More than 100 million Americans are now living with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes and the disease’s health impacts, coupled with high cost of treatment, is increasingly taking a toll on the U.S. healthcare system.
It’s a problem that calls for many solutions, and Seattle startup Brook.ai is positioning itself to be one of those solutions. Brook makes a digital health platform that uses real-world data to help diabetes patients manage the chronic disease, and it has raised a $4 million seed round to support that work.
One of the most prominent investors in the round is Independent Health, a health plan based in Buffalo, New York, which also announced a new partnership with Brook on Tuesday.
Independent Health will help bring Brook’s technology to its membership base of about 380,000 patients. Independent Health President and CEO Michael Cropp will also join Brook’s board of directors as part of the partnership.
“Independent Health is a great partner for Brook because of its innovative approach to providing the best medical and health services to the community,” Brook Co-founder and CEO Oren Nissim said in a press release. “Independent Health is sharply attuned to the fact that consumers want to be empowered in a “light weight” fashion – an approach that can be done at their convenience and, most importantly, one that is highly personal to them. Today, technology can help personalize treatment using a process that can be customized and flexible.”
Brook’s platform combines data like a user’s activity, sleep and glucose level with personal health coaching to help them stay on top of the various health concerns that come along with diabetes. The platform already integrates with a number of devices and third-party services and will continue to expand its integrations, a spokesperson said.
Nissim, a longtime tech executive, founded Brook in 2015 alongside the company’s chief product officer, Kit Macgillivray. Nissim sold his previous company, Israeli mobile and location services company Telmap, to Intel in 2012. Macgillivray is a longtime strategy consultant and executive who worked with Nissim at Telmap for several years.
Nissim and Macgillivray aren’t the only ones aiming to treat diabetes with technology. Just a few months ago, Bay Area company Livongo Health announced a partnership to expand its diabetes management platform into the Pacific Northwest, with ambitions of creating other chronic disease management platforms.
Brook is headquartered in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood and employs 15.