StartUPDATES: New developments from healthcare startups

Vector illustration - Startup

Vector illustration - Startup

HealthMine, a technology-enabled member engagement and rewards company focused on empowering members to take the right actions to improve their health, has announced a partnership with ReferWell, a health technology company driving efficient care transitions through the last mile.

This partnership will enhance HealthMine’s member-facing application to include seamless in-app appointment scheduling, closing the most critical gaps in care and rewarding members for healthy actions. Click here to read the full announcement.

Encellin, a personalized regenerative medicine biotech company developing novel cell-based approaches to deliver sustained therapies with a single implant, announced the closing of a $5.9 million seed financing round last week. Khosla Ventures and SV Latam Capital co-led the round with participation from Sandhill Angels and Y Combinator.

The new funding will be used to advance development of its technology platform and programs in hypoglycemia and hypocalcemia. It will also be used to build out the laboratory and expand the team. Encellin will also expand into areas with readily available renewable cell sources and engineered cells, to encapsulate any cellular cargo in products from its proprietary platform.

Encellin builds implantable cell pouches to treat chronic diseases. The technology combines ad novel cell encapsulation technology with functional cell therapies to treat chronic diseases, starting with endocrine disorders. Encellin’s lead programs focus on hypoglycemia, the highest unmet medical need in Type 1 diabetes and hypocalcemia, which affects one-third of dialysis patients.

“This seed financing round led by leading investors, enables us to advance development of our Cell Encapsulation Device in a variety of different indications beginning with chronic endocrine disorders,” said Crystal Nyitray, Ph.D., CEO & Co-Founder, Encellin. “Our team converges the advanced technologies in nano-technology and bioengineering to develop our proprietary Encellin platform which utilizes known biocompatible materials fabricated into nanoporous, soft pouches to support cell function. We look forward to advancing our pipeline focused on endocrine disorders to leverage the power of cells to deliver sustained therapies for patients with a single implant.”

To read more, click here.

Carrum Health has named Pallav Sharda as its Chief Platform Officer to lead the evolution of the company’s technology platform as they expand their provider base and procedures available to self-insured employers. Sharda brings a unique blend of data science, product management and clinical expertise to Carrum Health, the first digital health company connecting employers and employees to Centers of Excellence (COEs) through a technology-powered platform for higher quality and cost-effective surgical care.

“Now is the time to change the way people experience healthcare and I’m thrilled to welcome a leader of Pallav’s caliber to help drive forward our technology platform,” said Sach Jain, CEO and founder of Carrum Health. “With our platform, we have virtualized almost every step of a surgical episode through our patient app, while radically simplifying the adoption of COE programs for employers.”

Prior to joining Carrum Health, Sharda was Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Leader for Google Cloud in addition to working on healthcare projects at X, the R&D division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. He taught graduate-level Medical Informatics courses at Northwestern University. He also held positions as director of Advanced Analytics for Kaiser Permanente and as director of HIE Product Management for UnitedHealth Group.

A trained physician, Sharda earned a Masters in Bioinformatics at Columbia University and spent the early part of his career working in health IT product and engineering management for GE Healthcare. Additionally, he served as the Director of Interoperability and Partnerships at Omnicell, and co-founded health IT startup Dovetail Care Inc.

Hydrogen Health, a joint venture between Anthem and K Health backed by Blackstone, has  added Anthem’s former Chief Client Officer, Brad Kirkpatrick, as as Chief Commercial Officer. The goal of the joint venture is to simplify access to primary care, including chronic, acute, and preventive care.

His brief includes expanding existing partnerships, adding employer and insurance partners, and collaborating on solutions to drive value for employers and health plans.

“Primary care is the cornerstone to improving health and healthcare costs, yet 30-50% of the self-insured employer population has no primary care relationship. Employers want better, digital-first access for employees,” said Kirkpatrick. “It is a corporate imperative to adopt new models for healthcare, and Hydrogen is uniquely positioned to offer the best technology, medical talent, and expertise to introduce much-needed change.”

Prior to Hydrogen, Kirkpatrick served as Chief Client Officer for WebMD.

To read more, click here.

Woebot Health, a health tech company developing digital therapeutics for mental health, hired Kim Goodwin as vice president of user experience. Prior to Woebert Health, Goodwin has served as a consultant to Medtronic, Best Buy and Boeing. She also worked in senior roles at PatientsLikeMe and with strategy and design firm Cooper.

The hire follows the company’s $90 million Series B funding round last month, which it stated would to accelerate development of its platform and technologies, advance its lead digital therapeutic candidates, and expand its team and go-to-market activities.  Woebot also received breakthrough device designation for its digital therapeutic designed to treat postpartum depression.

To read more, click here.

Picture: akindo, Getty Images

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