Investment Round led by Boehringer Ingelheim and yabeo - DaVita, and others will help drive care plan adherence for high-risk patient populations
New York, May 12, 2020 - Wellth, a platform designed to improve treatment adherence using behavioral economics, announced today that it has closed $10M in Series A funding. Existing investors yabeo and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) co-led the funding round with participation from returning investors AXA Venture Partners, New York Life Ventures, NFP Ventures and I2BF Global Ventures, and new investors Rock Health and DaVita Venture Group. With 85% quarter-on-quarter and 403% year-on-year enrollment growth in Q1 2020, Wellth plans to use this new capital to support rapid scaling to address larger and broader populations of patients.
Failure to comply with prescribed care plans is one of the costliest problems in healthcare, leading to diminished health outcomes and increased care utilization. In the U.S. alone, half of patients with chronic conditions do not adhere to their medications, resulting in $300B of preventable costs to the healthcare system a year. This problem is only getting worse, with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and COPD becoming more prevalent every year. While others have tried to boost adherence with technology, reminders, and coaching solutions, Wellth is a pioneer in applying the concepts of behavioral economics to create motivation and improve population health at scale.
Wellth members receive financial incentives, nudges, and behavioral reinforcements to establish healthy, lasting habits. Once enrolled, members use Wellth's platform to submit scheduled check-ins aligning with their care plans. Check-ins, typically completed daily, require users to submit a picture of their target behavior at a set time (e.g., medications placed in the palm of their hand, glucometer or blood pressure cuff readings). These check-ins are immediately processed by Wellth's AI technology for verification, and insights can be relayed directly to care teams. Members get a fun, easy, motivating experience along with instant gratification in keeping their endowed daily amount, which they "cash out" at milestone intervals throughout the duration of their program.
While patients usually intend to adhere to care plans and build healthier habits, the complexity of human motivation all too often stands in the way. By bridging the intent-to-behavior gap with frequent financial rewards for completing an action, Wellth has demonstrated the ability to create long-lasting results. Even when selecting for previously nonadherent patient populations, Wellth members demonstrate 89%+ average care plan adherence over a 12-month period, generating a 2-6X ROI to Wellth's customers. These shifts in behavior change have resulted in significant improvements to clinical and financial outcomes. By utilizing the Wellth platform, customers have seen results such as a 45% reduction in readmission rate after heart attacks, a 92% decrease in avoidable emergency department visits, and a 1.3 reduction in HbA1c levels amongst high-risk diabetics. Wellth's customers have also achieved a Member NPS of 88. To date, Wellth has predominantly focused on underserved and complex patient populations that tend to have the highest nonadherence rates and make up 80% or more of health care costs within a population.
"Our mission has always been to seek out and support the patient populations that need help the most," said Wellth CEO and Co-founder Matthew Loper. "The current coronavirus pandemic has further increased the need to support the health of vulnerable populations remotely with digital tools. It is crucial for our customers to help vulnerable populations control their disease states outside of in-person care settings as much as possible, and for our members to have additional financial support through their earned Wellth rewards in this particularly challenging time."
As part of the Series A round, yabeo's Dr. Gerrit Seidel will join Wellth's Board of Directors as the new Chairman of Wellth. "Patients' daily behaviors are what determine outcomes," said Dr. Seidel. "Wellth's ability to change these behaviors is a win for everyone- including providers, health plans, biopharma, and patients alike. Moreover, its unique platform is scalable across clinical conditions and brings greater financial security to vulnerable populations when they need it most. I am excited to help the team achieve their goal of becoming one of the most important companies in healthcare."
Wellth works closely with strategic investors to expand its platform to new use cases. In 2019, Wellth partnered with AXA Equitable to launch a first-of-its-kind life insurance product that rewards patients with diabetes with premium savings for better disease control. Wellth is also currently partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring value-based collaborations to the market between payers, providers, and biopharma with the goal of increasing medication adherence to reduce costs associated with poorly managed chronic conditions. Dr. Debbie Lin, Executive Director of Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and a Board member of Wellth, said "We are very excited to see the progress Wellth has made in employing digital health innovation to finally align the interests of biopharma, payers, providers, and patients alike."
Wellth is delighted to now partner with DaVita around a shared ambition to serve the high-risk, high-need patient population from chronic kidney disease through transplantation. Dialysis patients are often prescribed an average of 11 daily medications, multiple dialysis sessions per week, and stringent nutritional guidelines. "DaVita Venture Group's investment in Wellth continues our commitment to caring for the whole health of our kidney disease patients, who must navigate complex care plans" said Steve Phillips, vice president of DaVita Venture Group. "Wellth's platform has the potential to enable new models of patient engagement and drive further transformation for the 200,000 patients we serve."
Wellth is a digital behavior change company that creates de novo motivation in the highest-risk, least engaged segment of the chronic disease population. Powered by a behavioral economics engine paired with an intuitive, consumer-grade smartphone experience designed to motivate and delight, Wellth rewards members with daily financial incentives for verifying adherence to prescribed care plan. The company's mission is to ensure the adoption and success of value-based care by helping insurers and risk-bearing healthcare providers better understand their populations, improve customer health, and lower costs. The Wellth Advisory Board includes healthcare thought-leaders and industry experts such as Dr. Mark Fendrick, a professor at the University of Michigan who is widely viewed as a creator of value-based care, Larry Hausner, former head of the American Diabetes Association and Michael Laskoff, former CEO and Co-founder of behavior change company AlbeTo.
Further information is available at www.wellthapp.com
yabeo is a venture investment and advisory firm that invests in the early stages of technology companies and develops them sustainably. yabeo's success lies in growing companies, scaling organizations and rolling out new technologies. yabeo currently manages assets under management of more than EUR 100 million across all investment platforms. The wealth of experience from previous investments, growth experience and know-how, including from the existing impact portfolio, is now to be transferred significantly to yabeo Impact Investing. The aim is to invest in early-stage technology-driven companies that drive change in their segment by redefining the rules of the game using new technology and innovative business models, thereby creating both a financial return and a social or environmental impact.
Further information is available at www.yabeo.de
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