Your.MD startup raises $30m to grow self care app
Healthtech startup Your.MD has raised $30 million to expand its self care platform Healthily. Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a FTSE 100 consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company led an initial round of funding in 2019. The additional investment will enable Your.MD to expand the reach of Healthily across new markets, including the UK, India and the US. The company has set itself a goal to reach 1 billion people with its app over the next five years.
Founded in 2015, Your.MD combines augmented intelligence with clinically verified information, giving users a one-stop portal for personalised health tools and support so they can self care when appropriate.
The Healthily platform has a chatbot that helps users assess their symptoms and decide whether they need to see a doctor. Using augmented intelligence, it recommends best steps to treat issues at home.
The platform also includes a Health Library, sourced from the UK’s National Health Service which they claim to be the most comprehensive in the world. It has up-to-date guidance on COVID-19 as well as other conditions. Additionally there is a journal for tracking symptoms, and a marketplace containing a directory of healthcare products and services.
Over the past year the company reported a growth in users of 350%. There was a significant rise in users after the COVID-19 Symptom Mapper launched. This tool helps people determine whether their symptoms are due to COVID-19. Since launching it's had over 4 million visits, and won an award for best innovation.
“We're delighted that our platform is growing from strength to strength and continues to attract best-in-class international partners that share our vision" said CEO, Matteo Berlucchi. "Our relentless work toward democratising access to personalised healthcare information is progressing at pace and thanks to our strategic partnership with RB we are one step closer to reaching this ambitious, yet achievable, goal.”
Vaccine rollout spurring dark net activity, McAfee finds
A report by security software company McAfee has found a huge rise in the availability and demand for illegal COVID-19 vaccines.
The research by McAfee Advanced Threat Research found evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are currently available on at least a dozen dark net marketplaces. Vaccines allegedly made by Pfizer-BioNTech are being sold for $600 to $2,500 per dose, with vendors using channels such as Wickr, Telegram, WhatsApp and Gmail to advertise and communicate.
Some of the supposed vaccines are imported from the US, while others are packed in the UK and shipped all over the world, according to the listings.
Moderna vaccines, potentially fraudulent antibody tests and fake vaccine cards are also being increasingly sold on the dark web, on at least 10 different underground markets.
Anne An, senior security researcher at McAfee’s Advanced Programs Group, told us that with the increased global demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, the demand for illegal vaccines, fake test results and vaccination record cards has also grown. "Consumers who are buying these items pose a serious threat to public health and spur the underground economy" she said.
"Opportunistic cybercriminals capitalise on public interest in obtaining a COVID-19 immunity passport. These bad actors can also benefit by reselling the names, dates of birth, home addresses, contact details and other personally indefinable information of their customers."
As well as cyber security measures, An says education is necessary to stem the rise in these illegal sales. "Dark net selling of illegal COVID-19 vaccinations, fake test results and vaccination record cards is both a cybersecurity issue and an educational issue.
"On the one hand, channels being used as a means of business have the responsibility to monitor and mitigate cybercriminal activity on their platforms. On the other, the ongoing efforts of government and medical officials to provide factual information on COVID-19 and vaccinations is critical to discouraging the demand for fraudulent alternatives."
Read McAfee's report Fool’s Gold”: Questionable Vaccines, Bogus Results, and Forged Cards