Imagine a treatment for Type 2 diabetes that requires neither surgery, medication nor calorie restriction, but rather relies on adherence to a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, tracked by regular finger-stick checks of blood chemistry and guided remotely by a team of physicians, coaches and algorithms. That’s the premise of Virta Health, a San Francisco-based digital health company formed in 2014 and launched officially today, with $37M in the bank from investors including Dr. Robert Kocher of Venrock. The kickoff follows Tuesday’s publication of the results of an uncontrolled clinical study of several hundred patients in Indiana, who will be treated and followed for two years; the just-published data--an interim report of sorts--represent the first 10 weeks of study, sponsored by Virta.
With $37 million in funding, health startup Virta aims to cure type 2 diabetes by watching what you eat
Type 2 diabetes is a disease affecting 415 million people globally and Virta, a Silicon Valley-based health startup, believes it has something unique to reverse it – remote monitoring of everything you eat. Most people with the disease end up having to constantly monitor their blood sugar with the prick of a needle and diabetic pills or can “cure” it with bariatric surgery. However, type 2 diabetes (also know as adult onset diabetes) only affects those afflicted with it if their sugar levels go too high or too low. Thus, monitoring every carb you swallow is another measure in keeping the disease at bay.