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Exclusive: Virtual cardiology clinic Ventricle Health pumps $8M seed

Illustration of an EKG line coming out of a heart shape.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Virtual cardiology care network Ventricle Health closed $8 million in seed funding, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: In the U.S., 1 in 4 will develop heart failure — and without guideline-directed medical therapy, the two-year mortality rate for those patients is estimated at 35%.

Details: The round was led by RA Capital Management alongside Waterline Ventures.

  • Proceeds will go toward building out a network of pharmacists, nurses, clinicians and cardiologists, CEO Sean O'Donnell says.

How it works: Ventricle Health's heart failure management therapeutic model collaborates with value-based care provider groups and payors, founder Daniel Bensimhon says.

  • The company's care model is anchored around well-established guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) pathways, using a combination of up to four medications.
  • The platform provides patients access to cardiology care appointments from their homes in as little as three days.
  • "It takes three months to see a cardiologist on average," says Bensimhon. "And only 10%-15% of patients are on full guideline-directed medical therapy.
  • Ventricle Health's home-based and virtually enabled care model is designed to reduce the overall average annual cost of heart failure care by at least 30-50%, according to Bensimhon.

What's next: The runway for the funding is dependent on the market opportunity and demand, O'Donnell says.

  • "We will need to bring in capital at some point to continue to fuel the growth," he says.
  • "We are having direct discussions with national carriers and large value-based management services, as well as looking into Medicare-related risk in their populations," he adds.

What they're saying: "One thing we liked about the company is that they are providing a full solution for patients, providers and payers that overlays on top of existing infrastructure and it is highly scaleable," says Anurag Kondapalli, principal at RA Capital.

  • "They want to improve the health equity," and it frees up the physicians, allowing them to practice at the top of their licenses, Kondapalli says.
  • "We are in the early innings of VBC in cardio and we see a long runway," he adds.

The big picture: Many cardiology patients are on the wrong treatment modality, says Bensimhon.

  • This is also compounded by downward pressure on the industry like a lack of clinicians and a dearth of updated technology.

ğŸŽ¸ 🏋️‍♂️ 1 fun thing: Bensimhon was a writer and editor for Men's Health and a writer at Rolling Stone before going to medical school to become a cardiologist.

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