When Harsh Vathsangam researched health issues in Southern California while studying for a Ph.D. in computer science at University of Southern California, he heard about people who didn’t have access to life-saving services.
“I was motivated to do something useful,” recalled Vathsangam, a native of India. “It affects not just the lives of people who gets the treatment but their families as well.
“I didn’t want to be an academic. I told our other co-founders that we have to start this company because it has the opportunity to impact people.”
That company turned out to be Moving Analytics Inc., a maker of virtual rehab programs for cardiac patients.
Other company co-founders include Ade Adesanya, who is president, and Shuo Qiao, who is chief technology officer.
Now based in Irvine, their concept found validation this month in a $20 million Series A fundraise, bringing the company’s total funding to $30 million.
Wellington Access Ventures led the funding round along with Seaa Ventures. Other investors included Philips Ventures, bbbbbbb, Neuterra Capital, Citi Ventures and Aphelion Capital, which is a VC fund associated with the American Heart Association.
“The investors see a tremendous business opportunity in addressing the process of helping someone recover after a heart attack,” Vathsangam, CEO of Moving Analytics, told the Business Journal.
The founders spent nearly four years talking to experts about heart attacks and treatments.
“We took the time to understand what we’re building,” Vathsangam said. “It got to a point where I can speak the language as most doctors.”
The company’s virtual cardiac rehab program, Movn, was developed in partnership with Stanford University and is based on more than 30 years of published research.
Typically, after heart attacks, patients must go to hospitals to attend classes on exercise, healthy eating and other subjects, he said. About 3.5 million patients are qualified to receive such care, he estimated.
Some patients may be reluctant to take time off from work, don’t want to travel and face a co-pay for each visit. The CEO estimated about 90% of heart attack patients don’t complete their rehabilitation programs.
“It can be a cumbersome process and sometimes there is a two-to-three month wait list,” Vathsangam said. “There is a lot of evidence that women and minorities don’t join these programs. Sometimes language is a barrier.
“We’ve been able to replace that with an at-home experience. It’s a convenient service for them.”
An App and a Box
The company ships each patient a box consisting of a weight scale, blood pressure equipment, a physical activity tracker and an exercise therapy bag, among other items. It also introduces the patient to a nurse manager and an app that can track progress.
Moving Analytics’ customers include health plans, cardiology offices and cardiac rehab facilities to expand access to secondary prevention, improve patient outcomes and lower costs.
A patient who is readmitted to a hospital can cost upward of $30,000.
The company says its program has resulted in a 40% lower readmission rates compared to no care, a three times higher completion rate, a 50% reduction in hypertension, and 70% reduction in depression.
Moving Analytics picked Irvine as its headquarters because of “a really nice open office space” at the VKCC office campus along Von Karman Avenue, and access to talent and proximity to John Wayne Airport, according to Vathsangham.
The company will use the latest funding to increase its sales and marketing, expand into new markets in New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, add more health plans and increase content for non-English speaking patients.
Vathsangam declined to reveal the company’s annual revenue, except to say it tops $1 million.
The company currently has 50 employees with plans to double its headcount in the next two years.
“We are on a mission to conquer cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death by empowering people with tools to adopt healthy lifestyles,” he said.