Verita Health, the global preventative healthcare group aiming to reduce chronic disease and extend life expectancy, is building what it claims is the largest digital health platform in the world by buying and merging five platforms in Asia, Europe and the USA. At the same time, Verita is moving its health offering into hotels, retail and clinics across several continents. We talk to CEO Julian Andriesz, who is the plenary speaker at HBI 2020, April 20-22, London.
Singapore-based Verita has just announced that it is buying three companies, chronic disease management app nBuddy, CelliHealth, a digital health and wellness platform for employers and insurers and Hanako which provides screening for German corporates. Two more businesses, one in the UK and one in the USA, will be added in the next 90 days. The five will be merged into a single Verita Wisdom platform. Andriesz claims the combined platform will have 1.3m users who have been active in the last 30 days. The group has a European office in London as well as an office in Silicon Valley.
He says that Verita will spend a total of US$50-60m on these acquisitions and their development over the next 6 to 9 months. He claims that the apps deliver medically tested and approved treatments for diabetes and obesity. “That is why we are able to partner with Swiss Re, the NHS in the UK and other payors.”
Meanwhile, Verita has struck a deal to open Verita centres inside hotels in the Minor chain. Andriesz says a pilot in Thailand was successful and five more will be opened in resort hotels over the next 6-9 months.
Minor has 600 hotels across Asia and Europe and Andriesz says the offering may vary from hotel to hotel. “In these five we are building branded Verita centres with medical staff offering tests and anti-ageing treatments. Food and beverage will be labelled as suitable for people with different conditions with Verita badges. Visitors can have tests, join a programme and download the app for later use.” He says that smaller Minor hotels could have Verita health screening kiosks installed.
One of the planned digital health acquisitions specialises in health pods in retail and pharmacies in the Asia Pacific and Andriesz says the aim is to roll out its offering across retail.
Verita has recently sold a Verita Healthcare clinic in Singapore to trading conglomerate Accrelist, formerly known as WE Holdings, for S$17m (US$12.3m). Andriesz says this will make Verita a significant minority investor in Accrelist. The aim now is to grow Accrelist by rolling out additional clinics across SE Asia incorporating Verita’s health offering.
Our Analysis: In any industry, it is rare to come across a company and an individual with such an ambitious and clear vision as Andriesz. That is particularly true in the fusty business of health care. Who else envisages the creation of a preventative healthcare platform which is global and also offers treatment, not just in branded clinics, but in retail settings around the world?
You can question aspects of Verita’s expansion. Alongside state-of-the-art genetic and epi-genetic tests, a wide range of supplements and superfoods are included in its treatments. That would leave many mainstream physicians raising eyebrows. But the scope of ambition and the audacity of delivering preventative health care to billions can only be applauded.We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to David Farbrother or call 0207 183 3779.