Company to scale FDA-cleared digital therapeutic to tackle $100 billion cost of treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Madison, WI & Wayne, PA, – September 4, 2014 – Propeller Health, the FDA-cleared digital health solution for chronic respiratory disease, today announced that it raised $14.5 million in Series B financing, led by Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) with participation from Series A investor The Social+Capital Partnership. Propeller Health will use the funding to accelerate product development, strategic alliances, client services, sales and marketing.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) currently cost payers and patients in the United States over $100 billion annually. By 2020, the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention estimates that the cost of medical care for adults in the U.S. with COPD alone will increase 53 percent to more than $90 billion.
Propeller is a digital therapeutic designed to help patients and their physicians better understand and control COPD, asthma and other respiratory disease, reducing preventable emergency room visits, hospitalizations and unnecessary suffering. With a novel combination of sensors, mobile apps, analytics and personalized feedback, the system encourages adherence to maintenance therapy and remotely monitors use of rescue medications to predict exacerbations and facilitate early intervention by care teams.
In the last year, Propeller Health doubled its number of commercial programs and added its first contract with an accountable care organization. In addition, the company recently received FDA clearance for a new inhaler sensor and is concluding a 500-person randomized control trial at Dignity Health. Propeller Health also released a version of the app for people with COPD and major updates to its physician dashboards, adherence programs and predictive algorithms.
“Propeller delivers a new approach to chronic respiratory disease, long known for burdensome self management and persistently high rates of preventable healthcare utilization. In the last year, individuals, physicians and healthcare organizations have increasingly recognized the therapeutic potential of digital tools for improving adherence and outcomes,” said David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Propeller Health. “We’re fortunate to have the backing of partners with expertise in scaling enterprise and consumer digital health solutions. Together we aim to change the day-to-day life of people with chronic respiratory disease and the physicians who care for them.”
“Propeller Health’s platform generates meaningful and tangible value for patients, as well as for all other parties in the healthcare value chain including payers, providers and pharmaceutical companies,” said Gary J. Kurtzman, M.D., Managing Director, Healthcare at Safeguard, who will be joining Propeller Health’s board of directors. “Propeller Health has positioned itself at the intersection of diagnostics and data driven outcomes management―an area in which Safeguard sees tremendous opportunity. We’re excited to partner with The Social+Capital Partnership again to support a strong and growing management team and a visionary company in the digital health space.”
In conjunction with the Series B financing, Propeller Health also announced that Chris Hogg joined the company as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Hogg will be charged with growing the company’s San Francisco office, with an emphasis on product and data teams. Prior to joining Propeller Health, Mr. Hogg was CEO and co-founder of 100Plus, a mobile health company using data, design and location-based technology to engage users with their health. 100Plus was later acquired by Practice Fusion, a free, cloud-based electronic medical record company who named Hogg Associate Vice President of Data Science.
Propeller Health is actively recruiting engineering, product, user experience design, data and other talent. To learn more about joining the team, visit propellerhealth.com/careers.
About Propeller Health
Founded in 2010, Propeller Health provides digital solutions to measurably improve respiratory health. One of the first mobile platforms with FDA clearance, Propeller combines sensors, mobile apps and predictive analytics to monitor and engage patients, increase adherence and encourage effective self-management. The company partners with integrated delivery systems and health plans seeking new solutions to improve quality measures, strengthen care teams and reduce the cost of care for asthma and COPD, the 5th and 6th most expensive diseases in the US. For more information, visit propellerhealth.com.
About Safeguard Scientifics
Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE) has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders. For six decades, Safeguard has been providing growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving spectrum of industries. Today, Safeguard is focused specifically on two sectors—healthcare and technology. Recent successful exits include Alverix (acquired by Becton, Dickinson for $40 million); Crescendo Bioscience (acquired by Myriad Genetics for $270 million); NuPathe (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $144 million); and ThingWorx (acquired by PTC for initial proceeds of $112 million). For more information, please visit www.safeguard.com or Follow Us on Twitter @safeguard.
About The Social+Capital Partnership
The Social+Capital Partnership is a partnership of the world’s most renowned philanthropists, technologists, and capitalists utilizing venture capital as a force to create massive value and change on a global scale. The Partnership is based in Palo Alto, CA.