Virtual cardiometabolic healthcare service 9amHealth raises $9.5M

Steven Loeb · February 20, 2024 · Short URL:

The company helps offer cheaper and better access to GLP-1 medications

By 2030, nearly half of all Americans are projected to live with obesity or prediabetes, and diabetes will climb to affect 15% of the population. While each of these conditions is a leading factor for diabetes and heart conditions, our healthcare system treats them in isolation.

"The reality for many people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, is that they often face two challenges: either they don’t receive the necessary care, or they are experiencing it in a fragmented way, where each step becomes a stumbling block in their health journey," said Frank Westermann, co-founder and co-CEO of 9amHealth, a virtual cardiometabolic healthcare service which announced $9.5 million Series A extension round on Tuesday.

"The wait times for specialists can take up to six months, and pharmacy lines and lab availability can exacerbate the frustration for Americans living busy lives. At the same time, healthcare costs continue to rise for the healthcare system as a whole."

Founded in 2021 by the team behind mySugr, 9amHealth offers cardiometabolic care to treat and prevent diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension. It works with employers to provide effective health benefits for members including care plans, prescription delivery, at-home lab tests and access to specialists.

A recent survey conducted by 9amHealth found that 48% of Americans are on, or want to be on, a GLP-1 medication, and 20% would even change their jobs to get access to coverage for the drugs.

"GLP-1 receptor agonists promote insulin secretion in response to food ingested. These drugs also reduce spikes in glucagon after meals. In short, they help with keeping blood sugar levels in check. GLP-1s are also known for slowing down the rate at which food moves through the stomach, and you feel less hungry," Westermann explained.

Some of the reported benefits and risks of using GLP-1s include approximately 1% to 2% reduction in A1c for people living with diabetes; up to 20% weight loss for people with obesity, depending on the drug; and low risk of hypoglycemia. In addition, several medications have demonstrated benefits for the heart, including semaglutideliraglutide, and dulaglutide.

Part of the problem with gaining access to these drugs is that, currently, only two manufacturers, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, have received FDA approval for their GLP-1 receptor agonists to treat obesity. In addition, they each cost between $600 to $1,000 per month if paid out of pocket.

"Even if the health insurance covers them, the health plan or employer must shoulder the costs of the medications. This is a dire perspective considering that these drugs need to be taken a lifetime to sustain weight loss," said Westermann.

9amHealth is addressing this challenge by providing affordable cardiometabolic care at scale and helping to manage the rising costs of GLP-1s for both patients and employers. 

So far, the company has guided thousands of patients through their health journey and it has seen 28% enrollment rates across all clients, an ROI of up to 4x, and up to $284 monthly gross savings. Clinical outcomes show an A1c reduction of 2.1 in patients with an A1c of 8% or greater, 14.5% body weight reduction, systolic blood pressure reduction of 17.7mmHg, and 95.61% medication adherence among 9amHealth members over six to 12 months. 

The new funding round was led by Cigna Ventures, with additional support from existing institutional investors, including 7Wire Ventures, Define Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, and Founders Fund. 9amHealth initially closed its Series A round in April 2022; this extension brings the round to $25 million and the company's total funding to date to $29.8 million since its inception.

This new capital will be used to fuel 9amHealth's growth strategy and product roadmap, scale the company's existing solutions, and expand its internal team of care specialists, doctors, medical advisers, and more, which currently consists of 32 employees. Some key areas of focus include enhancing the app user experience, broadening insurance credentialing capabilities, and overall fortification of our existing solutions.

It will also go toward improving the patient experience, with the goal of introducing newfound cost efficiencies, benefiting both patients and employers, and solidifying its commitment to delivering value across the healthcare spectrum.

"The rise of interest in GLP-1s have become a watershed moment where a surge of patients are not just embracing but eagerly championing their journey to better manage diabetes and weight health. However, the hefty price tag raises the stakes, demanding solutions for employers balancing cost constraints amid soaring expectations of their workforce," Westermann said.

"Our mission is nothing short of democratizing access to medical care for countless more Americans, all while strategically reigning in medication spending. We're envisioning and crafting a healthcare evolution where 9amHealth reshapes the narrative, making wellness an exhilarating journey for all."

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes