telehealth

'This Is a Permanent Change': LA's Moving Analytics Is Betting Telehealth Is Here to Stay

Downtown Los Angeles-based Moving Analytics, which uses telehealth tools to lower the barriers to entry for the 6 million Americans suffering from heart disease, announced it has raised $6 million in seed funding Monday.

The eight-year-old company has nabbed customers like Highmark Health, Kaiser Permanente and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Its rise is yet another example of how the health industry is embracing telehealth and virtual settings post-pandemic, making access easier to cardiac rehab services, which has been plagued by poor attendance for years.

"I think this is a permanent change," said Moving Analytics co-founder and CEO Harsh Vathsangam. "A lot more patients are getting access to care that would not have had access to care."

Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive set of preventative services often provided to people who have suffered a stroke, heart surgery or heart attack in order to improve their heart health. Patients undergo supervised physical activities and mental health counseling to reduce stress and alleviate future heart problems.

Getting patients to attend can be difficult; only 16% of patients show up to their first class. Cardiac rehab requires people to take extra time out of their day to travel and complete activities, which restricts people who cannot travel because of work schedules or disabilities. Women and minorities, especially, participate in cardiac rehab less often than white men due to scheduling and language barriers.

Cardiac rehab centers are also space-constricted, and scheduling multiple people for physical therapy, especially after work hours, can be difficult. Cofounder and CEO of Moving Analytics Harsh Vathsangam said the company has seen waitlists for classes during the most popular hours span as long as three months.

Moving Analytics CEO and co-founder Harsh Vathsangam, PhD

When a patient is referred to Moving Analytics, the company sends over weight scales, a pressure cuff and an activity tracker, along with instructions on how to download a smartphone app. Patients are paired with a technical support agent to troubleshoot problems, and a coach who is often a registered nurse or an exercise physiologist. After compiling a profile on the patient's behavioral and social determinants of health, coaches take them through a series of activities.

"It's a very, very interactive process," Vathsangam said. "Our coaches work with you to really understand what your day-to-day life plans are. What are the challenges you're facing? And then they act more as mentors to help you pick the goals that you want to achieve success and then give you the clinical expertise."

The $6 million funding will go toward growing support and operational teams within the company, and creating new product features, including a data analytics platform for patient providers, and integrations with the Apple Watch and other wearables.

When the pandemic shuttered access to cardiac rehab centers around the country, health services were quick to pivot to virtual classes. Companies like Texas-based NextGen RPM, as well as institutions like Johns Hopkins, began to coordinate home-based care.

"Our idea was, 'how can we extend this life saving service beyond the four walls of a hospital facility or outpatient facility?'" Vathsangam said. "And that's basically what led us to create our program."

Moving Analytics began offering virtual services in 2015. Vathsangam said he soon found 80% of patients were completing rehab over the 90 day period, while study from the Journals of the American Heart Association found that completion rates for in-person rehab hovered at around 27%. Vathsangam said 40% of its virtual patients were women, while another study found that 80% of women who are prescribed cardiac rehab do not utilize the service.

It will also go to what Vathsangam calls an "AI-based coach" to guide patients through niche lifestyle changes around smoking and diet changes, and to modify patients' exercises based on their progress.

"This is an opportunity to capture and get access to life-saving services for thousands of people who would not otherwise get it," Vathsangam said.

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