Health Tech

#HealthTechDeals Episode 5: Infermedica, Wellster, Casana, Babylon, and Atlas Health

How many more beloved TV characters does Peleton have to give a heart attack to before somebody steps in? Jess can’t take it anymore, and we hash out some new deals: Infermedica raises $30 million; Wellster gets a fresh $20 million; Casana the smart toilet seat maker raises $30 million; Babylon buys DaytoDay Health and Higi; Atlas Health raises $40 million. -Matthew Holt

TRANSCRIPT

Jess DaMassa:

Matthew Holt, how are we not talking about one of the single greatest health tech health crises of our time?

Matthew Holt:

What could that possibly be?

Jess DaMassa:

How many more beloved TV characters does Peloton have to give a heart attack too before somebody steps in? I can’t take anymore.

Matthew Holt:

I think the SEC is about step in. Is that for the heart attacks or is that for all the stock sales by the CEO?

Jess DaMassa:

Causing a real heart attack but for a whole different group of people. It’s January 26th episode of Health Tech Deals.

THEME MUSIC!

Matthew Holt:

So Jessica, which TV shows? Who was dying, which TV shows?

Jess DaMassa:

Oh my God, you cannot tell me you missed the Sex and the City reboot. And just like that, Mr. Big dies. He dies.

Matthew Holt:

Mr. Big dies?

Jess DaMassa:

Yeah, riding his Peloton. Breaks Carrie’s heart. He’s dead. Beloved character. In episode one. After 20 years, we waited for a reboot. And now there’s a guy from Billions … and I don’t watch Billions, but the guy from Billions has a heart attack. Peloton again is like, “We had nothing to do with it.” But he didn’t die, it was not a death inducing heart attack, it was just a bad one.

Matthew Holt:

Well, we’ll see. There is actually a TV show I do watch, called Shark Tank, and the lead character of that has not died from the Peloton thing, although he is invested in all sort of weird sports things. But Mark Cuban has set up his own drug company called the Mark Cuban European Cost Plus Market Double Dutch Drug Company. Is that what it’s called? Something like that. Which is going to sell generic drugs at the same rate that the cash price that you can get from GoodRX is. But some of the drugs he’s going to get made in Europe and pass them on for some of the extremely expensive stuff. So it’s a great move. Sadly, they’re not doing the drug that my daughter takes yet. Nevermind. I wrote about it on Twitter and may write about it again.

Jess DaMassa:

I’m wondering if at one point here, there comes a little Mark Cuban Pez dispenser to dispense said certain generic … I feel like that’d be great gimmick.

Matthew Holt:

You put your cholesterol medication in there and it spits it out into your mouth.

Jess DaMassa:

Right in your mouth. Pez style? Why not? Come on.

Matthew Holt:

May I remind you, he did not do Pez and eBay. He did Radio on the Internet. His character in Silicon Valley, Russ Hanneman, did Radio on the Internet in Silicon Valley. It’s still my favorite scene where he goes, “Think about it, guys. ROI.” They go, “What?” Now, the scene where he was naked and re-hitting refresh where he was worth a billion dollars. It’s something that Cuban definitely did. So anyway, that was before he got all worthy

Jess DaMassa:

All right, get your timer. This is enough chit chat here.

Matthew Holt:

All right. Timer. Here we go.

Jess DaMassa:

The death of Mr. Big.

Matthew Holt:

I’m ready for two minutes.

Jess DaMassa:

All right, you ready? And go. Infermatica, our beloved Polish-based symptom checker friends. They get $30 million, this winds their total up to $44 million. Matthew Holt, what you think?

Matthew Holt:

Watch the interview with me. They’re doing well. They’re building the API thing, which is now starts off with symptom checking. It’s now in a sort of visit preparation. They’re going to build it into a bunch of EMRs. They’re going to deal with Microsoft. They’ll deal with a bunch of systems here and a bunch of systems in Europe. Doing well. There’s about 12 of these chat bot symptom checker companies. And most of them are from Europe for reasons I don’t understand, but there are, but a couple from here. One from Israel, K Health. I have an interview with Piotr Orzechowski, I can never pronounce his damn name, Polish name, and Tim Price his colleague up today on THCB

Jess DaMassa:

All right. What about Wellstar? They get a fresh $20 million, brings their total up to $60 million.

Matthew Holt:

This is some kind of European telemedicine, German FinTech site. Apparently they had 1.5 million patients using it. It’s kind of like the Hims & Hers of Germany and does some mental health stuff. Interesting how that’s going in Europe.

Jess DaMassa:

Smart toilet seat maker. Casana gets 30 million, brings their total up to 46. Smart toilet’s back!

Matthew Holt:

You can sit on this thing, it’ll take your blood pressure, allegedly your blood oxygen level and your heart rate. Why the hell you’d want to know that while you’re taking a crap? I don’t know.

Jess DaMassa:

Thinking of symptom checkers, Babylon. Two acquisitions Day to Day and Higi. Matthew Holt, what do you make of all of this?

Matthew Holt:

Yeah, they invested in Higi’s round and Higi has put those kiosks in the back of Safeway and some drug stores. And you can stick your arm in it, it’ll do your blood pressure and allegedly take your weight. You’re not sitting on the toilet. God knows why they’re in that. I just don’t understand it. Day-to-Day is a coaching platform, which makes sense to go into their technology plus medical group things. So I think Day-to-Day is an interesting purchase. Stock way down like everybody else is, maybe time for Babylon to go big or get bought.

Jess DaMassa:

What about Atlas Health? They are, and I quote from the press release. Quoting from the press release. Quote, “The leader.” I love when anything out like that, “The leader in philanthropic medical financial aid.” I’m not sure what that means. Somebody gave them $40 million in a series A, brings their total up to $44.5.

Matthew Holt:

This is the biggest indictment of American medical care in the history of medical care. What do they have? They have a database of 20,000 charity financial aid programs, most importantly coming from  drug companies or hospitals. So if you’ve gone to get a drug or gone to a hospital or whatever, and you can’t afford to pay your bill, the hospital will tell you, “Okay, you owe us a gazillion dollars, but over here we found this program in the Atlas Health Atlas Navigator system, which will pay some of that bill and you only owe us a bit less.” This is back in the seedy world of collections and being scummy, but they’re helping out a little bit to basically get the hospitals and the doctors paid more. So the client here is not the poor sap who owes the bill,  But can’t pay it. It’s the doctors and the hospitals and the health systems who are recovering a bit more than they would otherwise do. So, yeah. And the venture capitals folks have piled in hard because they are worthy charitable people as well. Yeah. Only in America.

Jess DaMassa:

Is this a mischaracterization though? I don’t know. Is  the patient not helped at all in this?

Matthew Holt:

Well there are still dozens of hospital systems, including ones all through the pandemic who sue their patients and garnish their wages and come off of them.

Jess DaMassa:

Yeah.

Matthew Holt:

Maybe it’ll help. In general, I doubt the financial programs are going to help enough. Maybe they’ll help some people get something they wouldn’t otherwise have got, but in general, it’s for people who already got the stuff and, what are we doing? We’re going after them for more money. It’s not rich people they’re going after, right? It’s the hospitals like the one in Memphis that ProPublica exposed, that was suing its own janitorial staff and garnishing their wages for five bucks an hour for people who earned like 11 bucks an hour and Universal Health Services probably 10,000 patients who couldn’t afford it? Anyway. It’s not a good part of American healthcare, and maybe they’re going to make it a little bit better, but we shall see how it works. Maybe it’s improvement on what happens and maybe people should find those programs more easily, but it’s not where I would pour money in a company.

Jess DaMassa:

Not where you would put your $40 million.

Matthew Holt:

Well, I mean the sad thing is it probably is a good deal about 40 million, right? Because if they can get everybody in America to buy into its database and they keep refreshing, it’s probably a pretty decent business. Once they’ve sold off it, it’s probably worth paying. I don’t know how much it’s going to cost us for buying the database to hit their billing system. Say, “Aha, you should ask the patient for money, but you can also ask this charity program for money.” But they’re going to sell it for X dollars a seat and eventually they’ll make money because every hospital in America will buy it because it’s essentially free money to them. Is it the best use of $40 million in the world? Possibly not.

Jess DaMassa:

Let’s see.

Matthew Holt:

Felicis Ventures, GreatPoint, Tribe Capital, and a bunch of others think it’s worth it. So, good luck with them.

Jess DaMassa:

Okay.

Matthew Holt:

Hope it does some good.

Jess DaMassa:

Okay. You’re a little creepy with that light on your face right now.

Matthew Holt:

Yeah. It’s coming from one side, if I set it too light, it makes me really bright.

Jess DaMassa:

You’re a little creepy right now. I want to wrap this up. Yeah? Unless you want to add anything about the Cuban prescription drug Cost Plus World Market show? Nothing else?

Matthew Holt:

That is a good thing. That’s somebody… Doing a really great thing, right? Civica RX, which is the Intermountain and a bunch of other providers trying to do the same thing, because generate drug pricing, if anybody’s followed my tweet thread, on the cost of generic Concerta for ADHD medication for kids is out of sight crazy.

Jess DaMassa:

You know, I predict this was… I was part of a predictions webinar, and I had to issue a prediction and it was for the life sciences crowd. And my prediction with is that Amazon gets into manufacturing generic drugs.

Matthew Holt:

Sounds likely. Yeah.

Jess DaMassa:

The host of this or the person who put on this predictions webinar, Paul Sims, had added to that. He thinks that Teva would be a good acquisition target for them. Yeah. I think that, I mean, why not?

Matthew Holt:

Tebow?

Jess DaMassa:

TEVA, not Tebow.

Matthew Holt:

What is it, oh, Teva. Was like, for Tim Tebow? Like the weird quarterback guy?

Jess DaMassa:

Oh right, because I’m the one that’s difficult to understand on this show. Apologies to all of you, including you. Can I get out of it now?

Matthew Holt:

Well, I would say that Walmart, don’t forget, already has got its $4 generics, but it’s not that many. Cuban, I think, he’s going to go after everything.

Jess DaMassa:

Right.

Matthew Holt:

And some of those expensive-

Jess DaMassa:

I think Amazon gets into this game.

Matthew Holt:

… Some of those expensive cancer drugs.

Jess DaMassa:

They’ve got PillPack. They’ve got Whole Foods. They’ve got, I mean, why not?

Matthew Holt:

There’s a lot Amazon could and should be doing

Jess DaMassa:

Delivery infrastructure built around Prime. Why not?

Matthew Holt:

All right.

Jess DaMassa:

Now.

Matthew Holt:

Now we’ve given our own business ideas. Good and bad. We should go.

Jess DaMassa:

If you have them, please send them on over to us. I am @jessdamassa on Twitter guys, and he is @boltyboy. And to never miss an episode of Health Tech Deals or any of the other great content from the blog, sign up on our email newsletter over there at thehealthcareblog.com. Ta Da! We’ll talk to you guys soon. Bye.

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