Cecelia Health’s news keeps emerging – following its news in March about doubling its capacity, the organization announced today that it has completed a $13 million Series B funding round. According to the announcement, the funding “will enable the company to accelerate and further scale the adoption of the company’s technology enabled coaching and telemedicine solutions and expand Cecelia Health’s digital health capabilities.” The oversubscribed Series B round was co-led by Philadelphia-based Rittenhouse Ventures and LA-based Endo Investors. Other notable companies in Endo’s portfolio include Bigfoot Biomedical, Biolinq, Capillary Biomedical, Diasome, and Locemia. Following their investments, Rittenhouse’s Saul Richter (Founder and Managing Partner) and Endo’s Eric Edidin (Founder) will join Cecelia’s board of directors. Other key participants in the Series B round included Boston Millennia Partners, SustainVC, and G100 Capital. This Series B brings Cecelia’s total funding to ~$23 million: the company (f.k.a. Fit4D) held a capital raise last year (undisclosed amount) and completed a $2.8 million Series A round in 2015 and a seed round in 2014.
In late July, Cecelia Health welcomed Dan Dwyer as Senior VP of Sales, who will be responsible for Cecelia’s “market expansion and sales across all segments.” Mr. Dwyer previously has held several sales leadership positions in various healthcare companies serving providers, payers, pharma, and life sciences, most recently serving as Vice President of Leidos Health.
The press announcement also highlighted the recent results of a pilot study (n=34) in collaboration with the Jaeb Center for Health Research and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, which showed that remote CGM initiation and Cecelia’s CDCES educators are effective in improving health outcomes and quality of life for people with diabetes. Just this week, the Helmsley Charitable Trust announced that it will collaborate with Cecelia Health, the Jaeb Center, and DreaMed in a larger study (n=300) to assess the efficacy of a virtual diabetes specialty clinic with remote CGM onboarding and insulin dosing support. Jaeb Center is organizing this study and HCT is investing a cool $5 million – this is business, all right, and it feels every day like HCT has a little bit more power and influence coursing through our ecosystem. This is favorable not only for those with type 1 diabetes but also anyone on type 2 taking insulin – and by anyone’s definition, that number keeps going up and up, particularly given that insulin is also becoming more available, more cost effective, and better with all the new applications.
As a reminder, Cecelia Health’s platform provides regular educational interactions with diabetes care and education specialists and other coaches through different modalities and formats (e.g., web, phone, email, text, video, articles, webinars, etc.) and has algorithms that help to segment patients. Per the press announcement, Cecelia Health has also provided telehealth assistance to “top diabetes clinics” during the pandemic, filling “critical telehealth gaps.” In March, the company expanded capacity during the pandemic, adding “over 250” DCES’ with plans to incorporate CGM initiation and insulin titration to its nationwide virtual clinic in June. In May, Cecelia Health extended its telehealth support to diabetes clinics through a partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust. In today’s press announcement, Cecelia boasts “over one million remote patient interactions,” and, notably, over email, the company shared that it has “over 150,000” members.
Close Concerns’ Questions
How many members does Cecelia Health currently reach?
Cecelia Health: We have had over 1 million clinician interactions with over 150,000 members. These are direct video and audio engagements with members, not through an app. We have figured out how to personalize and scale the human touch supported by digital health. The Series B will allow to expand adoption of our offers and further extend across disease states.
Has Cecelia Health considered adding a DPP, behavioral health, or a hypertension program to its offerings (which some other diabetes self-management coaching programs offer), or is the company aiming to continue to focus on diabetes self-management and telehealth?
Cecelia Health: As part of our upcoming Virtual Diabetes and Mental Health Clinic, our behavioral health team will provide mental health support and help drive improved clinical and psychosocial outcomes. With a roughly 50% overlap between people with diabetes and related mental health challenges, the addition of mental health support is a critical component. In addition, our CDCESs can now recommended dosage & titration changes rather than direct patients to their providers. On the cardiovascular front, we are about to launch a Healthy Heart Program with a large health plan. The goal of the Healthy Heart Program is to reduce the cardiovascular risk of participants by empowering members to better manage their conditions. We also run the medication adherence program for a leading heart failure medication.
What is Cecelia Health considering doing to achieve broader adoption
- Cecelia Health: We continue to expand our product offers as described above. And as we continue to demonstrate the power of our clinicians, we are building our presence in new markets. For example, we jumped in to support specialty diabetes clinics impacted by COVID and these same clinics now realize that they need our help on a permanent basis.
Are there particular partnerships that the company is pursuing or different market segments the company is considering?
- Cecelia Health: Our model is extensible. Unlike others in this space, we currently work across multiple market segments including health plans, pharma and medical device, provider, and self-insured employers.
What in particular differentiates Cecelia Health from the many other digital health coaching companies that offer CDCES coaching?
- Cecelia Health: Our key differentiator is that we provide technology-enabled coaching and telemedicine solutions rather than deliver everything through an app. This is extremely important when you consider that poorly managed and unmanaged populations of people with diabetes represent the highest healthcare cost and don’t engage with a digital first approach. They need a personal touch and someone that they can trust to teach and empower them to manage their diabetes. We continue to achieve remarkable results with these populations and have deep penetration within each customer. Digital first and app-based companies appeal to hand raisers and well managed populations and have light penetration within each customer. This is a dramatic distinction.
-- by Katie Mahoney, Albert Cai, and Kelly Close