K Health, a primary care consultant powered by artificial intelligence, announced this morning it has raised a $48 million Series C round.
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14W and Mangrove Capital Partners led the financing. Lerer Hippeau, Anthem, Primary Ventures and others also participated, bringing the company’s total funding to $97 million since its November 2016 inception.
New York-based K Health has developed an app that uses AI and anonymized health records to augment the diagnoses of health problems. It claims to be the first startup to use true AI in consumer health at the primary care level, as Holden Page wrote at the time of the startup’s $12.5 million Series A. The company launched its consumer product in mid-2018.
How it works
K Health works by leveraging AI-driven health data that was accumulated over two decades by tracking billions of anonymized health events. (That data was collected by Maccabi, the second-largest HMO in Israel.) K Health has taken that data to create a predictive model aimed at enabling people to learn more about their health by comparing themselves to other people with similar characteristics such as gender, age, symptoms and medical history.
Users can chat with a licensed doctor for a diagnosis and prescription for $14 for a consultation, or $39 for an annual subscription, according to co-founder and CEO Allon Bloch.
“K uses technology to reduce barriers to quality primary care,” he said. “Our users are able to get instant answers about their symptoms and chat with a doctor within minutes, all for 90 percent less than the cost of traditional primary care practices.”
With K Health, people can get a more reliable and accurate way to have an initial understanding of what they might have in addition to which drugs other people with a similar history took, Bloch explained.
K is available in all 50 states, and K Primary Care, the option to chat with a doctor, is available in 47 states, covering 300 million people.
The company seems to be growing quickly. Bloch said it recently saw its 3 millionth user after reaching 1 million in June 2019 and 2 million in November 2019. K Health also now employs 200 people, which is up from about 80 one year ago.
Bloch declined to comment on growth metrics such as revenue or profitability.
K Health will use the latest capital infusion to scale its model and move primary care to mobile devices in an effort to improve access to health care on a global scale.
As part of that, K Health is making its app available in Spanish and plans to introduce it in additional languages “within weeks.”
Recently, K Health partnered with insurance giant Anthem (also an investor) to provide access to its more than 40 million members. Looking ahead, the company is also eyeing a global expansion “to strategically important countries.”
“This new funding will enable us to bring easy and affordable primary care to people in more languages and geographies,” Bloch said. “We will also be expanding the scope of what our primary care platform can diagnose and treat to include more chronic condition management services, pediatrics, and more.”
For, Mark Tluszcz, founder and CEO of Mangrove Capital Partners, “free quality health information is a promise no one has been able to deliver on until K Health entered the market.
“K’s efforts to provide the most precise and relevant medical information along with 24/7 medical care and doctor conversations … underscores the need for better healthcare realities for people struggling to afford care and the medical community challenged by a lack of doctor accessibility,” he said in a written statement.
In general, we’ve seen a rise in digital health startups. Recently, I wrote about Hinge Health, a digital physical therapy company focused on chronic musculoskeletal conditions, closing on a $90 million Series C round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Last week, I also covered Q Bio, a digital health platform, emerging from stealth with a $40 million round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias