Health Tech, Startups

Evidation plans to launch virtual health programs with $153M in new funding

Evidation, launched as a research app where people can opt into virtual clinical trials, now plans to offer digital health programs. The company recently raised $153 million in new funding. 

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Evidation had drummed up partnerships with several large biopharma companies to help them gain evidence about their treatments. But now, the company is turning back to its original vision for the business: using that information to help people manage their health.

San Mateo-based Evidation got its start in 2012 as a platform that rewarded users for tracking their steps, diet and participating in clinical trials. Users consent to participate in each trial or program, and in some cases can receive a monetary reward.

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For example, the startup helped launch Johnson & Johnson’s Heartline study to test if an Apple Watch feature could reduce users’ stroke risk. Evidation claims it has more than 4 million users on its platform.

Now, Evidation is looking to structure its programs in such a way that patients can reap the benefits of this information by sharing it with their doctor or getting suggestions on what to do next, co-CEO and President Christine Lemke said in a phone interview.

“The next chapter of the company isn’t really a pivot. It’s an extension of, we’ve been studying these measures for years. We understand what they can and can’t do,” she said. “We hope to return these measures to patients and physicians to have more productive conversations in their health journey.”

For example, the startup recently launched an initiative with the American College of Cardiology to help people monitor their heart health in between visits. Users who opt into the program can share their activity, sleep, blood pressure and symptom data, and receive educational content on heart medications, nutrition and stress management.

It also struck a partnership with the government of Singapore to offer LumiHealth, an app that “gamifies” certain health and fitness goals using the Apple Watch.

Lemke clarified that Evidation isn’t necessarily looking to build its own digital health programs, but rather partnering with others. As with its platform for clinical trials, patients must provide their informed consent every time someone wants to access their health data.

“We wanted to make sure the measures we returned to individuals really mattered to physicians,” Lemke said. “We learned to contextualize them really well to make those discussions with physicians a lot richer and more productive than they otherwise would be.”

To fuel that effort, the startup recently closed a $153 million series E round led by Omers Growth Equity and Kaiser Permanente Group Trust. Omers Managing Director Teresa Lee will join the company’s board.

Lemke said the funding was a big milestone for the company.

“We see a moment in the market where everything is accelerating and we’re going to accelerate too,” she said. “Sometimes that will mean inorganic growth as well as investments to grow our teams and programs internally.”

Photo credit: diego_cervo, Getty Images