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Category: Health Tech

Remote Patient Monitoring Sets Up Big Tech to Revolutionize Telemedicine and Healthcare

By JAMES MOELLER

Remote patient monitoring has emerged as the next significant challenge for virtual healthcare and that challenge is creating significant opportunities for many companies largely outside of the traditional healthcare technology marketplace. In particular, it is potentially setting up an opportunity for Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, to revolutionize telemedicine and healthcare similar to what those companies have accomplished in mobile phones, Internet search, and retail.

Next Generation Remote Health Monitoring

Next generation remote healthcare monitoring will likely look much different than anything done before. What is emerging today is the potential for the broad adoption of remote health monitoring devices and systems that leverage consumer wearables, smart home communication systems, and big data to produce holistic views specifically for healthcare providers. The pandemic has thrust telemedicine solutions forward by years if not a decade or more in the short span of three to six months. This is creating an opportunity for remote patient monitoring to provide even better visibility into patients beyond what can be accomplished with basic video conferencing.

But while telemedicine is now becoming more firmly established, remote monitoring seems to still have a long way to go. This is evident in a new report by KLAS Research (a healthcare industry research firm) published on August 27th, where they interviewed 19 executives from 18 healthcare organizations regarding their challenges and solutions during the outbreak of the pandemic. Not surprisingly, telemedicine was the top challenge with 32% of the executives. Overall, though, 84% of the executives indicated that the telemedicine issues were already solved and the remining 16% indicated that the solutions were in progress. However, remote patient monitoring ranked as the second most significant challenge with 26% of the respondents. But furthermore, only 22% of the executives indicated the remote monitoring challenges were solved, with 33% saying it was in progress, and 45% indicating it was completely unsolved. So, a clear opportunity exists.

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Not Just Faxes

By KIM BELLARD

I missed it when it was first announced in Japan, but fortunately the U.S. mainstream media has finally picked up on the story, with articles in both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal: Japan’s new Administrative Reform Minister Taro Kono has “declared war” on fax machines, among other paper-based traditions. 

Wait, what?  “Administrative Reform Minister?”  The U.S., or at least the U.S. healthcare system, has to hear about this. 

Mr. Kono is a well known Japanese politician, including stints as Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.  He is thought of as something of a maverick, at least by Japanese political standards.  New Prime Minister Suga installed Mr. Kono in mid-September, making overhaul of bureaucracy a top priority: “Wherever there are problems, I want all of them brought to Mr. Kono for handling on behalf of the nation.” 

Mr. Kono set up a hotline for people to report government red tape, which was quickly overwhelmed with thousands of examples.  It soon reopened.

It didn’t take long for Mr. Kono to start calling for significant changes.  “To be honest, I don’t think there are many administrative procedures that actually need printing out paper and faxing,” he said in a press conference in late September.  “My job is to clear the road of obstructions to allow the Ferraris and Porsches of digital innovation to speed through.”

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THCB Gang Episode 29 10/22

Episode 29 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, October 22nd. You can see it below!

Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) was joined by regulars: patient safety expert Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson), MD turned leadership coach Maggi Cary (@MargaretCaryMD). Guests were Fard Johnmar (@fardj), Founder of Enspektos, and Denise Pines, who is also the current President of the Medical Board of California. The conversation got in depth about medical boards, their impact and, the future of medical licensing. There was also a lot of disccussion about health care and life for women as they age. Fard & Denise will be hosting a session about #FemAging on Thurs Oct 29. You can sign up for that here.

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

THCB Book Club, October: Mike Magee, Code Blue

Dr. Mike Magee has spent his life inside the medical-industrial complex, eventually working at Pennsylvania Hospital and later becoming the doctor who sold Viagra to the world at Pfizer. He’s also an award winning medical broadcaster and historian who appears regularly on THCB these days. For the October THCB Book Club Jessica DaMassa and Matthew Holt had Mike on to discuss Code Blue — his magnum opus on how the American system become the medical-industrial complex that it is, the part he played, and what we might do to fix it! A fascinating and rich discussion.

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 160 | Lawsuits galore, and a faux IPO

The thing to do in health tech this week? Trademark infringement. Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we try to make sense of all the lawsuits right now with Teladoc suing Amwell, Allscripts suing CarePortMD, and whose side are we on for Zocdoc suing Zocdoc? On Episode 160, Jess asks me to make sense of Augmedix’s faux IPO in a reverse merger and publicly traded company Newtopia arising $7 million. Twentyeight Health raises $5.1 million in a Series C and TestCard raises $5.8 million for at-home mobile urine testing. —Matthew Holt

THCB Spotlights: Jon Bloom, Podimetrics

By MATTHEW HOLT

This is a fun conversation with Jon Bloom, the CEO of Podimetrics. It’s one of a number of competitors trying to help prevent foot ulcers among people with diabetes. Some use socks, others use insoles, but Podimetrics’ approach is to use a SmartMat which looks like a weight scale and can tell whether a patient might be developing a foot ulcer and is therefore at risk for amputation. Last week Podimetrics and Kaiser Permanente released a study that showed SmartMat and wraparound/care management service showed great success in reducing hospitalization, ER visits and foot amputations. But Bloom thinks that there’s much more to the care of very sick & underprivileged people with diabetes, and we had a great discussion about that that might look like.

Tying Health Care Investment to Performance

By BRIAN KLEPPER and JEFFREY HOGAN

GoodRx’s planned initial public offering recently made the news, notable because the company, launched in 2011, has been profitable since 2016. Evidently, it’s become unfashionable for investors to demand proof of performance, so GoodRx’s results shone like a beacon. By contrast, most health care firms seeking funding convey bold aspirations and earnest promises. Investors throw in with them and hope for the best. 

But few new entrants seem to do the necessary advanced due diligence to assess exactly where and how their product, service or innovation should be positioned in the health care ecosystem to derive maximum value. Ironically, COVID has intensified and highlighted the fragility of the health care ecosystem, as well as the greater disruption opportunities available to new entrants. 

Health care has become irresistible to investors, the outgrowth of the industry’s dominant players’ spectacular financial performance. Over the past 45 quarters, for example, major health plan stock prices have grown 4-6 percent per quarter, 1.2-2.2 times the growth rates of DJI and S&P (See the table below). Investors hope to either 1) capitalize on the health care’s ongoing culture of overtreatment and egregious pricing, or 2) support and share in the savings associated with rightsizing care and cost.

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THCB Gang Episode 28 10/15

Episode 28 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, October 15th! Watch it below!

Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) was joined by some of our regulars: communications leader Jennifer Benz (@jenbenz), data privacy expert Deven McGraw (@healthprivacy), CEO of addiction recovery service Suntra Modern Recovery, Jean-Luc Neptune MD (@jeanlucneptune), CEO of Day Health Strategies Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1), medical historian & health economist Mike Magee MD (@drmikemagee), policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis). The conversation focused on the looming election, the new COVID-19 Surge, Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, and health care costs rising in the US costs.

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

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 159 | A quiet period?

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we might be seeing a quiet period in health tech investing with the election coming up. On Episode 159, Jess and I talk about TigerConnect raising $45 million in a Series D, offering a HIPAA-compliant texting service for doctors; UK-based startup Numan getting £10 million, which is another online male health clinic. Next, Nym gets $16.5 million—lots of good investors in this round, this company uses natural language processing to automate hospital billing. Finally, Press Ganey acquires Doctor.com and a company called Binary Fountain. —Matthew Holt

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 158 | Datavant, Mira, Avail & more

On Episode 158 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I talk about Datavant raising $40 million in a Series B for their open health data exchange platform, Mira raising $2.7 million for it’s Costco-esque health insurance alternative, Avail raising $100 million providing telehealth for the OR, ScriptDrop raising $15 million for prescription drug delivery, and Abridge raising $15 million to help patients transcribe doctor’s appointments. —Matthew Holt

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