Amwell’s ($AMWL) President & co-CEO Roy Schoenberg called it early when he predicted pre-Covid that there would be a paradigm shift for telehealth that would take the technology from “healthcare product” to “healthcare infrastructure.” Now he’s back as (in my opinion) the best kind of market analyst to give us a new high-level take on where telehealth is headed next, how its customers’ demands have changed, and how the public market’s understanding of this technology and its utility in healthcare is starting to evolve.
The bottom line: Telehealth as infrastructure is just the tip of the iceberg. As Roy puts it, “The organizations that we work with now understand that distributing healthcare over technology is part of their future.” And whether it’s payers, health systems, private practices, or even Medicare, the seismic shift Roy sees now is that instead of looking at telehealth as a way to do their old business using new channels, the new channels are being looked at as an opportunity for healthcare organizations to completely remake their old business models. “Technology,” he says, “is being considered a change agent for how healthcare is actually arriving at the hands of its patients.”
So much more ground covered in this big telehealth trends conversation – it’s the PERFECT watch for the week before the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual conference. In addition to an update on the roll-out of Amwell’s new platform Converge (2/3 of the way there) and the integration of its latest acquisitions SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health, you’re going to want to listen in to our little gossip sess about telehealth policy and reimbursement at 17:45 AND our talk about the health tech investment market of privately and publicly traded companies that starts at the 20-minute mark.
In this week’s episode of Health Tech Deals, everyone cheats on each other: Eugene Borukhovich is the guest host replacing Jess! Eugene is cheating on Jim Joyce, while I cheat on Jess; though Jess has cheated on me with Eugene before! Jess is on a cult retreat in Costa Rica, but Eugene and I have some deals to discuss: Biofourmis raises $300 million; Reify Health raises $220 million; Nex Health raises $125 million; and Amae Health raises “several million.”
I have always thought that THCB almost always had an April fools post. I mean never on the Epic scale–today they’re merging with the other Epic, the Fornite gang–but most years I’d have said we had one. So in an effort to avoid the work I should be doing I went back to to archives to look and find the truth.
I got going on the whole thing in 2010 when just after the ACA was passed I declared that THCB and all its various contributors were finding other stuff to do. (They’re all basically back on #THCBGang these days!). The theory was that health care was now solved and we were going to cover fly fishing and renewable energy. If I had just bought that Tesla stock…
So now we were getting into the swing of it and yet no more fools for 4 years! The next one was a goodie though. At the time I was railing against the term mHealth which was battling my preferred term Health 2.0 as the definitional term for the sector. Neither term realized that “digital health” was winning. I explained that we were renaming Health 2.0 “mHealth & Associates” and that employees were going to be referred to as mHealth Ass. and Indu thought I was the “biggest mHealth Ass”. The wonderful coda to this is about 3 weeks later Indu and I met our then most important client, Holly Potter at Kaiser Permanente. She asked us when the name change was happening!! I still tease her about that when I see her!
For healthcare leaders who are “committed to community and career happiness” there is the Advancement League, a membership org dedicated to helping create the right circumstances and connections for both. Co-founders Alex Maiersperger and Antwan Williams tell us about the career development activities Advancement League has become known for, how they’re helping healthcare professionals at all levels of their career, and why their emphasis on community impact is important to anyone with a healthcare role. From ViVE 2022 in Miami, we also talk about getting together for Advancement League’s signature event, Young Health Leader Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina, on August 3-5, 2022.
This episode of Health Tech Deals is brought to you from the parking lot of a MacDonald’s in New Mexico. Yes, Jess is driving cross country from Florida! She and I hash out some health tech deals that happened this week: Brightline raises $105 million; Brightside raises $50 million; OssoVR raises $66 million; Podimetrics raises $41 million; and AmplifyMD raises $23 million.
IDIH Week 2022 starts this coming Monday! It is a 4-day FREE online event hosted by Catalyst & our partner organizations that is dedicated to researchers, innovators, care providers and users associations dealing with Digital Health for Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA). IDIH Week is a unique occasion for R&I stakeholders from the US, Europe, and beyond to explore opportunities for international cooperation in the field of Digital Health for Active and Healthy Ageing, through information, networking and co-creation sessions that will be held between March 21 and March 24.
The team at Catalyst will be running a US Regional Workshop on Monday from 12pm ET/9am PT – 2pm ET/11am PT. The Workshop, titled The Impact of COVID-19 on the Shared Priorities for International Cooperation in Active and Healthy Ageing, aims to bring a US perspective to the findings of the IDIH Digital Health Transformation Forum around the areas of data governance, interoperability by design, and digital inclusion, and how these have been impacted by COVID-19. Check out the IDIH Week agenda available here.
Panelists for the workshop are author, healthcare journalist, educator, and activist Nancy B. Finn, health lawyer and privacy expert Deven McGraw, innovation consultant and digital health strategist Iana Simeonov, specialist in media and gerontology Mandy Salomon, and smart home and aging expert George Demiris. Catalyst’s Indu Subaiya & Matthew Holt will be moderating the discussion.
To join us: If you are not registered to the IDIH Platform: register here and select the sessions of the IDIH Week 2022 in which you are interested.If you are already registered in the IDIH Platform: access your Agenda and add the sessions of the IDIH Week 2022 in which you are interested.
Teen mental health has hit crisis-level concern these days, and seed-funded startup BeMe Health is hoping to help with a digital mental health app purpose-built just for teens. Fast Company labeled the app as “TikTok for teen mental health,” which is a spot-on description of its exciting, social-media-like look and feel, but a bit of an undersell of the evidence-backed behavioral health care the app is actually providing.
Co-founders Nicki Tessler and Mandeep Dhillon introduce us to BeMe, and tell us why they believe the TikTok-like approach they’re taking – with its emphasis on short, engaging video content that’s “served up” rather than “sought out” thanks to smart algorithms that link mental health goals with in-app behavior and engagement patterns – is key to winning the buy-in of digitally-native teens.
While apps like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have lately received criticism for their role in harming teens’ mental health with algorithms that drive content consumption to increase ad revenue, BeMe is hoping to use those same tactics to drive content consumption that will increase a teen’s ability to manage stress, learn coping skills, build resilience, identify their emotions, and even help coach one another.
Beyond product design and market fit (winning teens is not enough, parents need a place in this too) Nicki and Mandeep also talk us through BeMe’s business model, which is evolving along with the app’s development. The startup’s $7 million dollar seed funding is “connected” to payers – nine of the top 10 health plans, says Nicki – and so the initial strategy is based on a per-member-per-month model and will be launching in coordination with pediatricians and therapists, as well as with schools, before it goes direct-to-consumer. Still the question remains: If mom, dad, or the doc recommends it, will a discerning teen really will want to do? Listen in to find out if BeMe’s sticky videos, teen advisory board, and algorithms sound like they’ll bridge the generation gap and start shaping a different kind of mental health care for this important phase of life.
Nate Maslak, CEO of Ribbon Health talked with me late last year (2021) after his $40m round from General Catalyst and Andreesen Horowitz. We dug into the really thorny problem of information about physicians. This has so many facets and ramifications but most people only see it when their doctor somehow isn’t in their health plan’s network. But it’s much, much more than that. Nate joined me in nerding out on this topic and explaining how Ribbon is working to fix it — Matthew Holt
#THCBGang is back from its Turkey day snooze! Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) at 1pm PT 4pm ET Thursday for an hour of topical and sometime combative conversation on what’s happening in health care and beyond will be patient activist, author & entrepreneur Robin Farmanfarmaian (@Robinff3); Queen of all employer benefits related issues Jennifer Benz (@Jenbenz); medical historian Mike Magee (@drmikemagee); and patient safety expert and all around wit Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson)
You can see the video below live at 1pm/4pm or it’s kept here for posterity. If you’d rather listen than watch, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels
Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on THCBGang Thursday were fierce patient activist Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey); cardiologist & provocateur Anish Koka (@anish_koka); patient activist, author & entrepreneur Robin Farmanfarmaian (@Robinff3); and THCB regular writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard).
We got into the “what are parents thinking about schools and what happens to politics as a result”, and then into the children’s COVID-19 vaccine, then how remote patient and now remote therapeutics monitoring, and ending with where we thought AI was going! Quite the conversation!
You can see the video below but if you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.
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