NEW YORK, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Fruit Street Health, the only diabetes prevention program (DPP) offered through live group video conferencing with Registered Dietitians (RDs), today announced it has now raised a total of $17 million from more than 300 physicians across the country, which brings the company’s valuation to $55 million.
“Instead of being funded by one venture capital firm, we wanted Fruit Street to be more of a grassroots movement of physicians who wanted to have a social impact in public health using technology,” said Laurence Girard, founder and CEO of Fruit Street Health. “This investment will help us to continue our mission of preventing thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes via telehealth.”
Fruit Street also engages their physician investors in an online medical think tank where they provide input on topics such as product design, business model, outcomes analysis, and introductions to potential customers. As a public benefit corporation, Fruit Street places social impact as an equally-important goal along with the traditional corporate purpose of maximizing profit for shareholders. While other for-profit companies look at their bottom line to measure success, public benefit corporations like Fruit Street hold themselves to more meaningful outcomes such as the prevention of chronic diseases.
“Modern medicine in the U.S. has unfortunately transformed into a crisis management system, where physicians are held to business decisions in an extremely profit driven model,” said Veena Somani, MD, a private Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine physician, and Fruit Street investor. “Prevention has fallen away, and diabetes and obesity epidemics have continued to rise. It has been a privilege to be an investor in a company that respects, and is completely guided by, physician input. It is empowering to see clients lose weight, under the impact of food as medicine, and get their lives back through Fruit Street’s platform.”
While approximately 88 million Americans – more than 1 in 3 – have prediabetesi, and 34 million more have diabetes, accessibility to prevention programs and effective treatment is still cost-prohibitive and sometimes geographically challenging for some. Without an easy way for physicians to refer people to a diabetes prevention program (DPP), many people are left with little to no options for care despite this growing epidemic. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) only 5 percent of patients diagnosed with prediabetes end up being referred to DPPsii. And while other DPPs are primarily focused on reaching people through health plans, Fruit Street addresses the referral gap by working directly with physicians to give them a seamless and effective way to prevent the progression of chronic diseases and help their patients stay healthy.
“As a Family Physician working in a rural setting, many of the resources that make the greatest impact are lacking such as nutritional counseling,” said Kelenne V. Tuitt, DO, MS, a Family Medicine physician and Fruit Street investor. “Fruit Street’s program delivered through live group video to anyone across the country can close the gap in access to simple interventions that can have a significant impact on lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, and on healthcare on a global scale.”
Fruit Street is currently delivering its diabetes prevention program to large self-insured employers and health plans who want to reduce their healthcare costs by preventing type 2 diabetes. The company’s revenue tripled from 2018 to 2019 and is on track to achieve the same growth in 2020 due to its contracts with employers, health plans, referring physicians, and consumer adoption.
To learn more about Fruit Street, please visit www.FruitStreet.com.
About Fruit Street
Fruit Street (www.FruitStreet.com) is a physician-funded telehealth startup that offers the only online diabetes prevention program (DPP) fully-recognized by the CDC, that is delivered via HIPPA-compliant live group video, increasing access to treatment and prevention for millions of Americans with, or at risk for, prediabetes. Fruit Street’s program is proven to help people lose at least 5-7% of their body weight which can reverse the progression of disease, reduce personal health care costs and reduce the risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Fruit Street takes a more holistic approach to diabetes prevention, offering people a comprehensive weight loss plan which includes personalized attention and unlimited messaging with Registered Dietitians (RDs), a free wireless scale and Fitbit Activity Tracker™ to track progress. Founded in 2014 as a public benefit corporation, Fruit Street has raised more than $17 million in capital from hundreds of physicians who are dedicated to making a lasting social impact in healthcare.
Emily Scherberth Barnes
Symphony PR & Marketing, Inc.
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SOURCE Fruit Street Health