At first glance, spaceflight company SpaceX and electric car manufacturer Tesla don't appear to have much in common with the digital health market.
But an investor behind those companies is bringing its artificial intelligence expertise, and a big infusion of cash, to digital primary care startup K Health.
The New York-based company provides patients remote access to health care services through their smartphones. The company announced it closed a $42 million series D funding round, led by Valor Equity Partners. Additional investors include Marcy Venture Partners, co-founded by Jay-Z, Atreides Management and PICO Venture Partners as well as existing investors 14W and Max Ventures.
Valor Equity Partners’ founder and CEO Antonio Gracias, who sits on the boards of SpaceX and Tesla, will join K Health’s board as an observer.
“We invest in companies and teams that challenge the status quo, are driven by new ideas, and see an opportunity to make a positive difference,” said Gracias in a statement. “We believe that K Health is creating the first holistic digital healthcare system of the future. By connecting patients with decades of medical insights, great doctors, and easy access to treatment through a simple digital interface, medical care becomes more affordable and available for everyone.”
The new investment allows K Health to continue to invest in its product as it meets unprecedented demand, which has grown 1000% over the last year alone, according to K Health co-founder and CEO Allon Bloch.
Launched in 2018, K Health developed a chat function that uses artificial intelligence to suggest potential diagnoses for consumers who enter symptoms and also takes into account the user's medical history, age, and gender.
K is available in all 50 states, and K Primary Care, the option to chat with a doctor, is available in 49 states. The company says it now has more than 4 million users in the U.S.
More than 1 million new people have turned to K Health for their primary care and mental health needs since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.
The company has raised close to $140 million to date.
K Health makes it possible for people to receive comprehensive medical insights and immediate care from the comfort of their homes. The company connects people to its fleet of certified doctors, for both acute illnesses or chronic conditions, within minutes, at affordable prices, regardless of insurance status, the company said.
The company’s advanced data insights and its proprietary People Like Me technology made possible by artificial intelligence, offer advanced medical intelligence for free, even before a chat with a doctor.
Last year, K Health announced a partnership with Anthem, the second-largest insurer in the U.S. The two companies launched a mobile app that enables Anthem's 40 million members to get quicker access to personalized health information and treatment options.
Anthem also backed K Health's $48 million series C funding round
K Health also has a partnership with Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel's second-largest HMO with 2.4 million patients.
Teaming up with Mayo Clinic
K Health also announced Wednesday a collaboration with Mayo Clinic through the Mayo Clinic Platform, the hospital's digital health and artificial intelligence projects.
Mayo and K Health plan to focus on improving and accelerating the deployment of virtual care models to improve patient-centric care, the organizations said.
This partnership includes providing clinical decision support tools for Mayo Clinic patients and doctors and helping patients receive autonomous care. Data insights from Mayo’s clinical data analytics platform will validate K Health algorithms through a federated learning model that facilitates machine learning without transferring data. The data insights will boost “like me” cohort models, giving K’s data sets a vastly larger pool of knowledge to incorporate, the organizations said.
This relationship advances the current K acute model, but, more substantially, it allows for creating numerous chronic and continuous care model products.
“Mayo’s powerful medical insights will allow us to continue to offer remote and intelligent primary and chronic care at a cost dramatically lower than what most can access today,” said Ran Shaul, co-founder and chief product officer at K Health, in a statement. “By collaborating with Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s most respected medical institutions, we are further improving our diagnostic accuracy and reach.”