Trellus Health, a resilience-driven digital health solution for chronic conditions, today announced that it has raised $5 million of seed funding to transform the way chronic conditions are treated, with an initial focus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The round was led by Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) and EKF Diagnostics, a global medical manufacturer of point-of-care and central lab devices and tests. Trellus has also entered into an exclusive multi-year contract with MSHS to commercialize its patent pending GRITT-IBDTM resilience assessment and personalized treatment methodology.
Ninety-percent of the United States’ $3.3 trillion annual health care expenditure is for chronic diseases, with patients suffering from both chronic medical and mental health conditions costing twice as much, according to the CDC. Despite these cost implications, traditional care models fail to address the emotional well-being of people with chronic conditions, and access to expert interdisciplinary care resources to deliver specialist-level care is highly limited.
“We are transforming the way chronic conditions are treated by developing a resilience-driven connected care platform that integrates precision medicine with psychosocial care,” said Monique Fayad, CEO of Trellus Health. “The traditional journey of medical care for people living with chronic conditions typically results in repeated costly, unplanned emergency room visits and hospitalizations, high rates of work absenteeism and lost productivity, as well as chronic disability and behavioral health issues. We’re working to change this by focusing on building patients’ resilience while integrating all partners in care, including employers, insurance plans, health systems, Trellus-certified GI providers, nurses, psychologists, and dieticians who can utilize Trellus Health’s proprietary platform to effectively monitor and communicate with patients and their caregivers in real time.”
The first chronic condition that Trellus Health will address is IBD, one of the costliest chronic conditions with a high mental health burden, affecting 3 million patients in the U.S. (7 million globally) and costing the U.S. healthcare system over $30 billion a year, according to the Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Initiative From the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 2019. Since 2016, the company’s co-founders, Marla Dubinsky, MD, and Laurie Keefer, PhD, who together bring close to 50 years of experience managing IBD and serve as co-directors of the Mount Sinai IBD Medical Home, have integrated resilience-driven multi-disciplinary care into the management of IBD patients.
“Our research on over 200 IBD patients indicates that more than 70% believe their condition would be better managed if they had support for anxiety or depression,” said Dubinsky, who along with being a co-founder and board member, is also a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Chief of Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and co-director of Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at Mount Sinai. “By personalizing care to address the psychosocial needs of all IBD patients and applying the latest evidence-based clinical approaches, we can help patients achieve disease control and enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.”
Resilience-driven care incorporates positive psychology principles into all aspects of chronic disease management, with a focus on building acceptance, optimism, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support. Proven health benefits of resilience include increased longevity, cardiovascular, immune, and cognitive function, as well as physical well-being and reduced risk for depression and anxiety.
“Crohn’s disease was discovered at Mount Sinai by Dr. Burrill Crohn nearly 100 years ago, and the System has made great strides in enhancing the the standard of care and outcomes for our patients,” said Erik Lium, President, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners and Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Innovation Officer at Mount Sinai. “We’re pleased to partner with Trellus Health to advance commercial development of a resilience-driven approach and connected care model for treating IBD and other complex chronic conditions, making Mount Sinai’s technology available to more patients.”
“Dr. Keefer’s important research utilizing the GRITTTM Method at the Mount Sinai IBD Center shows first-hand how resilience-driven multidisciplinary care significantly reduces unplanned care,” said Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics. “We are excited to support Trellus in helping millions of people reduce their disease burden and improve their overall well being.”
About Trellus Health
Trellus Health is a leading pioneer in resilience-driven care for people with complex chronic conditions. Through its multidisciplinary connected care platform, Trellus coordinates expert whole-person care, including both clinical and behavioral health, to improve outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs for patients, employers, and the healthcare system. The Company leverages its patent-pending GRITT-IBDTM resilience assessment and personalized treatment methodology, developed at the Mount Sinai Health System, to support patient resilience and wellness for better outcomes. For more information on Trellus Health, visit www.trellushealth.com.
The resilience-driven connected care solution described is based on technology developed by Mount Sinai faculty and licensed to Trellus Health. Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai faculty members Marla Dubinsky, MD, and Laurie Keefer, PhD, have a financial interest in Trellus Health.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
About Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP)
MSIP is responsible for driving the real-world application and commercialization of Mount Sinai discoveries and inventions, and the development of research partnerships with industry. Our aim is to translate discoveries and inventions into health care products and services that benefit patients and society. MSIP is accountable for the full spectrum of commercialization activities required to bring Mount Sinai inventions to life. These activities include evaluating, patenting, marketing and licensing new technologies building research, collaborations and partnerships with commercial and nonprofit entities, material transfer and confidentiality, coaching innovators to advance commercially relevant translational discoveries, and actively fostering an ecosystem of entrepreneurship within the Mount Sinai research and health system communities. For more information, visit www.ip.mountsinai.org.
About EKF Diagnostics
EKF Diagnostics is a global medical manufacturer of point-of-care (POCT) devices and tests for hemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), glucose and lactate. EKF has offices in the UK, Germany, USA, Russia and China and a network of more than 200 distributors covering every country.