Poor sales, lack of VC support prompt Spectrum Health to shut down Ideomed

A four-year-old app initially developed to help manage pediatric asthma is being folded into the digital portfolio at Spectrum Health as the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based health system shutters Ideomed, the app's development company.

The Abriiz mobile software was expanded over the years to manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, childhood obesity and congestive heart failure. Ideomed is closing down as it failed to score enough venture capital support or sales to remain viable, Ideomed CEO Keith Brophy told MiBiz.

The app, Brophy said, will remain supported and be part of Spectrum's broad digital strategy for patient care, which will, in the future, include more mobile apps for managing health issues, according to Spectrum CIO Patrick O'Hare.

"We have a significant number of projects in the digital space," O'Hare told MiBiz. "We still very much believe in the technology [Ideomed developed] and are going to leverage it for our members and patients."

Investors pumped a record $6.5 billion into digital health ventures during 2014, an increase of 125 percent from the 2013 level, according to FierceHealthIT, citing an annual StartUp Health report. As FierceMobileHealthcare reported in September, San Francisco start-up Wearable Intelligence raised $8 million in new funding. Another recent VC beneficiary was ZocDoc, a portal that allows patients to search for physicians and book appointments online. The tech hub raised $152 million at a $1.6 billion valuation, and the company has already raised $97.9 million in venture funding. 

Despite the company's closing, Brophy views Ideomed as a success and the app as beneficial to patient care.

"It's been an incredible journey of product evolution and, likewise, matching the kind of evolution of the national health care technology space," Brophy said. "We have touched lives and we have validated to some degree the technology. The proof points are a work in progress and Spectrum Health is perfectly suited to now take that along."

For more information:
- read the MiBiz article

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