Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have a huge IPO coming up – JD Health, a Chinese company which has a valuation of $28 billion, could raise up to $4 billion in its upcoming IPO. On Episode 171, Jess asks me about Everlywell raising $175 million in a Series D for at-home testing, everyone’s favorite keto startup Virta Health raising $65 million bringing its valuation to a billion, Olive Health already putting their funding raise to good use by acquiring Verata Health, and dtx company Click Therapeutics raising $30 million. —Matthew Holt
Episode 34 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, Dec 3, 1pm PT/4pm ET. You can watch it below.
Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) was joined by some of the gang regulars: entrepreneur, MD & CEO of Suntra Modern Recovery, JL Neptune (@jeanlucneptune): Patient advocate & public speaker extraordinaire Robin Farmanfarmaian (@Robinff3), Consumer expert and current President of the Medical Board of California, Denise Pines; policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis); and Consumer advocate & CTO of Carium Health Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia)
It looks like the election is settled! The first COVID-19 vaccines is out in the wild in the UK. What does it all mean for the future of health care? There’s some optimism and some pessimism — but there were some gems in the conversation too!
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess & I are together in Marin County before Jess sets off! On Episode 170, Jess asks me about Olive raising $225 million following a recent raise as well, WithMe Health closing a $20 million Series B, Andor Health getting an undisclosed amount in a Series A with an investment from M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, Upfront Healthcare raising $11.5 million in a Series B, and Voluntis – which is a publicly traded DTx company in France – raising $7 million. —Matthew Holt
On November 19, 2020 Catalyst @ Health 2.0 hosted the finals of the RWJF Emergency Response Challenges, one for tools for the General Public and the other for the Health System. The promise of the tools that have been built as part of these challenges is immense in the battle against this COVID-19 pandemic and the ones yet to come. The finalists for the General Public challenge were:
Binformed Covidata– A clinically-driven comprehensive desktop + mobile infectious disease, epidemic + pandemic management tool targeting suppression and containment of diseases such as COVID-19. The presenter was veteran health IT expert Rick Peters.
CovidSMS– A text message-based platform providing city-specific information and resources to help low-income communities endure COVID-19. In contrast to Rick, CovidSMS’ team were undergraduates at Johns Hopkins led by Serena Wang
Fresh EBT by Propel– A technology tool for SNAP families to address food insecurity & economic vulnerability in times of crisis – highlighted by Michael Lewis on his Against the Rules podcast about coaching earlier this year. Stacey Taylor, head of partnerships for Propel presented their solutions for those in desperate need.
The finalists for the Health System challenge were:
PathCheck– A non profit just spun out of MIT. It has a raft of volunteers and well known advisors like John Brownstein and John Halamka among many others, and is already working with several states and countries. Pathcheck provides privacy first, free, open source solutions for public health to supplement manual contact tracing, visualize hot spots, and interface with citizen-facing privacy first apps. MIT Professor Ramesh Raskar was the presenter.
Qventus– A patient flow automation solution that applies AI / ML and behavioral science to help health systems create effective capacity, and reduce frontline burnout. Qventus is a great data analytics startup story. It’s raised over $45m and has lots of health system clients, and they have built a suite of new tools to help them with pandemic preparedness. Anthony Moorman, who won the best facial hair of the day award, showed the demo.
Tiatros – A mental health and social support platform that combines clinical expertise, peer communities and scalable technology to advance mental wellbeing and to sustain meaningful behavioral change. They’ve done a lot of work with soldiers with PTSD and as you’ll see entered this challenge to get their tools to another group of extremely stressed professionals–frontline health care workers. CEO Kimberlie Cerrone and COO Seth Norman jointly presented.
We also presented the Catalyst @ Health 2.0 Covid19 SourceDB between the two competitions. Please enjoy the video
By KIM BELLARD
Perhaps you read about, or were directly impacted by, the massive, multi-hour Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage last week. Ironically, AWS’s effort to add capacity triggered the outage, although apparently was not the root cause. It’s no surprise that AWS sought to add capacity; it, like most cloud service vendors these days, has seen skyrocketing growth. Even healthcare has jumped into the cloud in a big way.
But, as the outage reminds us, sometimes having core computing functions done in far-off data centers may not be always a great idea. Still, we’re not about to go back to local mainframes or networked PCs. The compromise may be edge computing.
Definitions vary, and the concept is somewhat amorphous, but goal is to move as much computing to the “edge” of networks, primarily to reduce latency. PwC predicts: “Now, with the rise of IoT, the centralised cloud is moving down and out, and edge computing is set to take on much of the grunt work.”
As they describe it:
With edge, instead of pushing data to the cloud to be computed, processing is done by devices ‘at the edge’ of your network. The grunt work is done closer to the user, at an edge gateway server and then select or relevant data is sent to the cloud for storage (or back to your devices).
The oft-cited example is self-driving cars; you really don’t want the AI to wait a single millisecond longer than necessary to make a potentially life-saving decision. An article in Nextgov pointed out:
Thus, a Tesla isn’t just a next-generation car; it’s an edge compute node. But even with Tesla, a relatively straightforward use case, building and deploying the edge node is just the beginning. In order to unlock the full promise of these technologies, an entire paradigm shift is required.Continue reading…
By HANS DUVEFELT
Sooner, rather than later, we will be driving electric cars because of the environment. We use energy efficient light bulbs and recyclable packaging for the same reason. And there is a growing debate about the environmental impact of what kind of food we produce and consume. But I still don’t hear enough about the internal impact on our own bodies when we consider stewardship of natural resources.
Our bodies and our health are the most important resources we have, and yet the focus in our culture seems to be on our external environment.
Just like the consumption culture has ignored its effect on our planet in favor of customer convenience and business profits, it has ignored the effect it has had on the health of the human beings it set out to serve. And just as we now are fearing for the future of our planet, we ought to be more than a little bit concerned about the future of the human race.
But, just as we really can’t expect the corporate world to lead the environmental effort, unless we can engineer a way for them to see profit in doing that, we cannot expect it to lead any kind of effort to make the population healthier. That is something that has to start with the individual.Continue reading…
By KIM BELLARD
2020 has been an awful year. Hurricanes, wildfires, murder hornets, unjustified shootings, a divisive Presidential election, and, of course, a pandemic. Most of us are spending unprecedented amounts of time sheltering in place, millions have lost their jobs, the economy is sputtering, and over a quarter million of us didn’t survive to Thanksgiving. If you haven’t been depressed at some point, you haven’t been paying enough attention.
Within the last two weeks, though, there has finally been some cause for hope. Whether you want to credit Operation Warp Speed or just science doing what it does, we are on the cusp of having vaccines to battle COVID-19. First Pfizer/BioNTech, then Moderna, and most recently, AstraZenica, announced vaccines that appear to be highly effective.
We’re having our Paul Revere moment, only this time with good news. The vaccines are coming! The vaccines are coming!
It strikes me, though, that our enthusiasm about these vaccines says a lot about why the U.S. has had such a hard time with the pandemic; indeed, it tells us a lot about why our healthcare system is in the state it is. We’re suckers for the quick fix, the medical intervention that will bring us health.
Unless you were alive when Woodrow Wilson was President, COVID-19 has been the worst public health crisis of our lifetime. It took some time for us to fully realize how bad it was going to be, and, even then, most of us underestimated exactly how bad that would be. We may still be underestimating how bad these next few months will be.Continue reading…
Rosemarie Day has been a long time health care consultant and operator, most prominently as the COO of the Massachusetts Health Connector–the first real state exchange that was created as part of Romneycare (which with a few twists later became Obamacare!) Following the 2017 Women’s March, Rosemarie decided to write her own book, Marching Towards Coverage. It’s really four books in one. A personal patient & caregiver journal; a history of the slow march towards universal health care; a policy document; and a primer on how to become an activist. All in less than 200 pages! For the November THCB Book Club Jessica DaMassa and Matthew Holt talked with Rosemarie about what we can all do to really get to better health care for everyone.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, It’s a whacky SPACy world, as a new SPAC rolls “UpHealth” and has me singing Bob Marley, meanwhile there’s $91m for remote clinical trial software player Medable, $76m more for Spring Health joining the throng of mental health companies, while K-Health gets $42m to introduce chat bot front ends to Korean pop music…or something like that. —Matthew Holt
By HANS DUVEFELT
A doctor’s schedule as typical EMR templates see it only has “Visit Types”: New Patient, 15 minute, 30 minute. But as clinicians we like to know more than that.
One patient may have a brand new worrisome problem we must start evaluating from scratch, while another is just coming in for a quick recheck. Those are diametrically opposite tasks that require very different types of effort.
Some visits require that test results or consultant reports are available, or the whole visit would be a waste of time. How could you possibly plan your day or prioritize appointment requests without knowing more specifically why the patient needs to be seen?
So, as doctors, we usually want our daily schedules to have “Chief Complaints” in each appointment slot, like “3 month diabetes followup”, “knee pain” or “possible dementia”. That helps everybody in the office plan their day.Continue reading…