UK-based AI symptom checking app Healthily, previously known as Your.MD, is today announcing a $20m round from existing investors to take on the US market.
What Healthily does
Founded in 2013, Healthily is a free “self-care” app that uses artificial intelligence to help users check their symptoms before deciding to see a doctor. With a focus on English-speaking markets it has had approximately 30m users in the last 12 months, according to CEO Matteo Berlucchi.
In 2020 it raised £25m from Reckitt Benckiser, the FTSE100 consumer health goods group. The plan was then to grow in India but due to what Berlucchi calls “a slow market”, the company is still looking for suitable partners there and has yet to launch.
Now it will focus on the US, where it has landed a partnership with retail giant Walmart. In the past few years Walmart has started offering health services and last year it acquired telehealth startup MeMD.
The partnership means Healthily will engage with patients and help them find the right kind of remedies and support on Walmart’s website. According to Berlucchi, its partnership with Walmart has already opened up discussions with a range of other potential healthcare partners.
The company is also trying to become a “Google for health” by adding medically verified content to its website to help users find information on symptoms and treatments. It hopes this will boost its brand recognition and build trust with users.
The most recent round of $20m was raised from existing shareholders including Reckitt, Norwegian investors Orkla Ventures, Smedvig Capital, Canica and others.
Healthily has raised €60m in total.
Healthily is not alone in offering an AI health tracker. Fellow European healthtech scaleups Ada Health and Babylon Health have long been using AI to help users make decisions surrounding their health.
According to Berlucchi, the interest in cost-cutting tools like AI symptom trackers has increased in the past few months as large healthcare companies look for ways to save money. Healthily hopes its tools will help them manage and optimise patient journeys and care pathways better.
Demand for AI health trackers shot through the roof when Covid was at its peak, and healthcare institutions are continuing to use them to manage patient backlogs.
However, the symptom tracker space is pretty crowded. By partnering with healthcare clinics, startups can build themselves a defensive moat, as VCs like to say. The consumer space, by contrast, will probably be hijacked by large tech companies like Google and Apple that have already shown an interest in this area and also other startups with wearables products, such as smart rings or watches, which can quickly pick up outbreaks and symptoms related to other diseases.
Walmart is likely to open some doors for Healthily — but will it be enough to grow big in the US?