and wellness metrics, such as resting heart rate, heart rate variability, SpO2, respiration rate, skin temperature variability, it also includes period and ovulation tracking, and menstrual symptom tracking, to help users better understand the timing and nature of their individual cycle, including period onset and ovulation windows. It also includes an activity profile, including steps, active minutes, calories burned, sleep stages and duration, and mood tracking, while encouraging women to set goals related to both their physical and mental health.
  • Researchers at the NYU School of Global Public Health analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey, a survey conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; they looked at more than 238,000 adults who obtained their health care coverage through an employer or union between 2000 and 2020. What they found was that 3% of men and 6% of women said they found medical care to be unaffordable in 2020; that was up from 2% of men and 3% of women in 2000. Women also were more likely to say that services were less affordable than men across every type of care: when it came to dental care, 8.1% of women and 5.4% of men said it was unaffordable; for prescription medications it was 5.2% of women and 2.7% of men; and for mental health care 2.1% of women and 0.8% of men said that they could not afford care. The report zeroed in specifically on two sectors of mental health and dental services, both of which have seen large increases in recent years. For women, their inability to afford mental health care went from 2% in 2017 to more than 6% in 2020, while dental has consistently been seen the highest percentage both men and women, with over 10% of women saying they couldn't afford it in 2020.
  • Cardio Diagnostics Holdings, a precision cardiovascular diagnostics company, announced a partnership with Houston Concierge Medicine, a medical practice serving executives and health-forward consumers in Houston, to will use Cardio's Epi+Gen CHD test in its Executive Health Program. The Epi+Gen CHD test, which combines epigenetics, genetics, high-throughput computing, and AI, can be taken at home, provides personalized insights based on genetic and epigenetic DNA biomarkers, which are unique to that individual, for personalized treatment. When a patient requests Epi+Gen CHD test from one of Cardio's telemedicine providers, they are asked to fill out an assessment to determine their eligibility. Once their sample is processed, their results will be reviewed by a clinician who will help tailor a personalized prevention plan, and the patient will be able to schedule a private, telemedicine consultation with that prescribing clinician. In addition to their genetics, Epi+Gen CHD also measures the patient's epigenetic DNA biomarkers, which takes into account how environment and lifestyle can influence their heart health. The company analyzes their unique DNA biomarker information through its proprietary Artificial Intelligence algorithms to determine the patient's likelihood of having a coronary heart disease event in the next three years.
  • The Healthcare In The Digital Age report, which surveyed more than 2,500 U.S. consumers and patients, found that 81% are interested in using a unified digital platform to manage information about their care and insurance benefits, while 79% say they want to pay all their medical bills with a single digital platform. That cuts across all generations and income levels, though the idea is most popular among younger people are those with a higher income. Among baby boomers and seniors, 65% overall show interest, and 24% are very or extremely interested, while the same can be said of over 83% of Generation X, 92% of Bridge Millennials and Millennials, while 93% of Gen Zers are interested in a unified digital platform. Interestingly, the group with the largest percent to be very or extremely interested were the Bridge Millennials, with 63.6%, compared to 58.8% of Millennials and 49.2% of Gen Zers. In terms of income level, of those making $100,000 or more, 87% were interested, and 57.3% were very or extremely interested; that is compared to 83% and 42.7% for those making $50,000 to $100,000, and 73.1% and just 28% for people making less than $50,000.
  • Augusta University Health System (AUHS), Georgia's only public academic health center, signed a letter of intent to form a new partnership with Wellstar Health System, a non-profit system that has 24,000 team members, nurses and doctors. While details about what the partnership will entail seem to be in the early stages, it was revealed that the partnership would focus on three strategic initiatives, the first being expanding digital health offerings in order to create more access to care and provide more individualized care in Georgia. The other goals would be to grow the pipeline of physicians and other health care providers by increasing the number of students who train and conduct research through MCG, and to develop new treatments, care offerings, and care models.
  • The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen, one of the country’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, accusing the company of knowingly distributing opioids that were later resold illegally. The suit, filed by the department’s civil division in conjunction with federal prosecutors in New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York, is part of a growing effort by federal agencies to hold drug companies accountable for their role in the nation’s opioid crisis. It accuses AmerisourceBergen and two of its subsidiaries of “at least hundreds of thousands” of violations of the Controlled Substances Act. If the company is found liable, it could face billions of dollars in fines, according to Vanita Gupta, the associate attorney general overseeing the civil division.
  • Novavax, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, announced the initiation of a Phase 2 trial for its COVID-19-Influenza Combination and influenza stand-alone vaccine candidates. The dose-confirming trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness (immunogenicity) of different formulations of the CIC and influenza vaccine candidates in adults aged 50 through 80.
  • Following the formation of Mayflower Bioventures, a cell and gene therapy accelerator stood up from Hibiscus BioVentures and Mayo Clinic, the company announced the launch of their first start-up, Primera Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company using its gene editing platform to deliver life-saving cell and gene therapies. Primera announced the execution of a Collaboration Agreement under which the Parties will work collaboratively to edit mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in vivo to treat the root cause of associated diseases.
  • Anuva and Max Healthcare signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to conduct genomics-based research with the goal of advancing precision medicines for cancer and other communicable and noncommunicable diseases in India. Anuva is building a repository of genomic data and biospecimens representing more than 4,500 ethnicities in the Asian population for drug development purposes. The company hopes to mine the knowledge in its biorepository to better understand the genomic underpinnings of the diseases affecting Asians and identify novel targets for personalized drug development. Over the five-year MoU period, the two organizations will conduct research to advance precision medicine applications for breast and lung cancer but also for non-cancer indications such as diabetes, cardiac and kidney diseases, and drug-resistant tuberculosis. At Max's clinical centers, researchers will collect data and samples from people who have consented to partake in this research. Max, a healthcare services company in India, will also lend its clinical research and diagnostics expertise for the project.
  • 2B3D, an Information Technology company developing a metaverse experience for treating PTSD and related challenges, specifically addiction treatment in military veterans, announced it partnered with I'm in Transition to pursue further development of Virtual Reality (VR) tools on its proprietary VRx platform for outpatient addiction recovery programs. These tools will enable continued treatment options for anyone with internet access, reducing many logistical challenges of continuing addiction treatment for those in recovery post-discharge from residential, inpatient care.
  • Uwill, a teletherapy solution for colleges and students, announced a partnership with Willamette University to help meet the demand for counseling. As the need for mental health support increases nationwide, Uwill offers students an immediate appointment with a therapist who meets their needs and preferences. Willamette University is launching Uwill at a time of increasing mental health challenges reported on campuses nationwide where 95% of students have seen their mental health negatively affected over the past two years.
  • MEDIROM Healthcare Technologies, a holistic healthcare company based in Japan, signed a comprehensive business agreement with Social Service to develop Digital Therapeutics  for Postpartum Depression. Developed by MEDIROM, The MOTHER Bracelet, a wearable health-tracking bracelet that self-charges, will be implemented in a collaborative program with Social Service. 


  • BioRegenx, a company that was created to establish what it calls "a new approach to wellness," entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Findit, Inc., owner of, a company that provides tools for increasing brand awareness through content creation and sharing
  • H-CYTE, a medical biosciences company, completed its acquisition of the SkinDisc regenerative tissue kit from Scion Solutions

Funding Roundup 

  • Gold Kidney Health Plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan offering Medicare Advantage products for beneficiaries with Chronic Special Needs, raised $60 million
  • Impact App, which converts steps taken by users to points that help raise funds through corporate CSR to fund NGOs, raised $600,000

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