News and funding roundup: Vida Health’s $100M Series D, Kry’s $316M raise, CVS and Advocate Aurora’s fresh funds, Boost Mobile offers K Health symptom checker

Vida Health, a virtual platform for chronic condition and mental health management, raised $110 million in a Series D financing led by General Atlantic, joined by Centene, AXA Venture Partners (AVP), and Ardea Capital Partners along with a number of earlier investors. Vida has a network of clinicians, mental health coaches, dietitians, and licensed therapists to provide virtual care programs to payers like Centene and Humana, plus employers such as Boeing, Visa, Cisco, and eBay. The company reports that it tripled its revenue since January 2020 and expanded its existing nationwide network of therapists, coaches, dietitians, and diabetes educators by more than 400 percent. Vida’s involvement with Centene started with a 20-state rollout in the Ambetter plans, the Centene health insurance marketplace product, Ambetter, for members with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and treatment/coaching for mental health conditions like stress and depression. Vida’s total financing since 2014 totals $188 million. Release, Crunchbase, Mobihealthnews

Sweden’s Kry (Livi in the UK, US, and France) raised a Series D of €262 million, or about $316 million to finance expansion into additional countries and to scale their telemedicine platform. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Teachers’ Innovation Platform, along with existing investors Index Ventures, Creandum, and Accel, led the round. Valuation is now estimated at about $2B (nearly €1.66 bn). Silicon Canals, FierceBiotech

If you’re looking for funding, CVS Health has launched a $100 million venture capital fund to capitalize projects and innovations from digital healthcare and tech companies to make healthcare more accessible, affordable, and…better. CVS and Aetna have already been an investor in digital health, with about 20 such findings. More information on CVS Health Ventures is hereRelease

Want more funding? Advocate Aurora Enterprises (AAE), part of Advocate Aurora Health System in Illinois and Wisconsin, also is funding consumer health and wellness, with recent buys of home care company Senior Helpers in a $180 million deal following on $25 million for a telenutrition (!) company, Foodsmart. Some have questioned how nonprofit health systems like Advocate Aurora and Ascension have deep enough pockets to get into the risky funding business. FierceHealthcare, Healthcare Dive.

Finally, in the Everybody’s Getting Into The Telehealth Act Department, Boost Mobile is offering the K Health symptom checker to its customers and immediate families. The catch: you have to subscribe to their Unlimited Plus plan. But clever, though. HITConsultant 

News roundup: dogs sniffing out COVID, CVS rolling out OTC COVID tests, Hydrogen Health launches, Alcidion UK acquires ExtraMed

Woof! A trained dog can sniff out COVID-19 with 96 percent accuracy. Based on a study by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, their trained dogs could recognize the unique odor signature of infection from saliva and urine samples. From the study: “Dogs successfully discriminated between infected and uninfected urine samples, regardless of the inactivation protocol, as well as heat-treated saliva samples.” The specially trained dogs were all Labrador retrievers ranging in age from 1.5 to 2.5 years, along with a six-year-old Malinois. The training took three weeks. However, the length and expense of the training, plus the dogs consistently treating as positive two samples where donors were negative in PCR testing but with one person recently recovered and the other exhibiting symptoms, may limit canine detection. FierceHealthcare, PLOS One.

But without a trained dog, you might be relieved to know that CVS is carrying in-store COVID rapid tests, rolling out in various states:  the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test, the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test, and the Pixel by LabCorp PCR Test Home Collection Kit. All three tests have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) which means they are not FDA cleared, but they don’t require a prescription and can be used by those with or without symptoms. CVS is placing them in-store initially in different and limited numbers of states, with the Abbott test set to be most widely available, plus online ordering. Healthcare Finance

Hydrogen Health launches a joint venture between Anthem, K Health, and Blackstone Growth. Its purpose is kind of the usual–improve care and care access at a lower cost. K Health combines a symptom checker with telemedicine–a $19 flat visit charge to see a clinician, including pediatricians. The release is a model of forward-thinking opacity as to what “innovative, digital-first healthcare solutions” might emerge, but they will target consumers, employers, and health plans. K Health’s CEO Allon Bloch will also serve as the CEO of Hydrogen Health. There is a put-and-call agreement between Anthem and Blackstone as part of the financials regarding the selling and buying of shares in the company. FierceHealthcare, Healthcare Dive

In the UK, Alcidion Group, a hospital software provider in interoperability, workflows, and clinical decision support with the Miya product suite and Patientrack, is acquiring ExtraMed. ExtraMed’s software provides real-time visibility of patient flow for NHS trusts. According to the release, ExtraMed will be purchased from current owner Hospedia, a bedside communication and entertainment unit provider. ExtraMed currently has nine customers in the NHS, including involvement as a partner in a 10-year Digital Control Centre project at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Alcidion works with 40 hospitals across the UK and is headquartered in South Yarra, near Melbourne, Australia. Alcidion news page

Funding news roundup: Philips buys Capsule, Hims’ SPAC + Privia partnership, Signify Health’s $100M IPO; closed funding for K Health, Aledade, Conversa Health

Royal Philips buys Capsule Technologies for $635 million, extending their integrated solutions platforms for patient care management. Capsule is a developer of medical device integration and data technologies, including vital signs monitoring and clinical surveillance services, for hospitals and healthcare organizations. These technologies connect medical devices and EMRs in hospitals through a vendor-neutral system. The deal will close in this quarter and Capsule’s approximately 300 employees will join Philips’ connected care segment. MassDevice, Philips release.

It’s all about the integration: Hims & Hers $1.6 bn SPAC completes, partners with Privia Health for telehealth and in-person visits. Now that Hims & Hers is now on the NYSE (courtesy of a ‘blank check’ with a division of Oaktree Capital Management) and valued at $1.6 billion, it continues its elevation out of e-commerce home delivery of erectile dysfunction and hair restoration meds to telehealth and in-person medicine. Starting about 18 months ago with virtual visits for minor maladies and mental health, Hims recently went beyond its homegrown capabilities with major providers such as New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System and New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System. Privia is a physician organization consisting of regional groups, ACOs, and specialty verticals in value-based care. Their addition to Hims will be for in-person and telehealth visits in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. In past months, it has been eagerly partnering with technology and analytics suppliers to build its management services portfolio. Another sign of more integration: Hims is also moving into pharmacy fulfillment after using outside suppliers. Hasn’t turned the profit corner yet, though. FierceHealthcare, Mobihealthnews

Signify Health signals an IPO. Going the more traditional route is Signify Health, which filed an S-1 registration statement with the SEC for a $100 million offering on the NYSE in the near future. Signify’s analytics and technology platform delivers through its mobile provider networks in-home health and care management services supporting major payers and value-based payment programs. Signify merged in 2019 with fellow, smaller New Mountain Capital company, the former Remedy Health, which specializes in managing providers through episodes of care/bundled payments under the CMS BPCI-A and commercial programs. It is not confirmed if New Mountain, a private equity company based in New York, will be exiting with the IPO. Signify Health release, FierceHealthcare.

Closing funding rounds:

Telehealth/AI platform K Health closed a $132M Series E round of funding led by GGV Capital and Valor Equity Partners, for a total since its 2016 start of $271 million. It also launched a pediatric version of the app, K for Parents. The app connects with doctors in 49 states but also uses health data, curated by AI, to provide patients with guidance for primary care, anxiety, and depression conditions. Release

Even non-telehealth or app-based healthcare companies are taking advantage of funding bounties. Aledade, a management services organization (MSO) for primary care practices, closed a $100 million Series D led by Meritech Capital Partners. Aledade partners with independent practices to organize ACOs in value-based care models. To date, Aledade has raised $249 million. Aledade release.

More modestly, Conversa Health closed its Series B at $20 million, up from $12 million. The round was led by Builders VC and Northwell Ventures. Conversa’s automated virtual care and triage platform remotely monitors, analyzes, and communicates with patients. During COVID, they developed COVID-19 Virtual Care Solutions, a mobile platform for hospitals to increase capacity by automating the outreach to and monitoring of vulnerable patient and employee populations. Release 

Symptom checker K Health gains $48 million Series C (NY/Tel Aviv)

While we’re on the subject of symptom checkers (Babylon Health below), K Health, a competitor in the US HQ’d in NYC, but also based in Tel Aviv, announced today their win of $48 million in a Series C funding round, led by 14W and Mangrove Capital Partners. Lerer Hippeau, Anthem (also a partner), Primary Ventures, and others participated. Their total funding is $97 million since November 2016. The new funding, according to Crunchbase News, will be used to scale the model, expand primary care to mobile devices, and expand to international markets. 

K (as they call themselves) concentrates on three areas. One is an AI-powered symptom checker that uses millions (they state) of anonymized medical records to provide a virtual consult. According to Crunchbase, the medical records came from Israel’s second-largest HMO, Maccabi, over 20 years. The app questions the user based on previous answers. K contrasts it to static protocols, or rules-based symptom checking. The second is to provide a primary care visit via text for $19/visit (or unlimited for $39/year) with free follow-ups over two weeks. The third is mental health, specifically treatment for anxiety and depression, a growing area both online and via mobile. The $29/month fee covers unlimited doctor visits and delivered prescription medication, excepting meds that require blood testing.

The symptom checker is available throughout the US and primary care in 47 states. According to Crunchbase’s interview with CEO Allon Bloch, they recently passed their 3 millionth user and are now available in Spanish. The company has grown in the past year from 80 to 200 people. Originally, the company linked to New York-based providers, but moved away from that to the primary care/text model. Their overall goal is to provide affordable diagnoses that are a lot more accurate than ‘Dr. Google’ and that steer the patient to the right care.

Should Babylon Health be serious about expansion to the US, they will be running up against K Health, as well as competitors such as 98point6. In the hybrid app-and-physical model, there are Carbon Health and One Medical. Also Mobihealthnews