Intellihealth, creator of the first cloud-based clinical decision-making software and population health management platform for the medical treatment of obesity, has won the Women at Weill investment competition and will receive funding from AmplifyHer Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage businesses built by outstanding women. The competition results were announced at the recent Weill Cornell Medicine Startup Symposium.
A collaboration between AmplifyHer Ventures and the Weill Cornell Medicine BioVenture eLab, which is part of the Office of BioPharma Alliances and Research Collaborations, the investment competition was designed to highlight the exceptional women innovators at Weill Cornell Medicine and was open to companies across the health care and biopharma sectors that are affiliated with the academic medical institution and have women in key leadership roles. Intellihealth co-founder employee Dr. Katherine Saunders is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and was the first clinical fellow in obesity medicine at its Comprehensive Weight Control Center.
Dr. Saunders founded Intellihealth in 2019 together with her entrepreneur husband, Sloan Saunders, and Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center and the Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research at Weill Cornell Medicine, with the aim of developing a highly scalable digital platform that could easily integrate into any practice and enable any provider to administer clinically proven medical obesity treatment to patients, both remotely and in person, in order to eliminate a critical care gap affecting millions of Americans.
“More than 40% of Americans have obesity, but less than 2% are receiving medical treatment according to guidelines,” said Dr. Saunders. “This care gap is due in part to a severe shortage of obesity specialists, compounded by a stigmatized perception of obesity as a lifestyle issue rather than a medical disease. Because the human body has evolved complex physiological systems to actively resist weight loss, the standard advice to just exercise more and eat less doesn’t work for most people with obesity. Success requires expert guidance and support and a multifaceted approach involving not only diet, physical activity and behavioral modifications, but also in many cases pharmacotherapy.”
Launched in 2020, Intellihealth’s software-as-a-service platform, Evolve, is a turnkey medical obesity treatment solution that incorporates telehealth; automated treatment recommendations for medications, diet and exercise; robust tracking tools; and educational resources for both providers and their patients. The program develops and continually refines highly individualized treatment plans for patients based on factors such as their medical history and health risks, electronic health record information, data from wearables and connected devices, and learning center progress.
Built on more than 30 years of leading clinical experience and data — much of it from Dr. Aronne’s decades of practice — the Intellihealth approach has been demonstrated to be three times more effective at helping patients lose weight and keep it off than lifestyle intervention alone.
“Through our collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine, we had the opportunity to meet the many brilliant women launching pioneering companies out of the institution’s ecosystem,” said Tricia Black, founder of AmplifyHer Ventures and a member of the Women at Weill selection committee. “In assessing the applicants, we immediately recognized that Intellihealth is accurately addressing a real market need. The company already has top-tier health systems as customers, with thousands of patients using the platform, and we look forward to supporting Dr. Saunders and her team as they work to further expand access to effective obesity treatment.”
About AmplifyHer Ventures
AmplifyHer Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage high-growth companies led by exceptional women. Founded in 2018 by Tricia Black, Facebook’s seventh employee and first head of sales, AmplifyHer focuses on companies that create greater accessibility and transparency in health care. For more information, visit www.amplifyherventures.com.
Intellihealth offers a clinically proven medical obesity treatment approach that is three times more effective than lifestyle intervention alone. The company’s flagship product, Evolve, enables health care providers to offer effective medical obesity treatment to new and existing patients, both via telehealth and in person. More information and a product demonstration can be found at www.intellihealth.co.