Despite affecting tens of millions of Americans, GI conditions are seldom discussed. Irritable bowel syndrome, one of the most common GI conditions, is estimated to affect between 10% and 15% of people in the U.S.
The lack of support for patients with GI conditions, coupled with the cost to insurers and employers, led to the creation of Oshi Health
The New York-based startup connects people to a virtual care team led by gastroenterologists to help them manage their GI conditions. CEO Sam Holliday is closely familiar with the problem, after seeing his mom struggle, despite taking a methodical approach to managing her IBS.
Many people end up making trips to the ER, or undergoing costly procedures before they reach a diagnosis. In the time between a visit with a physician or specialist, they are left “floating in the system,” CEO Sam Holliday told MedCity News in a previous interview.
Oshi recently raised $23 million in funding, led by Flare Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Frist Cressey Ventures. It also brought on strategic investors in CVS Health Ventures and Takeda Digital Ventures.
“GI is a massive and woefully underserved patient population, and a category marked by enormous spending and unsatisfactory care. Payers are seeing GI as a top-three specialty care cost category, and employers continue to pay more each year for GI care with little evidence of improved outcomes,” Flare Capital Partners Co-Founder and General Partner Michael Greeley said in a news release. “We were drawn to Sam and the Oshi Health team and its redesigned GI care model.”
At MedCity INVEST’s Pitch Perfect competition this spring, judges picked Oshi as a winner for its approach to managing GI conditions.
The startup offers three- to six-month care programs that people can access through their insurance or their employer’s health plan. It offers telehealth visits with a gastroenterologist, registered dietician, mental health provider and a health coach. With some conditions, such as IBS, keeping track of what foods trigger symptoms and reducing stress are key components of managing the condition. Physicians can also put in orders for labs or diagnostic tests as needed.
Holliday’s goal with Oshi is twofold: to make care more accessible to patients and to lower the total cost of care.