Heal plans layoffs ahead of potential sale and more digital health briefs

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional context from Heal. 

Heal, a home-based primary care and telehealth company, is planning layoffs ahead of a potential sale. 

According to WARN notices, Heal would cut 182 jobs in Los Angeles County and 60 positions in New York City. A company spokesperson told MobiHealthNews the company is in active discussions with possible buyers, and it’s required to file notices in New York and California regarding potential upcoming layoffs.

In late October, Heal announced it would expand with Cigna Medicare Advantage members in Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina. The startup most recently raised $100 million from insurer Humana in 2020. 

Heal’s layoffs mark the latest in a spate of job cuts at digital health companies. Earlier this month, digital behavioral health company SonderMind laid off 15% of its employees, not long after it announced the acquisition of Total Brain

Other digital health firms that have recently made cuts include Headspace Health, Komodo Health and OneStudyTeam.

Quris, a software company that uses AI to predict viable drug candidates, raised $9 million in seed funding, bringing its total raise to $37 million.

The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 with existing institutional and private investors, including iAngels, Richter Group, Welltech Ventures and GlenRock Capital. 

In January, Quris garnered $28 million in its initial seed-funding round.

The company uses its Bio-AI Clinical Prediction Platform to test the safety of drugs via its Patients-on-a-Chip system, which combines analysis from stem-cell tissues and AI to simulate a person’s reaction to a drug. 

The new investment will help the company grow its team, advance its platform, build industry collaborations and accelerate its research. 

“We believe the early forecasting capability that Quris is developing brings real potential impact to the global pharmaceutical industry,” Yossi Cohen, director of Israel operations for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement. “Harnessing the novel application of AI, Dr. Bentwich and his team could save the enormous costs of drugs failing in clinical trials, and in doing so create a business in Israel of significant economic value.”

Boston-based PharmStars, a pharma-focused digital health accelerator, announced that it’s accepting applications for its fourth cohort.

The spring 2023 virtual program will focus on digital health solutions from around the world that address women’s health conditions, and conditions where women are disproportionately affected or have worse outcomes. PharmStars will also consider digital innovations that address health inequities for underserved populations and that promote equitable, inclusive healthcare.

Launched in 2021, PharmStars focuses on educating health tech companies and pharma about working together. It provides mentoring to digital health startups looking to engage with pharma and biotech companies.

The deadline for applications for the spring 2023 cohort is January 14.


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