The Quantified Self movement has grown increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious geeks, who eagerly track their workouts and routines with smart wristbands and watches, collecting their health data in dashboards and mobile apps. However, health nuts with two-percent body fat notwithstanding, the majority of Americans are probably more familiar with health-tracking in a different context: The devices and services that help them stay on top of their chronic conditions, whether that be diabetes, hyper tension, weight management or heart disease.
Founded in 2010, Boston-based Healthrageous has developed a platform that helps individuals, employers, health providers and everyone in between, to prevent and manage chronic health conditions. The startup’s platform collects biometric data from users various health-tracking devices, which it combines with information on their personal preferences to assist in setting goals, action plans and to help them overcome their chronic conditions.
To support the development of its digital health management platform, Healthrageous announced today that it has raised $6.5 million in series B financing from North Bridge Venture Partners, Long River Ventures and Egan-Managed Capital. The startup’s second round, which brings total investment to over $15 million, will be used to help it scale more effectively through integrating further with APIs from fitness tracking devices, for example, as well as to improve upon its current analytics offerings and machine learning capabilities.
The startup’s goal is to become a device-agnostic platform that helps the average American track and monitor their health and chronic conditions, while creating a game-ified and personalized user experience that works to keep users engaged with their health and progressing towards more health behaviors and lifestyles.
After signing up for the platform, Healthrageous identifies whether or not the user is at risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, etc. At which point users design their own health plans and set personal goals that they can work towards in pursuit of healthy living. The platform then monitors incoming data from users’ glucose monitors, stress readers and so on, sending personalized notifications (like “time to take your insulin!”) and providing updated guidance as they progress through days, meet goals, and drop those extra pounds.
Healthrageous’ personalization technology allows its “virtual coach” to deliver relevant and timely support, taking into account your own personal goals, behaviors, serving those custom messages based on when and how you want to engage with the platform. With biometric information flowing in from your devices, the platform lets you view the aggregate data in visualizations that make it easy to identify connections between activities and habits and the impact those have on, say, your blood pressure.
Depending on what strategy works best for you, Healthrageous offers the ability to tailor recognition and incentive programs — maybe it’s cash that keeps you on a healthy trajectory, or competing with your colleagues and friends. Again, the idea is to find the best ways to keep you engaged with the often painful process of improving your health (and chronic conditions).
This is the same motivation behind employing machine learning algorithms, which — with enough aggregate data from all of its users — allow Healthrageous to identify patterns of success in the community and serve you recommendations or notifications accordingly.
While there’s still a lot left to be done in terms of beefing up interactive data presentation, visualizations and integrations, it’s easy to see the potential value proposition here. Users can personalize the way in which they make behavioral and lifestyle changes, with that personalization presumably bringing a greater sense of control and increased engagement with how they approach their health. That, in turn, leads to reduced utilization for health plans, lower hospital readmission rates and medication adherence for pharma companies.
Simplified, you can see there is some nuance missing, and it remains to be seen whether the startup has found the optimal way to encourage increased engagement with health outcomes. It’s something that a huge number of companies have tried to do with varying degrees of success for years. Weight Watchers is one that comes to mind.
In terms of startups, this is, generally speaking, the same problem Zipongo is attacking, although its approach is more focused on healthy eating — and diet as the most-overlooked source of disappointing health outcomes. And perhaps Notch could find a way to work its way into Healthrageous’ data visualizations.
For more, find Healthrageous at home here.