Diabetes-focused life sciences startup Ryse Health recently announced that it raised $3.4 million in seed funding, which makes it one of the first companies in the second 1501 Health cohort to make major waves.
The 11-person company developed an app that provides wraparound care to clients with type 2 diabetes. Patients can expect holistic offerings like access to an endocrinologist, a diabetes educator, a health coach, a dietitian and a behavioral health specialist. The app’s features also allow users to track their blood sugar, log their diet and find educational content about diabetes.
W Health Ventures invested $2 million as the seed round’s primary backers. 1501 Health’s parent entities, the insurance giant CareFirst and local healthcare corporation LifeBridge Health, also supported the raise.
This seed funding will support Ryse Health’s goal of scaling the app into new markets. The startup also plans to expand its team in three categories — clinical, leadership and technical — while simultaneously building its offerings through telehealth visits and in-person care.
“We’re looking to hire people who are passionate about patient care, who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the patients what they need,” Ryse Health’s cofounder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Erin Kane told Technical.ly. “People that have that spirit of, ‘I’m going to break down barriers for this patient and make sure we get them what they need.’”
The company recently brought a chief product officer onto its leadership team. Its technical team is looking for full-stack engineers, product managers and software product designers. Kane emphasized that even these nonclinical staffers must believe in the company’s goal of changing health services through technology.
“We’ve got to change the way we deliver healthcare,” Kane said. “The reason we’re innovating is because we know it can be better for patients. It can not only be a more healing experience, but it can make them healthy. We can drive better outcomes.”
Ryse Health is seeing early clinical results from the 220 patients it has served, with a statement noting that all patients experienced a 36% decrease in elevated blood sugar levels after using its program for 60 days. Ryse Health patients must be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and live in one of its main markets, which are now limited to the DC and Baltimore areas. The company is expecting to expand to a third market by the end of 2022, as well as two others in 2023.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.