Virta Health, a startup that is taking a software approach to treating diabetes rather than pills or injections, has raised $45 million in funding to support its technology. San Francisco-based Virta says its software “reverses” diabetes through behavioral changes that reduce the biological measures of the disease. The company’s software platform, accessible via a mobile app, helps the patient track blood sugar, carbohydrate intake, and other indicators. The Virta starter kit includes a scale, blood pressure cuff, and glucose meter that automatically upload data to the Virta app. The platform also provides clinicians and caregivers real-time access to the data so that they can provide additional guidance and support. Virta unveiled its technology last year, along with $37 million in funding. At that time, the startup pointed to published clinical data from a Virta-funded study showing that after 10 weeks, the software reduced or eliminated the need to take insulin in 87 percent of patients.
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.
Can Silicon Valley Cure Diabetes With Low Carbs And High Tech?
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.