A Baltimore-based health IT startup that initially rolled out its product for diabetes care in Maryland closed on $22 million in financing, and is looking to scale nationally.
WellDoc’s Series B was led by Samsung Ventures, and existing investor Merck Global Health Innovation Fund was a co-lead. Also participating in the round was Adage Capital Management, Excel Venture Management, Alexandria Venture Investments and Hudson River Capital Partners.
The company, which has offices near Penn Station, plans to use the money for further development of its product, BlueStar. The mobile app helps doctors and patients manage Type 2 diabetes. For patients, it’s designed to encourage self-management by providing motivation, education and behavioral coaching in real-time. Along with monitoring adherence to medication needs and glucose, the app is also integrated with Samsung’s S Health to help track general lifestyle concerns — like eating habits, sleep and physical activity. The app is FDA-approved, and must be prescribed for use.
Following a $20 million Series A last year, BlueStar initially rolled out the app regionally, including in Maryland. Nearly 500 doctors prescribed the app, which was 55 percent of the physicians the company targeted, said CEO Kevin McRaith. Among other things, the company used data to inform the app’s predictive analytics, and found that patients over 60 had the highest usage rate.
“We were able to learn so many lessons,” McRaith said.
Separately, the app was also prescribed to 300 patients in the Canadian province of Ontario, which is known as a center for diabetes treatment.
With the new funding, McRaith said the company will turn its focus toward increasing awareness of the product beyond the region. The new capital, he said, “allows us to scale on a national basis.” He said talks were ongoing about the best strategy.
With the increased reach, McRaith said the company would need to make “key additional hires,” but added that he wants the company to “stay small, nimble and flexible as an organization.” WellDoc currently has 25 employees in Baltimore, and another 30 in Bangalore, India.
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