Health IT

Smartphone app that assesses behavioral health raises $6.5M

A health IT startup that got its start evaluating college students behavior based on their smartphone use has raised $6.5 million, according to a company statement.

The San Francisco behavior analytics firm Ginger.io co-founder and CEO Anmol Madan said the company would use the investment to help it scale up its team and product. True Ventures and Khosla Ventures  led the series A round. Romulus Capital also participated in the round. The company is a spinout from the MIT Media Lab.

Behavioral health has become an area of interest for companies developing apps not only to address mental health issues in and of themselves, but because depression  is closely associated with chronic illnesses and can have a negative impact on adherence to treatment regimens. The company is looking at how its analytics platform can be applied across conditions like depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is seeking to show that it can reduce costs and improve the quality of care.

Earlier this year, Ginger.io acquired Pipette, a graduate of health IT accelerator Rock Health. The company uses a remote health-monitoring platform to help payers and providers track a patient’s recovery after leaving the hospital. Its tool asks discharged patients questions to assess how they are feeling, offers reminders and tips, and resources to encourage healthy behavior with the goal of avoiding unnecessary readmission. Hospitals are being fined for readmission rates for certain conditions that exceed the national average.

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