Here are five notable digital health sponsorship deals this week.
Accelerator behind Airbnb and Instacart invest in digital health company offering GLP-1
Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that helped produce Airbnb and Instacart, led a $2.1 million pre-seed funding round for Alfie Health, a virtual obesity clinic.
Alfie uses an artificial intelligence system to make treatment and behavior change recommendations for patients. Recommendations are reviewed by clinicians, with the company relying on telemedicine visits to monitor patient progress. Treatments prescribed by Alfie clinicians may include common glucagon-like peptide agnostic drugs or GLP-1 drugs.
Some GLP-1 drugs, such as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and diabetes drugs Ozempic and Eli Lilly’s Trulicity, are facing supply shortages. In addition to GLP-1, Alfie’s team prescribes weight loss drugs including phentermine, topiramate, naltrexone, bupropion and metformin, the company said in a press release.
In recent months, a some competitors have begun prescribing GLP-1 via telehealth despite the shortage of these drugs. Payers have taken a cautious approach to handling the growing demand for weight loss pills whose list prices can exceed $13,600 per patient per year.
Along with Y Combinator, investors in this round include Nina Capital, Goodwater Capital and Phoenix Investment Club.
Medicare Advantage-focused startup earns $115 million in funding
Author Health, a startup focused on serving Medicare Advantage members, received $115 million in funding from investors General Atlantic and Flare Capital Partners, the company said Wednesday.
The author provides telehealth and in-person care to Medicare Advantage members with serious mental illness and substance use disorders.
AI Platform Raises $12 Million From Mount Sinai, UCSF, and Others
BeeKeeperAI, a healthcare artificial intelligence company, closed a $12 million Series A round on Tuesday.
Investors include the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of California at San Francisco. BeeKeeperAI spun off from UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation in 2022, and Dr. Michael Blum, former director of digital transformation at UCSF, is the company’s founder and CEO.
BeeKeeperAI can help developers access real-world healthcare data and create AI algorithms in a secure environment. The introduction of big language models in healthcare like OpenAI’s ChatGPT has made this the ideal time for secure computing solutions, Blum said in a statement. The company said it will use the funding to scale the EscrowAI software platform and accelerate commercialization.
Along with Mount Sinai and UCSF, other investors are Sante Ventures, AIX Ventures, Continuum Health Ventures and TA Group Holdings.
Augmedics receives $82.5 million in funding round for AR . spinal surgery tool
The company said it D-chain finance will drive adoption and promote technical advances of its augmented reality surgical navigation system, xvision.
The system overlays CT images of the patient’s spine onto the surgical area while the surgeons are placing the pedicle screws into the vertebrae.
Medical coding startup closes the seed round
AvoMD, a software company focused on medical coding, closed a $5 million seed funding round.
The company’s platform allows clinicians and hospitals to build applications that work for different specialties and care settings. AvoMD integrates with electronic health record software systems. Last September, it announced an integration with Epic.
Early-stage venture capital fund AlleyCorp led the round with backing from Las Olas, Epsilon Health, and MedMountain Ventures. Other investors in the company include Columbia University, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, StartUp Health, and 500 Startups.