NEW HAVEN,Conn., May 5, 2022 – Wellinks, a digital healthcare company offering the first-ever integrated, virtual Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) management solution, today announced its acquisition of the business assets of Sparo, another digital health company focused on respiratory conditions. Wellinks will incorporate Sparo’s Lift pulmonary rehabilitation program into its solution. Current Lift users will be invited to join Wellinks to benefit from having pulmonary rehabilitation and educational programming integrated with Wellinks’ personalized health coaching, connected devices, and easy-to-use patient app.
Lift is an online pulmonary rehabilitation program that engages people with COPD and other breathing conditions from the comfort of their home. Accessed through a computer, tablet, or smartphone, Lift includes a variety of classes led by a multidisciplinary team of instructors and is designed to improve access to care. While pulmonary rehabilitation has proven to be an effective tool for helping people manage COPD, it remains a dramatically underutilized and inaccessible resource for most; there are presently 18,000 COPD patients for every one pulmonary rehabilitation facility. Wellinks aims to transcend these gaps in care and empower members to participate in integrated COPD management through a solution available to them at home.
“We built Sparo with a clear vision to increase access to care for people with COPD – a mission that we proudly share with Wellinks,” said Abby Cohen, co-founder of Sparo. Her co-founder, Andrew Brimer, added, “Joining Wellinks enables us to apply our years of research and development to improving the health of a broader network of members. We are thrilled to embark on the next part of this journey together as part of the Wellinks team.”
Sparo was founded in 2012 by then-engineering students Abby Cohen and Andrew Brimer, both of whom were named to Forbes’ 2018 “30 Under 30” list for their leadership and vision. An entrepreneur-in-residence with the Skandalaris Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Cohen has served on the board of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America from 2014 through 2021 and co-chaired the Evolve Capital Campaign to develop downtown St. Louis’ innovation center. Cohen and Brimer are patented inventors who have presented their work at the United Nations, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Oxford, and The White House. Both co-founders have joined the Wellinks team as part of the acquisition: Cohen as Senior Program Manager and Brimer as Senior Product Designer.
“As part of the Wellinks product team, Abby and Andrew can continue developing innovative content and programming for our members, building on the strong foundation they created with Sparo,” said Ellen Su, Chief Product Officer at Wellinks. “We are proud to welcome them to Wellinks, and look forward to empowering more people to take control of their COPD and improve their health through virtual-first care.”
This transaction continues a steady drumbeat of momentum for Wellinks. Earlier this month, Wellinks announced the addition of Dr. Abi Sundaramoorthy to its leadership team as Chief Medical Officer. This follows the publication of peer-reviewed research last month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finding that older Wellinks users were highly engaged and satisfied managing their COPD with its virtual-first solution. Payers and innovative health systems, like Hartford HealthCare, are choosing Wellinks as their partner inCOPD disease management.
Wellinks is on a mission to help those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) live fully and breathe freely. COPD is the third leading cause of death by disease in the U.S. and the fifth most costly chronic condition. With its personalized, virtual-first COPD management system, Wellinks breaks down barriers for patients, providing the evidence-based care they need and deserve outside the four walls of the clinic. Wellinks supports patients through virtual pulmonary rehabilitation, health coaching, and monitoring through connected devices and an easy-to-use smartphone app. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Wellinks is led by a team of digital health veterans and backed by top investment firms includingMorningside, HighCape Capital, Connecticut Innovations, and Benslie. For more information, visit www.wellinks.com and follow on Twitter (@WellinksHealth) and LinkedIn.