Pillo Lands $250k Investment from Hackensack Meridian Health
Hackensack Meridian Health yesterday announced a $250,000 investment in the Boston-based startup Pillo Health. Pillo is building a digital healthcare companion in the form of a voice-and-touch-activated smart display. It looks like a stationary robot for the kitchen counter with a display screen that can render a friendly face, connect a video call, show you reminders about your pills and execute other helpful tasks. The device is targeted at adults with chronic conditions and is built on Orbita’s voice experience management platform. A media announcement highlighted several Pillo features including:
- Reminds people to take medication at the appropriate time
- Dispenses medications and digitally coordinates prescription refills
- Connects individuals in their homes with physicians, caregivers and loved ones [by video chat]
The announcement also indicated that “Pillo can alert a family member if an elderly relative misses a medication dose. Pillo can also connect a patient or family member with a physician via videoconference and provide an on-screen display of essential medical data as obtained from the patient’s electronic medical record.”
Investment Part of a Larger Funding Round to Be Announced
A spokesperson for Pillo indicated that Hackensack Meridian Health would also be contributing, “another $250,000 in services to help commercialize the product,” and that the investment is part of a larger funding round with details coming at a later date. Pitchbook data show Pillo Health was founded in 2015 and has raised $2.5 million to date from BioAdvance, Civilization Ventures, Hikma Ventures and other undisclosed investors. The company has participated in two accelerator programs: Mass Challenge and Plug and Play Tech Center.
Healthcare is quickly becoming a popular voice and artificial intelligence category for investment. In may, Suki raised $20 million to support the development of a new voice assistant for doctors. Nuance and IPSoft have also launched digital assistants for healthcare professionals. Pillo partner Orbita is healthcare focused and has raised $3.2 million according to Crunchbase.
Pillo’s product is scheduled to become available in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the initial model will be limited to English-language interaction. Interested consumers can register for the Pillo wait list here. The company also recently announced a collaboration with AARP in a study of diabetes patients that will begin this summer in the Boston area.