Even after billions in venture capital have been raised and invested in the digital health space, it is still difficult to access quality healthcare. And while that may raise questions about whether a shoddy startup has a fighting chance of fixing things, for entrepreneur Akili Hinsonit just means that Juno must deal even smarter with the neighborhoods it focuses on.
Hinson, founder and CEO of Juno and a physician by profession, is building a health care model that delivers personalized care in diverse neighborhoods across the country. The startup’s modern take on visiting healthcare means it competes with heavyweights like A medical one and CityBlock Health. But that hasn’t stopped investors from recently leading a $12 million Series A in the startup, a round co-led by Serena Ventures and NEXT Ventures.
The evidence may be key. Hinson explained that CityBlock Health focuses exclusively on Medicaid and Medicare-eligible patients, who are often among the sickest patients in the healthcare system. On the other end of the spectrum, One Medical appears as a kind of exclusive membership program that is often paid for by employers. Juno wants to be there for people who don’t fit into either category, which she says is 99% of the population.
“Our approach is to have open access and create complementary products for people who want an extra dose of convenience, savings and support,” Hinson said, adding that Juno is more focused on providing family care at scale. In action, this means Juno works to provide services from pediatrics to OB-GYN. “What that means is that, unlike an exclusive membership model, anyone can come in and get their care… from all walks of life in these neighborhoods.” The company also offers higher sharpness services such as x-rays.
Having truly open access and also providing everything from adult primary care to same-day care comes at a cost — ergo why so many companies wanting to offer a one-stop-shop have to raise nine-figure rounds. Juno recently started offering additional plans ranging from $20 to $50 per month for families who want a more convenient experience, such as nighttime and weekend appointments or better savings. The challenge is to scale this service, beyond physical locations, in a way that makes the company’s new backers happy.
With new capital in hand, Juno plans to expand its team and services to East Atlanta, Greenwood and Inglewood.
“We don’t think you should click 35 times to understand what your vital signs were at your last appointment or see your labs,” Hinson said. “The Juno story is much more about technology enabling excellent care — I wouldn’t even call us a digital health company; we are a high-tech healthcare service.”