BUSINESS

Health monitoring startup grabs attention of Johnson & Johnson

DESPINA KONTI

Members of Vivante Health’s Athens team hold up the initials of the funds that invested the first $6 million in the company – NFP Ventures and FCA Venture Partners – on the balcony of the building where they work.

TAGS: Business, Technology, Health

It may be just 3 years old, but Vivante Health, the startup created by Dr Kimon Angelides, is aiming to become the global leader in its niche – the provision of digestion-related digital health services – and also by putting Greek human resources to work.

Having been set up in Texas but also with a presence in Athens, Vivante Health is not yet widely known in Greece even though it has already recorded significant progress in its domain. It is now under the close monitoring of US giant Johnson & Johnson, which hosts VH at one of its research centers in Houston. Soon the two companies will also be cooperating in the context of the World Without Disease program.

Aspiring to reach revenues of over $12 million in 2020 through selling its services to corporations, VH has already received funding of $18 million from foreign funds and is valued at $50 million. It employs a total of 80 people, of whom about 25 form the Athens-based team.

“I was excited to start a company that addressed complex diseases and I wanted to do it in Greece,” he tells Kathimerini: “The timing was perfect since the crisis was in full swing and I knew we could do something different.”

“We are applying behavioral science and science-based nutrition as therapies combined with discovery science, and innovative devices that are non-invasive. No one was doing this. We started this area, and took something that no one cared about, although 70 million people in the US have digestive problems, twice as many as diabetes, and it is a worldwide problem. We have turned it around and are bringing attention to a neglected and taboo area,” says Angelides.

VH has developed an integrated program, GI Thrive, which is based on reducing the use of drugs. Angelides explains there is a simple and user-friendly device that helps the company monitor the state of a patient’s digestive system by analyzing their breath. The data are stored and the patient is informed about the food they should avoid taking into account the bacteria in the area and the state of their own digestive system.

The company’s services extend to the provision of psychological support, as such health problems tend to be associated with the mental state of each patient: “We want to bring credible medicine to this area, using digital medicine and therapeutics, using software as a drug and a therapy,” Angelides tells Kathimerini.

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