Health, Wellness & Biotech

Exclusive: Harmonize Brings In $10M Series A To Monitor High-risk Patients Remotely

A $10 million Series A round of funding is enabling San Francisco-based Harmonize to further develop its artificial intelligence-based remote health tool already proven to reduce emergency room visits among elderly, high-risk patient populations by 30 percent.

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Launchpad Digital Health led the round and was joined by Stanford University and Gaingels, as well as existing investors Trinity Ventures and Liquid 2. The new funding gives Harmonize a total of $13.75 million raised since it was founded in 2019, according to company CEO Frank Han. This includes a $3.75 million seed round raised in August 2019.

Harmonize is targeting the more than 40 million Americans over 65 years old that have chronic illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, depression and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This population is hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of adults 45 to 64 years old.

Dr. Riya Pulicharam, co-founder and president, started the company with Kevin Zhao after spending 20 years as a physician and seeing firsthand the difficulty of treating patients with chronic health conditions.

“When a patient has multiple chronic diseases, social determinant factors and they are elderly, we realized we needed solutions so they can access meaningful health care from their home when they need it most, and technology was one of those solutions,” Pulicharam told Crunchbase News. “These are human beings, and our mission is changing the delivery model for high-risk elderly patients.”

How it works

The company is already working with organizations, such as Intermountain Healthcare and Choice Physicians Network, to intervene with patients before an ER visit is needed. Its software plus services tool connects high-risk elderly patients with their providers for effective remote monitoring and care delivery from home.

Patients use Harmonize-provided devices to measure their own vitals, and the Harmonize app on their mobile device wirelessly captures and transmits the vitals to their provider. The platform alerts medical staff if a patient requires attention, which enables the doctor to quickly make medical decisions.

The seed round in 2019 was to prove product market fit, while 2020 was spent proving the efficacy of Pulicharam’s hypothesis around reduction of ER visits and hospitalization. In fact, use of Harmonize led to a 30 percent reduction in emergency room visits and hospital admissions for patients, Han said.

“Usually risk-bearing entities are good with 18 to 20 percent reduction,” Pulicharam added. “We are able to show 30, almost 40 percent, so the chief medical officer and population health organizations are paying attention to that.”

The Series A dollars will go toward the company’s rapid expansion nationwide and to attract more medical groups involved in value-based care. Harmonize saw 500 percent revenue growth in 2020, and Han expects similar growth in 2021 as more chief medical officers are eager to try Harmonize.

What investors have to say

Ted Ridgway, co-founder of Launchpad Digital Health, said in an interview that the firm set up its fund eight years ago and remote health monitoring is a consistent theme.

The global pandemic raised awareness of treating patients outside of the doctor’s office and the hospital, and remote technology is enabling people to remain in their homes where clinical outcomes are often better as the person is more comfortable, he said.

Although there are 20 or more startups in the space, Ridgway found Harmonize to be unique in its approach to having a clinical pathway and knowledge on how particular diseases should be managed.

“We are going to see more patients covered by remote technologies,” he added. “There are a lot of patient conditions that require regular monitoring, and that can be done in an outpatient setting and still give great results.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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