Optum leads $8M funding round for digital therapeutics startup Kaia Health

Kaia Health, a New York City-based startup developing smartphone-based technology for chronic condition management, closed a funding round led by Optum Ventures, the investment arm of UnitedHealth Group's Optum.

The $8 million in new funding will be used to further develop the supporting clinical evidence base behind Kaia Health's technology and to expand the company's offerings to address more conditions. Optum Ventures' investment will also help offset the costs of providing high-quality treatment for chronic conditions.

Kaia Health's platform uses machine learning and the expertise of leaders in various medical fields to develop individualized treatments for patients, focusing primarily on musculoskeletal disorders such as chronic back pain. To date, the startup has enrolled more than 275,000 users in the program, which seeks to empower patients to self-manage their chronic conditions.

The treatments include psychological support and education, as well as exercise plans — for which patients can receive real-time feedback via motion-tracking technology linked to their device's camera. The interventions are backed by three peer-reviewed clinical studies.

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