MiSalud Raises $5M To Launch a Personalized Digital Health and Wellness Platform for the Underserved US Hispanic Community
Published by Business Wire, August 18, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO — (August 18, 2021) — MiSalud Inc. announced raising $5M and launching the beta version of their digital health platform. MiSalud, which means My Health in Spanish, aims to make healthcare more inclusive by offering personalized healthcare services to US Hispanics through its mobile app and platform.
The pandemic highlighted many longstanding problems with healthcare access in Hispanic communities. According to the CDC, Hispanics were nearly three times as likely to be hospitalized from Covid-19, and 2.3 times as likely to die from the virus. Longstanding inequalities in the healthcare system also contribute to Hispanics being 23% more likely to be obese, 24% more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, and an astounding 50% more likely to die from diabetes. Hispanics are also three times more likely to be uninsured and are less likely to have a primary care physician. MiSalud aims to combat these inequalities by making culturally-sensitive medical and wellness services available in real-time, in the patient’s native language, via its mobile platform.
MiSalud was co-founded by Dr. Devon Huff, who grew up in Oxnard, a majority Hispanic town in Southern California. Both his father and his grandfather were physicians for the community. “Hispanics account for 20% of the US population, and in states like California and Texas, that number goes up to 40%. Many are essential workers — important members of the global food and manufacturing supply chain,” shares Huff. “But unfortunately, most Hispanics don’t have Spanish-speaking physicians in their communities. Which contributes to one-third of Hispanic women and nearly half of Hispanic men not having a primary care doctor. Those rates are 60% higher than the US average and higher than any other ethnic group.”
MiSalud offers a unique combination of personalized preventative wellness services, along with traditional healthcare via Spanish speaking physicians. “There are hundreds of digital health services in English, and some of these services have even been translated to Spanish. But most of that technology is built with an English-language bias. We are creating a system that is culturally relevant, and thus inclusive,” says Wendy Johansson, co-founder and Chief Product Officer.
MiSalud was inspired by the experience of Bismarck Lepe, founding CEO of both Wizeline and Ooyala. “My parents came to the US as migrant field workers. We used to travel between Mexico, California, and Washington State, following the fruit harvest from April to December,” says Lepe, co-founder and Executive Chairman of MiSalud. “Because of the cost, we wouldn’t see doctors until we were back in Mexico in December. And now, despite having good insurance and financial means, my mother still goes to Tijuana for medical care. She feels more comfortable with someone who understands her language and culture.”
Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, with Magnify Ventures is the largest investor in the round. “There’s been a massive acceleration in digital health over the last several years, and during the pandemic in particular. But many families have been left behind. Hispanic adults in the US represent the largest ‘sandwich generation’ population, caring for both older adults and children at the same time. We are thrilled to invest in MiSalud and help eliminate health and wellness boundaries for underserved and overburdened Hispanic families,” says Joanna Drake, Managing Partner at Magnify.
“MiSalud is using technology to make comprehensive, affordable healthcare available to all,” says Miriam Rivera, CEO, founder and General Partner at Ulu Ventures. “We are delighted to be supporting a diverse team, including a Latino founder, in a company focused on bringing health equity to the LatinX community.”
Rounding out the list of investors: Lowercase Capital, Rise Capital, and strategic investor, Entravision. Angel investors Alex Bitoun, Sumit Agarwal, Belsasar Lepe, and Isaac Saldana also contributed.
MiSalud is currently in closed beta and will launch publicly later this year.