January 25, 2023
Happy Hump Day, Health Tech readers!
👩⚕️ Situational awareness: More health providers are charging patients for responses to emailed queries, raising thorny questions about reimbursement, Axios Vitals reports.
1 big thing: Mighty Health seeds $7.6M
Mighty Health wants to keep seniors healthy and connected through proprietary coaching and exercise programs.
Why it matters: Mighty raised $7.6 million in a second seed round co-led by Will Ventures and GFT Ventures, CEO James Li tells Erin exclusively.
- AARP, Mercury CEO Immad Akhund, Hyper, Baselayer Ventures and Z Venture Capital joined the round.
- The San Francisco-based company will use the capital to expand its strategic partnerships and launch chronic disease programs.
How it works: Mighty partners with commercial health plans including Medicare Advantage to offer adults over age 50 a free daily health program that includes low-impact workouts, custom nutrition plans and text-based health coaching.
- "We help those partners fill a gap where most of their gyms and fitness solutions are oriented towards a younger population," Li says.
- Other Mighty partners include Gympass and Forma, who offer the service free of charge to their employees.
- All of Mighty's coaches are employees who are board-certified and trained in the company's methodology.
- GFT Ventures managing partner Jay Eum called the approach "a breath of fresh air" for older adults looking for an alternative to traditional gym programs or weight loss apps.
Of note: A Mighty-sponsored preprint study in JMIR found that out of 166 participants, 89% endorsed feeling healthier since starting the program, and 78% reported mobility improvement.
- Participants also lost an average of 11 pounds, and chronic disease participants reported positive outcomes such as lower A1C levels and improved blood pressure.
By the numbers: The company has served 200,000 customers to date.
- Li says most of its customers are women and that many come from rural areas with little or no access to high-speed internet.
State of play: The meteoric rise of Medicare Advantage plans and an aging elder population have made tools like those offered by Mighty increasingly popular. But while most competitors offer help navigating existing benefits, Mighty offers its own coaching and exercise tools.
- Medicare navigation startup Spark Advisors this week got $15 million in Series A capital.
- Senior insurance navigator Fair Square Medicare in August garnered $15 million in Series A funding.
- Soda Health, a company focused on the Medicare Advantage and Medicaid markets, in September collected $25 million in Series A funds.
The backstory: Li started Mighty after his father struggled to find appropriate health guidance after having emergency open-heart surgery.
- "My dad relied on me as a kind of ad-hoc health coach, asking me things like 'Am I allowed to do this? What should I be eating?'" Li says.