Category: Health

Visualizing the Relationship Between Cancer and Lifespan


This post is by Mark Belan from Visual Capitalist


Visualizing the Relationship Between Cancer and Lifespan

Can I share this graphic?
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

A Newfound Link Between Cancer and Aging?

A new study in 2022 reveals a thought-provoking relationship between how long animals live and how quickly their genetic codes mutate.

Cancer is a product of time and mutations, and so researchers investigated its onset and impact within 16 unique mammals. A new perspective on DNA mutation broadens our understanding of aging and cancer development—and how we might be able to control it.

Mutations, Aging, and Cancer: A Primer

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is not a pathogen that infects the body, but a normal body process gone wrong.

Cells divide and multiply in our bodies all the time. Sometimes, during DNA replication, tiny mistakes (called mutations) appear randomly within the genetic code. Our bodies have mechanisms to correct these errors, and for much of our youth we remain strong and healthy as a result of these corrective measures.

However, these protections weaken as we age. Developing cancer becomes more likely as mutations slip past our defenses and continue to multiply. The longer we live, the (Read more...)

Operational Health Tech: A New Billion Dollar Market



The following content is sponsored by Bloom Health Partners

Operational Health Tech: A New Billion Dollar Market

Many lessons were learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but what has become most apparent is the need to invest in healthcare on all fronts. In fact in just a few short years, businesses, governments, and consumers have had to entirely reassess healthcare in ways not quite seen before.

What’s more, this elevated importance placed on health could be here to stay, and one area in particular is poised for significant growth: operational health tech.

The graphic above from our sponsor Bloom Health Partners dives into the burgeoning market that is operational health tech, and reveals the key driving forces behind it.

What is Operational Health?

To start, operational health is an industry that provides health services to employees to help keep companies running smoothly.

A critical piece of operational health is workplace health, which is expected to soar in value. From 2021 to 2025, the market for workplace health is expected to grow 200% from $6.5 billion to $19.5 billion.

The industry is undergoing a tremendous amount of innovation, specifically in relation to technological advances.

Operational Health Tech: Disrupting Healthcare

The operational health tech industry is disrupting traditional healthcare by providing direct services to employees in the workplace.

For decades now, the U.S. has increasingly become a statistical outlier for healthcare spending relative to health outcomes. For instance, the average American incurs $9,000 in healthcare spending per year, nearly twice that of (Read more...)

Zinc: A Life Saving Commodity



The following content is sponsored by the Teck

Zinc: A Life Saving Commodity

Zinc is crucial for body growth, brain development, and helps fight dangerous infections, especially in children.

However, the reality is that millions around the world lack sufficient zinc in their diets in order to live healthy lives.

This graphic, sponsored by Teck, shows how zinc supplementation could save millions of lives.

Why Zinc?

Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in human life. In fact, zinc is the second-most-abundant trace mineral in our bodies—after iron—and is present in every cell.

The mineral is required for numerous processes in the body, including:

  • DNA creation
  • Cell growth
  • Protein building
  • Healing tissues
  • Supporting the immune system

Zinc is commonly added to some nasal sprays, lozenges, and other natural cold treatments.

The Challenge

Because the body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, we must obtain it through food or supplementation.

Fortunately, zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, and nuts. We can also take zinc supplements or multi-vitamins which provide zinc. A diet that is too low in zinc however can cause several health issues.

Zinc deficiency affects 1.2 billion people worldwide today, according to UNICEF. In fact, one in four children are malnourished and at the risk of stunted growth and impaired development.

Furthermore, over half a million children die of diarrhea every year in developing countries in Asia and Africa, where clean drinking water, sanitation, and access (Read more...)

Antimicrobial Copper: The Germ-fighting Metal



The following content is sponsored by Trilogy Metals.

Antimicrobial Copper: The Germ-fighting Metal

Copper has a wide range of uses in electronics, infrastructure, and energy technologies. The red metal is virtually everywhere, from the wires in our devices to the buildings we live in.

However, copper’s medicinal applications, which go back thousands of years, aren’t as widespread in the modern world.

In this infographic from our sponsor Trilogy Metals, we explore copper’s ability to fight bacteria and its expanding role in modern healthcare.

Dr. Copper: How Copper Fights Germs

Copper is naturally antimicrobial, and ancient civilizations recognized this property. The Egyptian Smith Papyrus recorded copper’s first medical use thousands of years ago. Since then, several generations have passed down their knowledge about copper’s medicinal uses.

But how does copper kill germs?

According to the Copper Development Association, copper surfaces affect bacteria in a series of sequential steps:

#1: Breaching the Cell

Every bacterium’s outer cell membrane is characterized by an electrical micro-current, known as the “transmembrane potential”. It is suspected that when a bacterium is exposed to a copper surface, it leads to a short-circuiting of the current in the cell membrane, which weakens the membrane and creates holes.

Localized oxidation is another mechanism by which copper breaches bacterial cells. This occurs when a copper ion comes into contact with a protein or fatty acid from the bacterium’s cell membrane in the presence of oxygen, which causes oxidative damage to the cell membrane.

#2: Disrupting Cell Function

(Read more...)

Fertility tracking app Flo closes $50M Series B



Flo, a fertility focused period-tracking app, has closed a $50 million Series B funding round which it says values the company at $800M — underlining how much value investors are now attaching to women’s health tech.

The 2016-founded startup raised a $1M seed in its first year and has gone on to raise a total of $65M. The latest B funding round is co-led by VNV Global and Target Global.

Flo’s user-base has grown to around 200M globally — a proportion of whom pay it a subscription to access exclusive content, in addition to the core period tracking features.

The app uses machine learning to offer users “curated” cycle tracking and predictions, personalized health insights, and real-time health alerts — based on tracked symptoms, with data fed in by its sizeable user base. So while it started out as a period tracker Flo now touts its app as a proactive, preventative healthcare tool for women —  connecting them to “science-backed content, expert-led courses and accurate cycle predictions”.

But that’s also a measure of increased competition for women-centric utilities like period tracking — with Apple, for example, (finally) adding cycle tracking in the Health app that’s native to iOS back in 2019. So femtech startups like Flo have to do a lot more than provide basic utility to win women these days.

Flo appears to be getting something right with its current content and marketing mix: Over the past 12 months it says its active subscriber base has increased 4x (Read more...)

Women’s health tech brand, Elvie, tops up Series C to $97M



Elvie, the women’s health tech pioneer behind a connected breast pump and smart pelvic floor exerciser, has topped up a Series C which it announced earlier this summer (July) — adding a further £12.7m to bring the total raised to £70 million ($97m).

The 2013-founded, UK-based startup previously raised a $42M Series B in 2019, and a $6M Series A in 2017 — when femtech startups were a lot rarer than they are now. Products designed for (and often by) women have gained a lot of momentum over this period as female-led startups have blazed a trail and shown there’s a sizeable market for femtech — leading investors to slow clock on to the opportunity too.

Analysts now project the femtech industry will become a $50 billion market by 2025.

Elvie says the Series C extension includes funds sponsored by the co-founders of Blume Equity – a PE firm that focuses on the food and health sectors – plus further capital from existing investors IPGL, Hiro Capital and Westerly Winds.

In July, when it announced the earlier ($80M) tranche of the raise, Elvie said the Series C was led by BGF and BlackRock alongside existing investors including Octopus Ventures.

The Series C will be used to drive for more growth through geographical expansion (including entering new markets) and diversifying its product portfolio to target other “key stages” in women’s lives, it said.

That means it’ll be splashing out on R&D to support product development — connected hardware (Read more...)

Singapore-based caregiving startup Homage raises $30M Series C



Homage, the caregiving-focused startup, has raised a $30 million Series C led by Sheares Healthcare Group, which is wholly-owned by investment firm Temasek. Other participants included new investors DG Daiwa Ventures and Sagana Capital, and returning backers East Ventures (Growth), HealthXCapital, SeedPlus, Trihill Capital and Alternate Ventures.

The new funding will be used to develop Homage’s technology, continue integrating with aged and disability care payer and provider infrastructure and speed-up its regional expansion through partnerships with hospitals and care providers. Homage currently operates in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

The Singapore-based company’s services include home visits from caregivers, nurses, therapists and doctors; telemedicine; and services for chronic illnesses. One of the reasons Homage’s platform is able to scale up is its matching engine, which helps clients, like older adults and people living with chronic conditions, find providers who are best suited to their needs (the final matches are made by Homage’s team).

The startup says the round was oversubscribed and one of the largest fundings raised by an on-demand care platform in Southeast Asia and Oceania so far. It brings Homage’s total raised to more than $45 million.

As part of Series C, Sheares Healthcare Group chief corporate development officer Khoo Ee Ping will join Homage’s board of directors.

Homage now has a regional network of more than 6,000 pre-screened and trained care professionals. It claims that its business outside of Singapore has grown more than 600% (Read more...)

Oviva grabs $80M for app-delivered healthy eating programs



UK startup Oviva, which sells a digital support offering, including for Type 2 diabetes treatment, dispensing personalized diet and lifestyle advice via apps to allow more people to be able to access support, has closed $80 million in Series C funding — bringing its total raised to date to $115M.

The raise, which Oviva says will be used to scale up after a “fantastic year” of growth for the health tech business, is co-led by Sofina and Temasek, alongside existing investors AlbionVC, Earlybird, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, MTIP, plus several angels.

Underpinning that growth is the fact wealthy Western nations continue to see rising rates of obesity and other health conditions like Type 2 diabetes (which can be linked to poor diet and lack of exercise). While more attention is generally being paid to the notion of preventative — rather than reactive — healthcare, to manage the rising costs of service delivery.

Lifestyle management to help control weight and linked health conditions (like diabetes) is where Oviva comes in: It’s built a blended support offering that combines personalized care (provided by healthcare professionals) with digital tools for patients that help them do things like track what they’re eating, access support and chart their progress towards individual health goals.

It can point to 23 peer-reviewed publications to back up its approach — saying key results show an average of 6.8% weight loss at 6 months for those living with obesity; while, in its specialist programs, it says 53% of (Read more...)

Osana Salud raises $20M to build API-connected infrastructure for the LatAm healthcare industry



Osana Salud, which aims to transform the healthcare infrastructure in Latin America, has closed on a $20 million Series A round of funding led by General Catalyst.

The Argentina-based, yet fully remote, startup was founded in 2019 — just a few months before the pandemic. Since launching less than a year ago, Osana says it has secured contracts with health insurance firms and providers that collectively serve more than 6 million patients in the region. For example, it is working with Sanatorio Güemes and PAMI, which has a network of 5 million patients, among others.

Quiet Capital, Preface Ventures, FJ Labs, AforeVC and K50 Ventures also put money in the latest round, which brings Osana’s total raised over its lifetime to $26.5 million. Lee Fixel’s Addition is also an investor.

CEO Andre Lawson told TechCrunch he was inspired to start Osana Salud because an estimated 50% of Latin America does not have access to quality healthcare. So he teamed up with COO Jorge Lopez to found the company to help change that. President Charu Sharma (the only staffer who is U.S.-based) and CTO Hugo Martin joined at a later date.

“Our vision is to enable affordable and accessible healthcare for every person in Latin America by leveraging technology,” Lawson said.

Specifically, Osana Salud is building an API-connected infrastructure to help the region’s healthcare industry offer a patient experience that offers “greater convenience, outcomes and value,” Lawson told TechCrunch. Its (Read more...)