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Tech startup LifeWallet helps consumers take control of their health

Nancy Dahlberg, Miami Herald on

Published in Home and Consumer News

What's next? LifeWallet is working on strategic initiatives with Florida International University, connecting with Watson Health of IBM and doing work using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. It aims to create a digital health store where consumers can purchase health assessments they can take from the comfort of their own homes and care plans that can be monitored by health and wellness coaches, Menendez said.

"We're talking to major health care systems throughout the country ... about how the LifeWallet platform can save them, and consumers, billions of dollars a year, particularly in the fight against chronic diseases that account for 86 percent of the costs of health care," Menendez said.

Company name: LifeWallet

Headquarters: Miami area

Concept: LifeWallet aims to change the health care delivery model, enabling consumers to own their health.

Website: www.lifewallet.com

Launched: 2014

Number of employees: 15

Management team: Norberto Menendez, CEO; Kyle Carriedo, leads engineering team; Ben Sharpe, development; Scott Johns, designer; Edwin Rivera, brand evangelist.

Financing: $6.5 million in private financing from family and friends. Currently seeking Series A financing of $10 million.

Recent milestones: Grant from AstraZeneca to continue its Sugar Smart for Life program with West Kendall Baptist Hospital. Pilot with KeepLivin, Jessie Trice Community Health Center and Health Choice Networks for diabetes prevention and management to help manage patients affected with diabetes. Collaboration with Athlete's Health to assess and track the course of concussions and overall health in former NFL players and young athletes and to promote health screenings in the community with local organizations, hospitals, schools and companies in 32 cities throughout the U.S. Partnership with AgaMatrix to facilitate preventative care and remote monitoring in populations at risk of developing diabetes.

Biggest startup challenge: Funding in South Florida. "We're talking to various funding sources in the Northeast and in Silicon Valley, but South Florida still remains a challenge," Menendez said.

Next step: Continuing to enhance the LifeWallet platform and getting the word out to health care providers and insurers.

Mentor's view: "I always look first at the opportunity and then the team. LifeWallet is at the forefront of the change from traditional health care to patient-centered wellness management, one of the biggest possible opportunities. A team of ex-Apple programmers was a very attractive plus," said Bob Hacker, director of StartUP FIU, startup advisor and professor. "The challenge is picking the early commercial partner -- whether it be an insurer, hospital group, large local employer or government organization -- to leverage the (software as a service) platform to scale LifeWallet. I like the insurers as the first customer segment."

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