Belong.Life, the creator of a social media app that connects cancer patients, has closed a $14 million Series B financing round led by analytics and technology solutions firm, IQVIA.
In a statement, the U.S. and Israeli based Belong.Life said the other notable participant in the financing round was The Group Ventures, other existing investors also participated.
IQVIA Senior Vice President, Global Technology Solutions, Tal Rosenberg said the investment in Belong.Life was part of their strategy to identify and accelerate disruptive technologies that can improve healthcare.
“Through its unique patient engagement platform with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, Belong can utilize and complement IQVIA’s solutions to transform patient engagement. We are thrilled to work with Belong as they help transition patient engagement from transactions to experiences – giving their customers the type of engagement they want,” Rosenberg said.
This brings the amount of money that Belong.Life has raised to $19 million, following a Series A financing round that brought in $5 million.
Advance and expand
The startup has built a mobile app, Belong – Beating Cancer Together, described as the world’s largest social network and navigator app for cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Belong.Life said it will use its new funds to “advance and expand” the app.
Belong.Life says it has more than 200,000 users in 105 countries on its platform.
The company, founded in 2015, is also investing in a new platform, known as the Belong Patient Engagement Platform (PEP). It is designed to improve patient engagement, education, compliance and satisfaction. The startup further said PEP was an end-to-end solution, providing patients, payers, providers, and life science companies with hyper-personalized and configurable patient engagement tools, navigation and management services.
Belong.Life co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eliran Malki said they were “focused on building the most robust, hyper-personalized and configurable patient engagement and research platform. Starting with Belong – beating cancer together, we quickly grew to become the world’s largest social network and patient navigator app for cancer, collaborating with leading and disruptive researchers and publications in the market. Now, in addition to increasing our global cancer reach, Belong will bring its capabilities and expertise to additional diseases and stakeholders, to achieve the vision we established at the very beginning.”
How the app works
The VentureBeat website explained that Belong.Life offers a free mobile app enabling cancer patients and their loved ones to explore and better manage treatment. The app offers a suite of configurable tools and services powered by machine learning, is able to connect and send clinical information in a HIPAA-compliant fashion, and allows users, payers, providers, and life science companies to anonymously discuss and analyze condition-related issues .
The app’s algorithms also recommend content and updates and automatically selects communities and professionals relevant to particular cancer types.
The company’s strategy is based on the premise that healthcare is increasingly becoming patient centric, with a dual focus on engagement and a better user experience.
In an earlier statement, Belong.Life’s CTO, Irad Deutsch said that with this focus, they realised that engaging patients came with many challenges and regulations, that also involve user acquisition and retention and the creation of educational content. He said the company’s PEP solution can “effectively answer many of these challenges, helping to lower the risk of failure, while increasing the organization’s value and ROI (return on investment) dramatically.”
Belong.Life’s app, which the company describes as a “GPS for cancer patients” allows users to chat with oncologists, radiologists, researchers and nurses who answer your questions. It also organizes and manages patients’ documents so that these can be shared with family and medical professionals.
The company has partnerships with top patient advocacy associations such as the American Cancer Society, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer Canada. It also conducts research, collaborates with leading universities and has published research with The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and other organizations.
Malki, together with Irad Deutsch and Ohad Rubin founded Belong.Life in 2015 after each lost relatives to cancer.