Health, Wellness & Biotech

Laguna Health Tackles Post-Hospital Recovery With $6.6M Seed

Laguna Health officially launched Wednesday with $6.6 million in seed funding to continue developing its post-hospital recovery platform that provides value-based care aimed at reducing costly readmissions and shortening recovery times.

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Pitango HealthTech and LionBird co-led the funding round for Laguna’s first institutional round, with participation from Assaf Wand and Josh Riff.

Yoni Shtein and Yael Adam founded the company in 2020 with bases in both the United States and Israel. Laguna Health is using data, digital care tools and behavioral health interventions to reduce negative outcomes that can lead people back to the hospital.

“I’ve been through multiple experiences and lost a loved one to post-hospital recovery,” Shtein told Crunchbase News. “As COVID hit and hospitals evolved into digital and telehealth, this issue came to mind. We began looking closely at what post-hospital recovery would look like, and it looked terrible for working-age people.”

More than 80 percent of people of working age are discharged from the hospital to self-care at home, and more than a third of those patients ended up back at the hospital, according to research published by SBActuaries and Laguna Health. Other research shows that 50 percent of readmission cases are preventable.

Shtein said employers end up paying some $80 billion in unexpected post-hospital recovery costs as a result of readmissions. Laguna Health is working to revamp the packet of discharge papers patients receive and the infrequent phone calls from hospital staff into value-based care management. Its platform provides a fully digital and personalized recovery approach that includes interactions with live expert recovery coaches via text, telephone or video. The post care is also refined as the patient heals.

Shtein intends to use the new funding to build out Laguna Health’s clinical and operations teams in the U.S. and Israel. The company is also negotiating with a large medical complex and will be adding to its headcount in both data techs and behavioral health.

In the first three months after going live, Laguna Health’s engagement with the platform was 3.9x higher than average engagement at discharge, Shtein said.

Guy Ezekiel, general partner at Pitango Venture Capital, said in an interview that it is rare to find a company taking on this area holistically.

“They are using data to solve big pain points and are thinking about this in a different way,” Ezekiel said. “Yoni comes from fintech and Yael comes from health care, and that combination of DNA in the founders makes them special and unique, as is their enthusiasm and thoughtfulness.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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