UnitedHealth Group’s healtcare service business has announced the launch of Optum Ventures,a $250 million healthcare innovation fund dedicated to investing in early-stage digital health starutps. Funded by Optum, Optum Ventures will focus in investing in digital health startups that use data and insights to help improve consumers’ access to health care services and how care is delivered and paid for, and that make the health care system more reliable and easier to navigate.
By leveraging Optum’s healthcare market expertise and experience, Optum Ventures and the companies it invests in hope to bring solutions to market more quickly and scale faster, helping build a health care system that is more transparent, personalized, precise and consumer-focused.
The $250M innovation fund will operate independently under the leadership of its Partners, A.G. Breitenstein and Virginia McFerran. Together, Breitenstein and McFerran have years of experience in starting, advising and leading innovative health care enterprises. The fund will have offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Menlo Park, California.
The initial investments of Optum Ventures include:
– Apervita, whose cloud-based platform reduces the time it takes to build and deploy analytic applications that enable health care professionals to deliver better care, and enterprises to gain stronger insights.
– Buoy Health, which has developed an artificial intelligence-powered digital health assistant that helps patients better understand their symptoms and get advice on where to go and what to do next.
– Mindstrong Health, whose technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to assess a patient’s smartphone interactions to help diagnose and treat neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
– SHYFT Analytics, which provides a cloud-based data and analytics platform for life sciences companies, enabling them to reduce cost and risk while increasing clinical and commercial performance, with a focus on oncology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other specialty and rare disorders.
“Optum Ventures is uniquely positioned to help develop and grow startups and early-stage companies through capital investment, Optum’s decades of experience in health care, and our access to the health care marketplace,” said Larry Renfro, CEO of Optum and Managing Partner of Optum Ventures in a statement. “Optum Ventures will be the partner of choice for companies developing innovations that help make health care work better for everyone.”