Pandemic prompts launch of new $75M US telemedicine fund from Swiftarc Ventures

New York-based venture fund Swiftarc Ventures is launching a new fund dubbed Swiftarc Telehealth to take advantage of the boom in Telehealth-focused startups which have emerged, partly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $75 million fund will focus on three initial areas: obesity, mental & behavioral health, and pediatrics. It will also look at startups in remote patient monitoring, chronic care management and in-home evaluations.

The timing is good. It’s estimated that over 10 years’ worth of telehealth legislation was pushed forward in the U.S. in less than three months, and more than three-fourths of the U.S. population has now utilized some form of telemedicine. The continued reimbursement support of virtual visits in the field of psychiatry and mental health is also looking like an area of expansion. In obesity care, Swiftcare says dietitians, clinicians and primary care physicians being able to communicate with each other on a platform is likely to be an opportunity for tech startups.

Swiftarc will also draw on the expertise of medical experts including Sloan Saunders, co-founder, and CEO of Intellihealth, and Dr. Paul Bedocs, a leading dermatologist, as members of the Swiftarc Medical Advisory board.

Sid Jawahar founder and managing partner of Swiftarc Ventures, said: “We feel good about participating in areas of healthcare that have been historically underserved. Being curious, impactful and deliberate are the three core tenets with which we began. Our goal is to fundamentally disrupt standard, antiquated healthcare delivery models and to find innovative solutions to improve access to high-quality care, ultimately reshaping the patient healthcare experience forever.”

Swiftarc believes that this platform-based telemedicine approach may well help control other related and serious health conditions like diabetes and hypertension at pre-onset stage.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Jawahar added: “We had not really been participating directly in healthcare deals, which all changed when we saw telehealth becoming the next frontier. That led to a really deep, exhaustive 14-month study of the industry. We really wanted to roll up our sleeves and talk to the folks that had been in it for a long time. There’s a lot of really interesting fragmented activity in telehealth. We looked at 15 health centers, everything from cardiology to neurology to dermatology to see how virtual care would fundamentally augment how healthcare was being performed. And where we landed was on these three use cases we thought were the most efficacious today: mental health, obesity, and pediatrics.”