Health 2.0

Conversa is a brand new company, aiming to fill the space between physician visits with easy and useful communications between doctors and patients. The logic is that most health care happens outside the exam room, but most of the effort of automating health care has been put into recording what happens in the medical setting, with little feedback or follow up from patients (HealthLoop is another company aiming at this space).

Why are we featuring Conversa? Well somewhat unusually for a Health 2.0 startup they come with buckets of experience. CEO West Shell was at the helm at Healthline, Product Head Phil Marshall built lots of tools at WebMD and Chief Marketer Anna-Lisa Silvestre was behind the roll out of probably the biggest patient portal ever at Kaiser Permanente.

I got all three of them on the video-line to tell me about Conversa.

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Learn more about Conversa’s launch here.

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“‘Let’s go.’ ‘We can’t.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘We’re waiting for Godot.’” ― Samuel Beckett

For the economists in our midst, demand is a critical but pretty dry idea: the quantity of a good or service a buyer is willing to purchase at a given price. It’s presumed to be part of working health care markets.

It’s one of the first things an undergraduate might learn in Econ 100.

There’s no urgency in this demand; it just is.

Of course, nothing—even general economic principles—is simple in health care.  Still, you can look longingly at a few nice supply and demand curves and dream about how things might be—if only.

If only health care consumers picked up their role and skittered up and down those demand curves.

If only they helped us find those elusive market equilibriums for this health care service or that. For some time, lots of people have seen that enormous and powerful potential—and drooled over it.

We’ve been waiting a long time for our consumer to show up in health care. We’ve been waiting for the consumer to obtain and use the information she needs to demand great care.

We’ve been waiting for lots of consumers to do that over and over to help us out of our unfortunate health care jam.

It’s that jam where we pay too much for lots of care of marginal quality riddled with safety problems and delivered by a bunch of dissatisfied, demoralized health professionals.

Indeed we have been waiting a long time for our health care consumer.  Certainly, there have been and continue to be countless reasons why consumers haven’t arrived to help save us.

“Health care is different!”

“There’s no evidence that consumers will behave like normal consumers in health care!”

Continue reading “An Urgent Request”

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"Provider" modeling Google Glass circa 1991

There was a moment, ever so brief, where Google Glass seemed like nothing more than a glorified headband. Admit it. You too saw early users matching their Glass color to their shoes. And if you didn’t, I saw two, which is two too many for the both of us. How Google Glass was going to make a significant impact on the world of Health 2.0 was beyond me until I brushed up on my nineties pop culture with a little help from the boss.

More than twenty years ago, “Terminator 2” had a Google Glass prototype for providers. Of course their “provider” was one extremely fit future “governator” who answers to Arnold, but the glasses were perfect for modern day health care professionals. They were equipped with automatic identification of surroundings, facial recognition, and decision support. In a nutshell, that’s all providers really need, right?

It definitely sounds like the “ideal information system” that Dr. Prentice Tom, Chief Medical Officer of CEP America, described at the Second Annual Silicon Valley Innovation and Technology Summit (hosted by the Northern California HIMSS chapter). His wish list for the perfect piece of tech demanded that it be mobile, have voice recognition, NLP, push relevant information, increase efficiency, and facilitate action and communication over documentation. Problem solved? Not so fast.

The program at the Innovation Summit featured two provider keynotes and two provider-filled panels, which naturally raised some key points surrounding provider and systemic adoption of Health 2.0 technologies. First, thanks to Dr. Tom’s early reference to Google Glass – he did have a giant picture of it onscreen as he described his ideal information system – the event left the distinct impression that providers want Google Glass. No other providers directly referenced Glass, but it became an implied solution for every problem raised thereafter.

Continue reading “Building for Providers? Proceed with Caution”

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Ryan McQuaid, former Head of Product for AT&T mHealth and friend of Health 2.0, joined Matthew Holt to discuss the launch of his brand new startup PlushCare. And when we say brand new, we mean as of writing this post, their Indiegogo campaign is a mere 23 hours old. PlushCare combines elements of telehealth and concierge medicine to provide basic health care via phone, email, and video chat for $10 per month. Busy working professionals can use the service to connect with Stanford MDs for same-day diagnosis and treatment of illnesses or injuries. The physicians provide advice, prescribe medicine, and will refer directly to primary care providers and specialists if necessary.

PlushCare removes the hassle of scheduling an in-person doctor visit, and provides the same care at lower costs. In addition, for each individual that purchases PlushCare, the company provides one child a lifetime of immunity to measles. PlushCare is currently accepting a limited number of members via their Indiegogo campaign to validate demand and user test. Several other companies are using a similar model of tech-enabled services, including American Well and Teladoc, but the space is sure to see more activity at the prospect of pushing basic care out of the doctor’s office in a way that is convenient for consumers and increases provider efficiency.

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We know that as a health tech entrepreneur, piloting your technology and getting that first customer validation is extremely challenging. There’s frequently the ‘chicken or the egg’ problem. Most providers are unwilling to work with young technology companies that have yet to validate or prove the effectiveness of their product. Meanwhile, health technology companies need that first pilot for a chance to validate their technology. That’s why the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with Health 2.0, is excited to launch Pilot Health Tech NYC 2014, a program that provides $1,000,000 in funding to innovative projects that pilot new health technologies in New York City. The program seeks to vet and selectively match early-stage health or healthcare technology companies (‘innovators’) with key NYC healthcare service organizations and stakeholders (‘hosts’), including hospitals, physician clinics, payors, pharma companies, nursing associations, foundations, major employers, and retailers.

The 2013 program was a tremendous success, with participation from 25 provider organizations, over 250 innovator companies, 200 matchmaking meetings, 41 joint applications, and finally, 10 pilot winners.  Since ‘Pilot Day’ 2013, an event during which last year’s winners were announced, the inaugural class of Pilot companies has raised more than $14 million in private investment, including $4.5 million in the last six months and their pilots have enrolled more than 1,000 patients. Check out the video below to hear what some of the winners from the 2013 program have to say!

Continue reading “Pilots with Hospitals, the Chicken or the Egg Problem”
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The cloud, web, and mobile-based technologies developing in health that we call Health 2.0 had a big year in 2013 and look to be continuing full steam ahead in 2014.

Three things to know as the year takes off:

1. Professionals Facing Growth

Health 2.0 tools have been primarily consumer facing, but we’re beginning to see the gradual integration of Health 2.0 tools for professionals at the edges of the enterprise world in realms like patient care communication (WelVu), practice management (Simple Admit), and clinician workflow (Zipnosis).

Population health management in particular is an area where Health 2.0 companies (PhytelEvolent) are experiencing relative success answering new demands from provider organizations needing to manage patient populations in different ways. Traditional enterprise software has not been designed for this type of challenge.

While Health 2.0 infiltrates the edges of the enterprise world, professional facing Health 2.0 tools are making significant inroads into the core workflow of small practice organizations. Practice FusionCareCloud, and Kareo are a few examples of companies making progress in this market.

2. Wearables and Trackers Explode, Divide

The tracking space continues to grow explosively with the addition, by our estimates, of around 100 new tools for self-management or tracking in 2013, and a whole slew of new tools that debuted at CES 2014. However, the tracking and wearables world is experiencing a division between consumer-oriented products and those with more clinical applications.

The consumer side of the equation is rife with interesting technology, including watches, clips, cuffs, and sleep tracking devices. Google’s latest purchase of Nest is vaguely related to this space as innovators continue to move towards smart tracking of the body and human activity generally. Of course, we are at the top of the hype cycle regarding wearables, but in general, tracking is growing rapidly and is increasingly becoming more passive and automatic in nature.

Continue reading “Providers, Trackers, & Money: What You Need to Know About Health 2.0″

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HealthLoop, Inc. has been developing a feedback system that creates a communication loop between patients and providers, to help keep track of the treatment progress in between clinic visits. This ‘loop’ consists of reminders, questions and care instructions based on the treatment plan. Patients are urged to regularly check-in online, providing feedback on the prescribed timely ‘action items’ and answers clinical questions based on where they along the recovery process. The system also alerts the doctor if a patient appears to be at risk of a complication, treatment failure or hospital readmission.

Today, HealthLoop announced that it raised $10M in Series A. The round was led by Canvas Venture Fund, an early-stage venture fund managed by the Morgenthaler Technology Investment Company. Other investors include Subtraction Capital.

HealthLoop has been a part of the Health 2.0 since its debut in 2009. The Health 2.0 Spring Fling: Boston 2009 provided the first sneak preview of its cloud-based automated patient follow up solution. It formally demoed at the Health 2.0 San Francisco Fall Conference 2011 stage, as a part of the annual Doctors 2.0 panel which showcases latest tools transforming physician practices. The same year, HealthLoop made another appearance at the Europe Fall Conference in Berlin as a part of the ‘Cool tools to connect stakeholders and promote the co-production of health care’ panel. We invited them back to our San Francisco Fall 2012 conference to as a part of the showcase of technologies transforming care delivery.

HealthLoop was also among the top five finalists of the DC to VC HIT Showcase 2012. Health 2.0 and Morgenthaler Ventures, the parent company behind HealthLoop’s key investor, jointly organize this event every year to find and promote the most promising health tech startups from across the nation.

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It’s time for those of us working in health tech to power up—and use our health tech muscle to make a real and lasting difference in young people’s lives.

In video games, power ups restore game characters’ health, increase their strength, shield them from damage, give them special abilities, and help them beat the odds. In health tech, power ups can help us find winning solutions for improving young people’s health and wellness.

Power Ups for Youth Health Tech:

  • Data-Driven (+1 Power Up) – Data can inform new research and spark insights, and well-visualized data can transform perceptions and change behavior. Young people prefer when information is shown, rather than stated. Use data visualizations to help young people understand how they fit into the big picture.
  • Connected (+1) – Health tech cannot be tied down by time, place, or even platform. A safe, connected, networked, multi-platform mindset should be our default.
  • Agile (+5) – We need to learn quickly what works, keep what does, and discard what doesn’t. You only get one chance with young people, so you’d better make it good.
  • Innovative (+10) – At its best, health tech will be creative and even disruptive. Let’s focus on radically accelerating and scaling our best solutions.
  • Authentic (+25) – Trust is the most indispensable currency for dealing with youth. Period.
  • Continue reading “Power Up: What’s Next in Technology for Youth and Wellness”

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In this exclusive interview Indu Subaiya, CEO of Health 2.0 talks with’s CEO Anmol Madan and Julia Winn, previous CEO of BetterFit Technologies, to discuss how their respective companies came together to make sense of the duality of active and passive patient data collection.  They also dive into the challenges facing clinicians to make timely interventions across a large-scale patient population and how is creating the solution.

Join Health 2.0 at the 2013 mHealthSummit on Monday December 9th in Washington DC to see Julia Winn demo how BetterFit Technologies has integrated with on the panel Future of Self-Tracking and Personalized Medicine. Register here.

Indu Subaiya: Let me start by welcoming you, Anmol and Julia, to the conversation.  We’re looking forward to having you at Health 2.0. Why don’t we begin by starting with you, Anmol.  Give us a bit of a background and history of  We had you present at Health 2.0 in 2011.  Tell us a bit about your roles in the company and how you’ve developed in the last couple of years.

Anmol Madan: We’ve been around for about 2 ½ years and presented at Health 2.0 in our very early days.  At we work with passive mobile phone data and behavior analytics for chronic patient populations.  For providers and other players in the health care ecosystem, we help them manage their patient populations better so we help identify which of their patients are likely asymptomatic at that point of time. The idea is to enable doctors, nurses, and also family members and friends to reach out to their patients and support them when they need help the most.

Indu Subaiya: The term that you use often in describing what you do is ‘passive data’.  Can you tell us a little bit more about what that means specifically and how you distinguish passive data from other types of data that consumers are collecting about themselves?

Anmol Madan: Absolutely.  Every one of us is carrying a mobile phone and it’s an incredibly powerful diary of your life because it has all sorts of sensors built in.  There is a tremendous amount of data generated, and the complexity around interpreting this data, delivering insights, and making them actionable is a really interesting problem for us at

Continue reading “BetterFit Technologies Joins Forces with”

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A few weeks ago Lisa Suennen, founding partner of Psilos Group and fledging best-seller author, wrote ”Times of massive system transformation, such as we are in today, pave the way for new market entrants and disruptive technologies a la Clayton Christensen’s stories about other industries that have endured dramatic change. ”  She was talking about health insurance exchanges, but could just as well have been talking about care transitions.

Health 2.0 Advisors is the Innovation Analytics and Acceleration business unit of Health 2.0, helping companies make sense of the – often ‘noisy’ – innovation landscape. Recently, innovation in care transition improvement became an important area of demand among hospitals and many startups have been developing new technologies, tools, and solutions to improve care transitions. Next week, Health 2.0 Advisors will be publishing a report that synthesizes barriers to adoption of such innovation in hospitals, lessons learned from those who succeeded, and share information about untapped areas of opportunity.

This report is based on a project done for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which included interviews with (100+) CIOs, CMIOs of hospitals, as well as startups of varying sizes and degrees of success in working with hospitals.

Check out the special presentation of highlights from this report during the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. on the 8th. The report will be available for download after that and I will write a follow up post with some additional highlights and perspectives. If you want to receive a copy of this report but cannot make it to the mHealth Summit, send an email to and we will email you the download link after the mHealth Summit presentation.

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Matthew Holt
Founder & Publisher

John Irvine
Executive Editor

Jonathan Halvorson

Alex Epstein
Director of Digital Media

Munia Mitra, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Vikram Khanna
Editor-At-Large, Wellness

Joe Flower
Contributing Editor

Michael Millenson
Contributing Editor

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