Cohero Bags $9 Million Series A for Smart Inhalers

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Cohero Health, a New York City-based digital health company focused on chronic respiratory disease, has raised $9 million in new funding. Three Leaf Ventures, an affiliate of the Broe Group, led the round, which also included Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and BioAdvance. GIS Strategic Ventures, the investment arm of Guardian insurance was a new investor along with Heitkamp & Thumann Group and P5 Health Ventures.

“Cohero is transforming respiratory care through smart mobile devices,” CEO Melissa Manice said during a panel at the Partners Connected Health Symposium last month. “We feel fortunate to be introducing this technology at a time when the appetite is there and there are a few catalysts that are really driving adoption. One is, as you said, shifting reimbursement models that are really allowing for adoption of these kinds of continuous monitoring technologies, another is the adoption ultimately of smartphone-based technologies that can be the hub of these disparate sources of biometric data, and ultimately I think that the third and final catalyst is interoperability.”

The company, which offers an FDA-cleared connected spirometer, a few different inhaler sensors, and apps for adult and pediatric care, has about 25 deployments that span healthcare systems, hospital systems, payers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and other strategic partners. They recently announced strategic partnerships with Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s ImagineCare and with H&T Presspart, a medical device company that has co-developed a connected metered dose inhaler called eMDI with Cohero.

Cohero Health argues that their integrated approach, which includes controller medication, rescue medication, and a spirometer for measuring lung function, sets them apart from competition in the smart inhaler space.

Cofounder and COO Dan Weinstein told MobiHealthNews that the company was raising money now to meet increasing demand for the product.

“The goal was to raise this round to further evolve the product and to build out our commercial infrastructure,” Weinstein told MobiHealthNews. “A lot of our traction to date has come from inbound requests from people who have heard of us organically. So we want to build the capacity to meet the demands of those customers and additional ones.”

The company is also continuing to seek more clinical validation of the product. Weinstein said they will shortly announce “promising” results from an expansion of their Mount Sinai study, which previously showed a 250 percent increase in medication adherence, and 100 percent reduction in hospitalizations. Manice expressed that same sentiment at the Symposium.

“The truth of the matter is that if you don’t focus, as an early stage company, on demonstrating, yes, this is just as effective as a clinic-based point-of-care system, the data that we capture at home is just as effective — if you haven’t demonstrated that, I do think, understandably there will be pushback,” she said. “There’s going to be skepticism of new technology if you can’t say ‘We have validated this, we have published data’.”

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