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Zoya Khan

Vida Health’s CEO on Scaling Up in the Highly Competitive Chronic Condition Virtual Care Space

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Even before Covid19, virtual care for chronic conditions was a hot and competitive area, with the heat turned up by Livongo Health’s IPO last year and big funding rounds for companies like Omada Health, Virta Health, and One Drop. Another contender in the space, Vida Health, has been best known for taking a “platform” approach to chronic condition management before “platforming out” became the-move-to-make for scaling health tech companies. Their digital health biz actually started out with a “whole health approach” to helping patients manage all their conditions at once, integrating care for diabetes, hypertension, COPD, high cholesterol, mental health conditions, and more from the get-go. Contrast that to some of their biggest competitors, who have adapted to that approach by adding on treatments for co-morbidities as their core businesses evolved.

Is there a benefit to starting out with a holistic care model that those who build it along the way can’t capture? We caught up with Vida Health’s founder & CEO, Stephanie Tilenius, to find out what advantage starting out as a platform play has brought to her business, which just closed a $25M funding round in April and is now available to more than 1.5 million people through employers and health plans.

How will the company scale from here? How will they remain competitive in such a crowded space? Stephanie talks through some of Vida Health’s post-pandemic plans AND how lessons learned from her “previous life” as an exec in Big Tech during that industry’s growth era of the 2000s & 2010s has shaped her thinking about the uptake of technology in healthcare. Not only did Stephanie work at eBay, PayPal, and Google during the birth of the online payment era, BUT she also helped take an online pharmacy company (Planet Rx) public during the dotcom boom.

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 139 | More Funding Deals & Livongo’s Diabetes Prevention Program

Health tech deals are just back to back this week! On Episode 139 of Health In 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about Withings getting $60M in a new round to develop their connected devices & apps products, Neurovalens raising €5.5M to grow their headset technology that helps with obesity, insomnia, diabetes, & more, Pocket Health raising $6.5M to build out their image sharing platform within in EHRs, and Sidecar Health raises $20M for their price transparency direct pay option. I also talks about Livongo’s new DPP program which provides users with diet tips & coaching sessions to offset diabetes in high-risk populationsMatthew Holt

THCB GANG, Episode 20

Episode 20 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, July 30th! Watch it below!

Joining Matthew Holt were some of our regulars: writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), MD & hospital system exec Rajesh Aggarwal (@docaggarwal), health futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), WTF Health Host Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), and guest Jennifer Benz, communications leader at Segal Benz (@jenbenz). We discussed how employers & health plans need to build trust in order to improve engagement data, how health consumers’ are changing the way they interact with health care, and how to support patients when they are accessing the system.

If you’d rather listen, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 138 | Health Tech Funding in Late July?

There is still health tech funding going on in late July? Wow! On Episode 138 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about Ro getting $200M from General Catalyst to expand their telehealth platform, Indigo Diabetes raising 38M Euros to develop its CGM Sensor, Angle Health landing $4M to create a health plan for startups, and Sidecar Health closing a $20M for their point-of-service payments! — Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 137| $10M in Seed Rounds, AI & Chatbots, and a New Meditation App?

Today on Episode 137 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess questions if “Jack in the Bean Stalk” is actually abut how VCs are growing into the health tech space. Listen to Jess’s take on the comparison as she asks me about Sprout getting $10M in a seed round to grow its Autism platform, Gyant securing $13.6M to improve its AI & Chatbot functions for providers, Meditopia receiving $15M for its medication app, Caption Health raising $53M to help people conduct ultrasounds, and Kind Body raising $32M for its fertility care platform. Enjoy! — Matthew Holt

Amwell’s Roy Schoenberg: Telehealth Post-Pandemic is “Entrenched Inside” Traditional Health Care

By JESSICA DaMASSA

There are few better positioned to speculate on what’s next for telehealth than Roy Schoenberg, co-CEO & President, of Amwell. After 15 years, more than $710M in total funding, and probably the best analogies out there for describing telehealth’s potential as a disruptive technology, Roy weighs in on just how unprecedented COVID19 has been for the uptake and evolution of virtual care.

“Historically, people thought, could telehealth be as good as a physical visit? The reality of COVID,” says Roy, “has literally opened the door to the question, can telehealth be better?”

From the near-term “new wave” of telehealth that has already begun to “eclipse the urgent care telehealth” to how Amwell’s clientele of clinicians, healthcare delivery systems, and payers are shifting to accept the idea of the technology as “the start of healthcare,” Roy talks of a future of telehealth that is “entrenched inside the system.” And how Amwell is meant to act as “facilitator.”

“When we start thinking about telehealth as a switchboard — not as a product, but as an infrastructure for the redistribution of healthcare — we’re talking about a completely different experience for us as Americans on what healthcare is available to us and how we can consume it.”

“To me, and I’ll fast forward to the end here, we want to get to the point that telehealth changes our expectation when we grow old as to where we can grow old. We want to be in a place where we can stay at home…where we don’t have to be in the ‘belly of the beast’ to get healthcare.”

How far away is this future that Roy describes, midway through telehealth’s biggest year yet? Is the appetite there among incumbents? And what of those Amwell IPO rumors? How might that kind of funding help rush things along? Tune in to this episode of ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ with Jessica DaMassa to find out.

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“Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech Conference” Matthew Holt & Jessica DaMassa’s Keynote 6/17/20

Matthew Holt and Jessica DaMassa gave a talk at the “Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech Conference” on June 17, 2020. They spoke about how technology is evolving the mental health space, along with their thoughts on where the future of the industry is headed.

Jess & Matthew first start off with their “Health in 2 Point 00” segment, discussing all of the funding deals in the mental health space, from Headspace to Mindstrong raising money in Q1, to Kaiser rolling out MyStrength to its members.

Then they jump into a deeper dive segment, where they discuss how the money is being distributed in the mental health space, and how startups are coming up with creative solutions to package their services. Some mental health companies are wrapping solutions into other digital health platforms that already manage chronic conditions, like Livongo & Omada, others are working to directly address and treat mental health issues, and some are developing digital therapeutic solutions to manage mental health problems. As this part of the industry grows, Matthew & Jess predict how the mental health tech space will change & develop with increasing demand, more investments, and a lot more innovative tools to serve the population’s needs.

Zoya Khan is the EIC of The Health Care Blog & a Strategy Manager at SMACK.health

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 136 | Telepharmacy, a Mega-Merger, & DoorDash’s Deal with Walgreens

On Episode 136 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess has 15 new deals to talk about (and its only been a day since the last episode!). Jess asks me about CityBlock getting $54M for their Series B round to provide primary care services to dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid members in New York, Medly raising $100M & NowRx crowdsourcing $20M to grow their telepharmacy platforms, the mega-merger of Curavi, Carepointe, and U.S. Health Systems (now called Arkos Health) to develop out a care coordination platform, and DoorDash partnering with Walgreen to distribute non-prescription drugs. —Matthew Holt

THCB Gang, Episode 18 LIVE 7/16 from 1PM PT/4PM ET

Episode 18 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, July 16tth! Watch it below.

Joining Matthew Holt were some of our regulars: writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), MD turned leadership coach Maggi Cary (@MargaretCaryMD), and guest Suneel Ratan, GM of Collective Medical Technologies (@CollectiveMed)! We discussed ACOs & fee-for-service problems, what the future of care looks like as a result of the November elections, and how to serve communities that are socioeconomically disadvantaged with calls to #DEFUNDHealthcare. Give it a watch below if you missed the live version

If you’d rather listen, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 134 | Health Tech’s “PPP Blacklist”, Walgreens and VillageMD, & more

Today on Episode 134 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I cover Livongo’s stock price swinging, Brian Dolan’s PPP “Black List” for Health Tech Startups, and Oak Street Health & GoHealth filing their S-1’s. We also get Matthew’s take on Walgreen’s deal with Village MD to become a primary care center, and Doctor on Demand closing a $75M round, bringing its total to $235M in fundingMatthew Holt

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