Vida Health, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based subscription-based app that pairs patients with health coaches, has raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Canvas Ventures, with participation from Nokia Growth and earlier backers Aspect Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
What’s everyone investing in, exactly? Well, a big market for starters. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths every year in the U.S. and account for about $2.5 trillion of the $2.9 trillion that Americans spend in annual medical costs.
Employers signing up for enterprise contracts with Vida are looking to hammer down their own piece of those costs, while also giving their employees an explicit path to taking better care of themselves.
Of course, there’s only so much Vida can do to address these health issues. But its platform currently addresses more than 25 chronic conditions, and CEO Stephanie Tilenius says Vida has already collected numerous stories of users who’ve used the app to reverse the state of their diabetes and hypertension.
If you’re wondering how the whole thing works, it’s fairly simple. HIPAA-compliant Vida culls data from a user’s doctors and his or her health insurance and imports it into its own native apps, then integrates with up to 100 other apps and devices, including the calorie-counting app MyFitnessPal; Garmin and Fitbit, both makers of activity trackers; Strava, the social network for athletes; and the Apple Watch.
Also very much part of the mix: a network of “thousands” of coaches, ranging from nutritionists to therapists, some of whom work on a contract basis with Vida and some of whom are now employed full-time with the company, says Tilenius, who notes that users can access numerous coaches at the same time, as well as switch coaches over time if they like.
Asked how many people are using Vida’s apps — which are sold directly to consumers as well as made accessible to employees through their companies — Tilenius says “tens of thousands of people” have received coaching on the platform and that more than 7 million data points have been collected — information that Vida aims to use to make its products even more effective over time.
As for whether Vida is making more revenue off its direct-to-consumer apps or through its enterprise model, Tilenius declines to say, but she tells us that Vida is getting paid by both employers and insurance companies and that some of its customers include Stanford, Duke University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, United Healthcare and eBay.
Vida has now raised a little more than $28 million altogether. Some of its earlier backers include Jerry Yang, Maynard Webb and Signia Venture Partners.