Tel Aviv- and New York-based Belong.Life, a startup developing a digital support network for cancer patients that uses AI to create personalized experiences, today announced that it’s raised $14 million in series B funding led by Iqvia, with participation from The Group Ventures and other existing investors. The fresh funds bring the startup’s total raised to nearly $30 million following a $5 million series A in June 2015, and cofounder and CEO Eliran Malki says they’ll be used to expand Belong’s reach into new markets and diseases.
“We are honored by the support and trust of Iqvia and our investors,” said Malki, who founded Belong in 2015 with Irad Deutsch and Ohad Rubin after each lost relatives to cancer. “We at Belong are focused on building the most robust, hyper-personalized and configurable patient engagement and research platform. Starting with Belong — beating cancer together, we quickly grew to become the world’s largest social network and patient navigator app for cancer, collaborating with leading and disruptive researchers and publications in the market.”
For the uninitiated, Belong’s free mobile app enables those with cancer and their loved ones to explore and better manage treatment. By offering a suite of configurable tools and services powered by machine learning, it’s able to connect and send clinical information in a HIPAA-compliant fashion, and to allow users, payers, providers, and life science companies to discuss and analyze condition-related issues anonymously.
Within Belong, algorithms recommend content and updates and automatically select communities and professionals relevant to particular cancer types. Patients can solicit oncologists, radiologists, researchers, and nurses for answers to questions, or tap a broader social network of other users. Medical documents are organized and stored securely in a shareable portal, and patients who meet criteria for clinical trials optionally receive alerts via notifications. (Belong says it’s made over 4,000 clinical trial matches so far.)
Belong claims that it’s the world’s largest digital cancer patient platform with over 200,000 users in 105 countries. The company counts among its partners the American Cancer Society, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and Colorectal Cancer Canada, as well as more than 20 research partners including The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with which it’s conducted and published peer-reviewed papers.
“Our investment in Belong is part of our strategy to identify and accelerate disruptive technologies that can improve healthcare,” said Iqvia global VP of technology solutions Tal Rosenberg. “Through its unique patient engagement platform with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, Belong can utilize and complement Iqvia’s solutions to transform patient engagement. We are thrilled to work with Belong as they help transition patient engagement from transactions to experiences — giving their customers the type of engagement they want.”