Former LinkedIn senior executive and Aberdare Ventures general partner raise $2.5 million in seed financing to tackle $100 billion healthcare problem
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cricket Health, a California-based healthcare start-up formally announced its launch as a provider of scalable solutions for patients managing advanced stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
“CKD is a $100 billion problem hiding in plain sight,” said Cricket Health Co-Founder and CEO Arvind Rajan. “It affects 26 million adults in the United States, yet over 90 percent of them are unaware of their illness. Clinical intervention often happens far too late, and patients who progress to kidney failure often end up with an unplanned start to a suboptimal form of care.”
According to Rajan, a former senior executive at LinkedIn, the company’s first offering, Health Options Patient Education (HOPE), connects advanced stage CKD patients to engaging content, clinical expertise and a network of healthcare professionals, peers and mentors. The program empowers patients to choose end-stage renal disease (ESRD) treatment options that fit their lifestyle and reflect their personal values.
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is encouraging greater use of home dialysis modalities, and upstream intervention strategies, like HOPE, could save the health system $63 billion annually,” said co-founder Vince Kim, a former General Partner at Aberdare Ventures, a leading health IT venture capital firm that made several early-stage investments in digital health and medical technology companies, including ElationHealth, Jiff, Omada Health, Nevro, Ablation Frontiers, and Rock Health. “By encouraging patients to consider home dialysis options, we can help reduce hospital utilizations and readmissions, which are central to the healthcare industry’s shift toward value-based reimbursement.”
In addition to HOPE, Cricket Health is developing machine-learning algorithms to identify persons with CKD within hospitals’ electronic health record data, as well as additional knowledge-rich decision-support systems to improve CKD management throughout the patient journey.
“The central idea behind healthcare reform is to enhance the quality of patients’ lives while reducing costs—and Cricket Health is seeking to achieve dramatic improvements to the comfort and treatment outcomes of CKD patients,” said Phineas Barnes, Partner at First Round Capital. “Cricket Health has put together an incredibly deep bench of entrepreneurs, technologists and medical specialists to attack a costly, but largely unknown problem.”
Medical Advisory Board Led by Prominent Nephrologists, Researchers and Clinicians
The founders also recently unveiled the team heading up its Board of Advisors, which includes prominent clinicians, specialists and researchers from across the country.
“Our Medical Advisory Board members bring a tremendous amount of clinical knowledge to the table and will provide valuable expertise to the company as we execute on our strategic imperatives in 2016 and beyond,” said Rajan. “We look forward to benefiting from their vision and experience.”
Cricket Health’s Medical Advisory Board includes Joachim Ix, MD, Chief of Nephrology, University of California, San Diego (UCSD); Joel Glickman, MD, professor of clinical medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Michael Shlipak, MD, Chief of Medicine, San Francisco VA, UCSF; Danuta Trzebinska, MD, Director CKD Clinic, UCSD; Ann Robar, BSN, RN, CNN, former Vice President of Clinical Operations, Satellite Healthcare; Glenn Chertow, MD, Chief of Nephrology, Stanford; Bijal Patel, MD, Director, Home Programs, Balboa Nephrology Medical Group; and Suzanne Watnick, MD, professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and acting chief of nephrology at the VA Portland Health Care Center.
About Cricket Health
Cricket Health develops scalable healthcare technology services designed to fundamentally transform the care and treatment of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are at high-risk of progressing to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Cricket Health’s goal is to significantly improve patient’s lives and reduce the clinical, psychosocial and economic burdens associated with chronic kidney disease. Cricket Health’s flagship education program, HOPE, helps CKD patients understand their treatment options and plan ahead to ensure an orderly transition for those who progress to ESRD. The company’s team and advisers include leaders in healthcare, technology and design from Stanford, UCSF, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Proteus Digital Health and Aberdare Ventures. Cricket Health is based in San Francisco, CA. Learn more at www.crickethealth.com.