Digital health start-up iPug, a company founded in Australia but now based in San Francisco, has announced that a group of angel investors led by Hamilton-based property developer and investor, Zane Beckett, provided it with seed capital and Series A funding.
iPug has developed a ‘gamified’, reward-based communications platform to deliver individualised public health campaigns, and to recruit and engage participants in research studies and clinical trials. Its announcement gave no indication of the amount invested, nor of the date at which the investment was made.
iPug CEO and cofounder, Steve Huff, said: “Digital health funding [in the US] is up, with over $US900m in investment in Q1 of this year. This represents a 50 percent year-on-year growth from the same time last year.”
iPug developed an injury prevention app Cool Runnings for the Center for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research at the University of Queensland and following its move to the US, in June 2016, says it sees tremendous opportunity to reduce public health costs, effectively scale and deliver measurable results for public health campaigns in the US.
iPug claims that its iPug Research Suite, “recruits and engages targeted participants for high quality and real-time research results,” and its iPug Health Suite “delivers individualised health campaigns to individuals with the right message, at the right time, on the right device with the right reward incentive, thereby moving governments away from a broadcast model of ineffective public service campaigns to a targeted reward-based communications platform.”
iPug says this level of engagement has proven to save time, money and has a higher success rate in influencing changed user behavior as it relates to public health.