StartUPDATES: New developments from healthcare startups

Check out news from Harmony Health Foundation, Gratia Health, Pathway, Fortuna Health, and more.

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Harmony Health Foundation has secured a contract with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that marks the start of a journey towards expanding access to healthcare for underserved communities.

The contract opportunity issued by the Tennessee Department of General Services sought partners with specialized expertise in dental technology to provide consultation services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Individuals with I/DD have limited access to preventive dental services, resulting in higher rates of untreated dental conditions and poorer oral health outcomes. An ongoing dental healthcare workforce crisis is exacerbating access to care for the I/DD population, leading to long wait times and challenges to address critical dental needs.

The project has the potential to facilitate preventive care at home for individuals facing barriers to accessing traditional healthcare by using Oral Genome’s point-of-care saliva tests. Harmony Health Foundation will also work with the American Institute of Dental Public Health, a leader in advancing equitable oral health policy, to conduct community-engaged research and workforce education.

“Oral health is critical to the overall health and well-being of all persons, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said DIDD Commissioner Brad Turner.  “I’m hopeful this partnership will empower people with disabilities and their supporters to better manage at-home dental needs with new tools and increase education about the importance of preventative care.”

Harmony Health Foundation is excited about the opportunity to positively impact the oral health and well-being of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee.

Gratia Health, a 25m Health portfolio company, has emerged from stealth with seed funding led by JumpStart Capital, and a contract with strategic partner, ScionHealth, to implement its incentive compensation platform across the health system’s 76 specialty hospitals, according to a press release.

Gratia Health’s tech-enabled employee incentive platform for caregivers who pick up work shifts at the company’s 76 specialty hospitals. Eligible staff can use the tech to find and secure extra shifts while tracking their progress toward pay incentives and status rewards that help caregivers reach personal earnings goals.

25m Health is a thesis-driven healthtech Venture Studio building and investing in new companies in the digital health space with a sharp focus on B2B healthcare IT and B2B2C tech-enabled care delivery.

To read more, click here.

Pathway, an AI-driven medical knowledge platform, has secured $5 million in seed funding to advance its solutions to information overload among healthcare professionals. Pathway creates concise summaries from practice guidance derived from millions of evidence-based sources, helping clinicians stay up-to-date and provide efficient, high-quality care, according to a press release.

Yamaha Motor Ventures led the round, joined by Verge HealthTech Fund, with participation from existing investors Amplify Capital, BoxOne Ventures, and Formentera Capital. The round also received the backing of several physicians who have experienced the benefits and transformative potential of Pathway firsthand, the release said.

Jonathan Hershon, CEO of Pathway said the funding will accelerate the rollout of Pathway’s technology and amplify its reach to clinicians.

To learn more, click here.

Fortuna Health, a consumer-facing platform simplifying Medicaid navigation, has received a seed investment of $4 million led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health with participation from BoxGroup and Y Combinator. The funding accelerates Fortuna’s state expansion and partnerships with managed care organizations (MCOs), health systems, and service providers in the Medicaid space, according to a press release.

Fortuna’s self-serve platform is designed to eliminate the need to interact with state portals and physical forms. It claims to screen for Medicaid eligibility in under 60 seconds with fast enrollment and recertification in more than seven languages. To accelerate application completion, users can connect third-party accounts to populate form fields, photo upload documents, and receive text/email notifications for urgent actions. Fortuna provides additional live support from licensed navigators as needed.

Additionally, several angel investors and advisers took part in the seed round including: Jeff Sachs (CEO, Sachs Policy Group), Cyrus Massoumi (founder, Zocdoc), Jeff Gerard (former President, Sutter Health Bay Area), Elliot Cohen (Founder, PillPack), Iyah and Sylvia Romm (Founder and former Chief Health Officer, Cityblock), Ellen DaSilva (Founder, Summer Health), as well as EGOT winner, entrepreneur, and social advocate John Legend who came into the round through support from a16z’s Cultural Leadership Fund.

To read more, click here.

1910 Genetics, a biotech using with an automated, multimodal AI platform to advance small and large molecule drug discovery, has named Bridget Cole Chief Scientific Officer. Cole previously served as SVP and Head of Chemistry. She will lead the biotech’s scientific research operations, set and advance research priorities, and work closely with 1910’s AI leadership to guide model and platform development with her drug development expertise.

“Our ambition to generate small and large molecule drugs, using a multimodal AI and data-intensive platform, requires a seasoned but progressive drug developer and team leader like Bridget,” said Jen Nwankwo, founder and CEO. “As Chief Scientific Officer, Bridget will take over additional research responsibilities internally and externally, engage directly with partners on scientific R&D, and support our vision to become the next Genentech – a true innovator in advancing modern drug discovery.”

To learn more, click here.

Picture: akindo, Getty Images