Behavioral health analytics startup Ginger.io just announced that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from seed investors True Ventures and Romulus Capital. In the funding press release, Vinod Khosla says the company is “at the forefront of data-driven technology and healthcare.” CEO Amnol Madan also noted that Khosla actually wrote a guest post for TechCrunch where he identified Health 2.0, driven by data and sensors, as one of the unhyped areas in web and mobile technology that has big potential.
Madan said Ginger.io emerged from his work at the MIT Media Lab. (The company was also incubated at TechStars). Ginger.io describes its service as a “check-engine light” for healthcare — in other words, it uses patients’ smartphones to identify changes in behavior that may be warning signs, especially when monitoring people with chronic issues like diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
Normally, your relationship with your doctor is “episodic,” Madan said. Even if you have an ongoing condition, you probably don’t see them more than every few months. With Ginger.io, hospitals can continue to track patients between visits.
“If you’re a hospital with 10,000 patients who have a certain condition, how do you know which 300 to reach out to?” he said.
Madan and his co-founder Karan Singh also pointed out that current health care legislation is putting a greater emphasis on the “proactive” care that Ginger.io supports. Singh added that using the smartphone to monitor behavior makes sense because it’s “the common denominator” and “increasingly crosses demographics.”
Current customers include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Chronic Collaborative Care Network and the Carolinas-based hospital system Novant.