News Feature | May 26, 2015

mHealth Is A Focus Of Venture Capital Funding

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

mHealth Is A Focus Of Venture Capital Funding

mHealth has held the attention of venture capitalists in big ways.

The first quarter of 2015 has proven to yield a big focus on IT and digital health companies, according to Today’s Medical Developments, with a total investment of $784 million. Of that, mHealth companies made up 36 percent of total funding and received the largest share among consumer-focused companies (65 percent) with $282 million and 56 deals (compared to $284 million and 41 deals in Q4 of 2014). This is in the face of funding decreasing across all tech groups this quarter. mHealth was the only area that did not experience a significant decline.

FDA Action
It is possible the durability of mHealth is at least partly tied to the FDA releasing the final guidance on mobile medical apps, giving investors a better understanding of what they can expect in the market, especially since the guidance reflected a generally laissez-faire attitude around regulation.

The Leaders
Apps focused on care (diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, cardiac issues, chronic disease care, medication tracking, etc.) came in at number one, with apps focused on fitness, wellness, or nutrition coming in second.

Regarding individual companies and their products, highlights include:

  • Advance Health: A mobile patient data capture app for managed care providers. The company was awarded $40 million by Summit Partners and Noro-Moseley Partners.
  • ClassPass: A mobile membership app that functions as an access point to unlimited fitness and wellness classes across multiple gyms and studios. The company received $40 million from General Catalyst and Thrive Capital.
  • Clinical Ink: A mobile point-of-care data capture app for clinical trials. They raised $20 million from MPM Capital, F2 Ventures, FCA Venture Partners, and other investors
  • Glooko: A provider of a mobile diabetes management app (FDA-cleared) and a metersync device. The company received $16.5 million from Medtronic, Canaan Partners, The Social + Capital Partnership, and the venture investment arm of Samsung.
  • Noom: A health and fitness app. The company raised $16.5 million from Han-Sing Hi-Tech Fund, TransLink Capital, and RRE Ventures.

Wearables were also worth noting, with sensor companies logging $42 million across nine deals. The technologies funded included neckwear,implantable and disposable sensors,patches, and bands. One of the largest featured was Orthosensor, a company that’s developed sensor-based disposable orthopedic implants designed to help surgeons better place artificial knees and make other clinical decisions.

mHealth innovations also included a Bluetooth glucometer, a wireless thermometer and a wireless ECG.