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AI-Aided Disease Mgmt App Raises $3.8M in Seed Funds

Artificial intelligence graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

4 Mar. 2022. A company creating a mobile app using artificial intelligence to help people manage their chronic diseases raised $3.8 million in seed funding. juli — the business name and app are spelled in all lower case — is a two year-old company in Boston that offers the app for Apple devices.

The juli app, says the company, collects health data from wearable devices and other apps, for people with asthma, depression, bi-polar disorder, and several types of pain: migraine, other headaches, chronic, visceral, nerve, musculoskeletal, and pain of unknown origin. The app, says juli, also imports data from outside sources, including the user’s electronic health records and environmental data such as weather and air quality for the person’s location. And the app allows users to add daily notes on their well-being, as well as track their medications.

Also, says juli, the app lets users set goals and assess progress, engages users with questions about their condition in a chat format, and provides additional behavioral targets in game-like challenges. The company says all of the compiled data are analyzed with A.I. algorithms designed and supervised by physicians to provide assessments of the person’s current and trending conditions.

Identify behavioral triggers

The juli app is available for download from Apple’s App Store, but the company also markets the app as a wellness service to health insurance plans, employers, and accountable care organizations or ACOs, groups of health care providers that coordinate their activities to offer high-quality care for chronically ill persons. In December 2021, juli was one of 15 start-ups selected to take part in the PandemicX Accelerator, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for entrepreneurs developing IT tools to address health disparities resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“juli is helping patients, providers, and employers,” says co-founder and CEO Bettina Hein in a company statement, “identify behavioral triggers that worsen or improve the most hard-to-treat and complex chronic conditions, including asthma, migraines, depression, and bipolar disorder.”

juli is raising $3.8 million in seed financing, led by European technology investors SpeedInvest and Norrsken VC. Taking part in the round are the Softbank Vision Fund and Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures. Softbank also selected juli to take part in the Vision Fund’s Emerge accelerator program last year. juli expects to use the funds to expand commercialization and conduct clinical trials of the app. The company is already recruiting juli users for a trial testing the device among individuals with asthma and depression, conducted with University College London.

“We urgently need better tools to manage these conditions,” says Tove Larsson, general partner at Norrsken VC, “and available technology must be leveraged to ensure wider access to management tools. By gathering data from various sources, and monitoring patterns and triggers using its intelligent A.I. powered system, juli enables patients to live better lives, and helps to alleviate the pressure on health care systems.”

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