Ilant Health, a virtual obesity treatment company, launched Tuesday out of stealth with $3 million in funding, the company announced Tuesday.
New York City-based Ilant Health is a value-based care startup that serves employers and government payers across all 50 states. It helps identify members and employees who would benefit from obesity treatment and matches those patients to the care that is best for them. This matching process takes into account medical, behavioral and social factors. Treatment could include intensive behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy (including GLP-1s and non-GLP-1s) and bariatric surgery. Patients also receive virtual access to obesity medicine physicians, mental health practitioners, nutritionists and peer navigators.
The company’s goal is to drive long-term results, said Elina Onitskansky, CEO of Ilant.
“Treatment only works if you’re on it long term, when you’re actually not just losing weight initially, but maintaining the weight loss,” she said in an interview. “Our peer navigators, who are individuals with lived experience with obesity, and our purpose-built tools are actually designed to drive ongoing adherence and outcomes because you can only create value if you actually see outcomes long-term.”
Ilant’s $3 million in funding is from investors including Nick Loporcaro, president and CEO of Global Medical Response; Brandon Kerns, CFO of CareBridge, Russell Street Ventures, and Main Street Health; and Matt Klitus, CFO of Lyra Health. The company is using the funds to build up its analytics infrastructure, as well as invest in its clinical capabilities, Onitskansky said.
As a value-based care company, Ilant takes downside and upside risk. It focuses on metrics like improving access to care, supporting weight loss and improving disease symptoms.
Onitskansky chose to start the company because of her professional and personal experiences. She previously worked at Molina Healthcare, Help at Home and McKinsey, and has lived experience with obesity. After trying numerous options, she sought bariatric surgery.
“Coming out of that experience, I basically had a little bit of an aha moment,” she said. “I sort of said, ‘Gosh, I’ve seen this movie before. This is mental health, this is substance use disorder five to 10 years ago. I deeply felt that we needed to change the way we approached obesity treatment.”
There are several other companies in the space as well. Found, a weight care company, recently launched Found for Business, an obesity care program for employers. Weight loss company Noom also announced last week that it is now offering Noom Med, a solution for patients in need of more clinical support, to employers.
In launching Ilant, Onitskansky said she hopes to “change the lives of people with obesity and in doing so, fundamentally bend the healthcare cost curve in this country. I think there’s no question that obesity-related diseases are contributing to the growth in healthcare costs. I think there’s also no question that recently there have been concerns that the cost of obesity treatment is driving near-term costs as well. I think we need the right model that helps us address costs today, but also address healthcare costs in the future.”
Photo: puhimec, Getty Images