Menlo Ventures, UCHealth invest to bring comprehensive hypertension measurement and management to the phone
Riva Health, a new mobile cardiology app, today announced $15.5M in funding led by Menlo Ventures. UCHealth and University of Colorado Innovation Fund also participated in the round, as well as leading Chicago healthcare investors, Brandon Cruz of GoHealth and Larry Gies of Madison Industries. This investment follows on the heels of a previous round led last year by Menlo Ventures, alongside True Ventures. Riva is led by CEO Dag Kittlaus, former co-founder of both Siri and Viv, and Tuhin Sinha, PhD and co-founder of one of the largest cardiovascular research studies in the world, Health eHeart. Dr. Rich Zane from UCHealth will join Greg Yap from Menlo Ventures on Riva’s board of directors.
Riva’s measurement technology provides novel cardiovascular data and real-time management that can be directly tied to health goals and outcomes. The application uses fingertip photoplethysmography (PPG) to measure an individual’s blood-pulse waveform (BPW), a signal that shows changes in blood flow volume and intensity. The high-resolution measurement is captured when an individual’s index finger is placed on the camera lens on the back of a phone. This novel technology is coupled with healthcare interventions provided by Riva’s own licensed healthcare providers. The comprehensive hypertension solution can be used for more rapid and high-fidelity remote patient management and to make premium heart healthcare more equitable and accessible.
“I’ve long known that smartphone and wearable technologies open entirely new paradigms of interaction and enablement, especially in healthcare,” said Dag Kittlaus, Riva co-founder and CEO. “We’ve been limited in taking advantage of health management opportunities though, because diagnostic science has needed to catch up. With Riva, we are introducing an entirely new way to manage disease, fulfilling the promise of a doctor on your phone anywhere in the world. We’re focused on blood pressure to start, but you can infer much more from an individual’s BPW. The possibilities are vast and exciting. Now anyone, anywhere, can take care of their heart health.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, accounting for 30% of deaths according to the CDC. Additionally, reporting from the National Center for Health Statistics finds that 108 million US adults have hypertension, with only one in four managing the disease effectively. A study from Northwestern Medicine expects that, unless new methods of management and prevention can be made readily accessible to individuals, national heart disease numbers are expected to continue trending upwards.
“There is no health challenge more pervasive, complex, and preventable than heart disease. This is a disease that impacts millions. Yet many feel entirely alone and unequipped to handle it. That’s what makes it such a worthy challenge,” said Tuhin Sinha, Riva co-founder and Head of Science. “We are creating a technology that not only empowers individuals in better managing their health, but also expands access to health monitoring at a scale we’ve never had before.”
Riva is currently completing comprehensive validation of its measurement technology, informed by world experts in blood pressure measurement science, and working with FDA for marketing clearance. Riva will launch its official beta version in the summer of 2021. In addition to their investment in Riva, the University of Colorado Health has also already partnered with Riva Health. University of Colorado oversees 12 hospitals in the state with over 2M office visits per year and will leverage Riva to assist in heart disease measurement and management of their patients.
“What makes Riva unique is their ability to integrate better, easier data via the phone with better management of heart disease,” said Greg Yap, Partner at Menlo Ventures. “We believe the future of remote monitoring is integrated, tech-enabled clinical intervention. Tuhin and Dag share this vision for using novel data to improve clinical outcomes, and we are thrilled to continue our support of Riva and lead the Series A.”
Riva is currently hiring for additional signal processing engineers to join the team. For more information, please visit www.rivahealth.com.