Heartbeat Health, a New York City-based startup working on improving heart health and addressing cardiovascular disease, has raised $8.2 million in Series A funding.
The funding was led by .406 Ventures and Optum Ventures, with participation from existing investors Kindred Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Designer Fund, and Max Ventures.
What Heartbeat Health does
Heartbeat Health said it planned to use the funding to support product research and development, including “specific app-based heart care experiences that target high-risk patients.” The money will also be used to fund a national expansion of the company’s digital heart health platform.
Heartbeat Health delivers a virtual cardiovascular care management solution supported by a network of leading providers. It combines health risk assessment data with a cardiology-focused telehealth platform, Heartbeat Health, which connects patients to appropriate diagnostics and clinicians, and tracks ongoing care.
In a statement, the company explained that its approach results in a tailored treatment and care plan for patients across various stages of cardiovascular disease.
In explaining the company’s approach, Jeff Wessler, the Heartbeat Health Chief Executive Officer, said that evolving trends in telemedicine and digital health made cardiovascular disease well-suited for virtual care.
“Heart health is a significant concern for a large portion of the population, but also an area that can be supported by technology for both preventive health and ongoing care management. Our enterprise customers appreciate that we are leading the way in providing a digital-first and patient-centric approach to cardiovascular care,” Wessler said.
The digital-first solution focuses on early risk factor management and disease management to organize the pathway toward heart health, Wessler said.
The digital-first layer allows patients to talk with experts via telemedicine. The experts will then direct them to the appropriate provider, who could either be a preferred Heartbeat partner or not, for in-person care. Through this process patients can avoid inefficiencies and quickly get the care they need, Wessler stated.
So far, the company serves primary care providers, long-term care facilities and employers across the United States. It also manages the care experience for over 10,000 patients.
Payal Divakaran, a partner at 406 Ventures, said they were excited to back Heartbeat Health because “it has developed the first, best and only solution to this problem highlighted by recent cardiovascular studies.” Divakaran said they were also attracted to the startup by the team that Wessler and his co-founders had assembled.
“The statistics on cardiovascular disease are staggering – heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. With many of the challenges of heart health being related to preventable factors, the condition is ripe for high-quality virtual care,” said Divakaran.
Following the fundraising, Divakaran will join the Heartbeat Health Board of Directors.
Heartbeat Health has a digital and clinical hybrid solution, which combines a tech-driven risk assessment with cardiac diagnostics to hone in on patients’ heart problems and determine individualized plans. Its approach is to open health clinics to patients who are at risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments while employing technological innovations.
The high cost of cardiovascular disease
Before the latest fundraising, Heartbeat Health raised $2.5 million, in venture funding. In the past, it has opened two clinics in New York and has plans to open two more soon.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three adults in the U.S. has uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, a dangerous and common condition. It is further estimated that one American dies of cardiovascular disease (CVD) every 38 seconds, which costs the healthcare system more than $329 billion a year.
More than 800,000 people die annually in the U.S from cardiovascular disease, with more than 1.5 million people suffering strokes and heart attacks.
Heartbeat Health estimates that a combined $555 billion has been spent on healthcare costs and lost productivity for heart disease and stroke since 2015.
Want more news about cardiovascular innovation? Read Healthcare Weekly’s interview with Dr. Simon Stertzer.