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Category: Health Technology

THCB Spotlights: Allison Martin, UDoTest and Rahul Dubey, AHIP

This is one of the more unusual videos I’ve done as a THCB Spotlight. I’ve been advising Allison Martin at UDoTest for a while. Meanwhile, I met Rahul Dubey when he was running innovation at AHIP. Then I saw his name all over Twitter and everywhere else because he had let a large number of protesters into his house as the police violently broke up a BLM protest earlier this month. What I didn’t know was how well they knew each other, but I got them together late last week and it made for a fascinating conversation about society, health care, and the future. —Matthew Holt

Managing Surgical Wait Times in the Intra-COVID-19 World

Finding the Right Prioritization Model

By JUSTIN SPECTOR

Restrictions on elective surgical volume in hospitals across the United States are causing a dilemma heretofore unseen in the American healthcare system. Surgeons across services have large and growing backlogs of elective surgeries in an environment where operating room (OR) capacity is restricted due to availability of inpatient beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing, and many other constraints. Fortunately, the U.S. is not the first country to experience and deal with this situation; for many countries, this is the normal state of medicine.

By combining the accumulated experience of health systems around the world with cutting-edge technologies, it is possible to make this crisis manageable for perioperative leadership and, potentially, to improve upon the preexisting models for managing OR time.

The first step in creating an equitable system that can garner widespread buy-in is to agree upon a method for categorizing cases into priority levels. Choosing a system with strong academic backing will help to reduce the influence of intra-hospital politics from derailing the process before it can begin.

Why Cases Should Be Prioritized

If your hospital has a mix of surgeons who perform highly time-sensitive cases — cases where patient quality of life is substantially impacted — as well as cases with minor health or quality of life outcomes, it is important to make sure there will be enough capacity to get the higher urgency cases done within a reasonable amount of time. This allows cases in the backlog to be balanced against new cases that are yet to be scheduled and will help to optimize the flow of patients through the OR.

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THCB Spotlights: Stacie Ruth, CEO and Nirinjan Yee, Head of Innovation at AireHealth

The AireHealth Nebulizer

Stacie Ruth left mega conglomerate Philips when she ran into the chance to revolutionize drug delivery via nebulizers, and co-founded AireHealth. Along the way she realized that changing care for patients with respiratory conditions was actually a bigger problem and opportunity. In April she met Nirinjan Yee from Breath Research who had built an AI system that took lung sounds to predict exacerbations. Last week they merged their companies, and I spoke to them about what the new AireHealth will be doing. —Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 127 | AireHealth, Sharecare, PlushCare, & PatientPing

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks Matthew about AireHealth merging with BreathResearch, adding machine learning-based diagnostics to their respiratory health remote monitoring devices, Sharecare acquiring behavioral health platform MindSciences, the “digital One Medical” telemedicine company PlushCare raising $23 million in a Series B, and PatientPing raising $60 million to expand their e-notifications network to achieve greater interoperability and coordinated care. —Matthew Holt

Healthcare’s Sliding Doors Moment

By LINDA T. HAND

Every day, we make thousands of choices. Some of them – even those that seem trivial at the time – will change the course of our lives. This concept was memorably illustrated in the 1998 film Sliding Doors, which imagined two very different paths for Gywneth Paltrow’s character, Helen, based entirely on whether or not she makes or misses the London Tube on her commute home—the film’s eponymous sliding doors. 

Helen doesn’t have the luxury of weighing her possible futures and altering her choices accordingly, perhaps quickening her pace or stopping for a latte along the way. Fortunately, for today’s healthcare decision-makers now facing their own Sliding Doors moment, the diverging paths of reactive versus proactive healthcare are much easier to contrast. 

Staying the course with reactive healthcare

To date, most health systems and insurers have had little choice but to stick with the familiar path of reactive healthcare. The status quo since medicine’s earliest days, reactive healthcare passively waits for people to get sick before “reacting” with all available measures to return them to health. As a result, patients wait longer to enter the system and arrive sicker, and end up receiving avoidable or more expensive care than if they had come to our attention earlier. And rising costs often serve as an additional deterrent to patients seeking care. 

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 126 | A triple-episode ft. Bigfoot, Tictrac, Lifestance & many more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, there’s been so much movement in digital health funding this week that we have a triple-episode. Bigfoot Biomedical raised $55 million in a Series C, Tictrac raised $7.5 million for employee wellness, Lifestance Health raised a whopping $1.2 billion, Maven acquired Bright Parenting, Higi raised $30 million, Bright.md raised $16.7 million, Tia raises $24 million, Doktor.se raising €45 million, Orbita raised $9 million, Curatio’s undisclosed A, Siren raised $11.8 million, 100plus raised $15 million, Ubie raised $18.7 million, Change Healthcare acquired 2 different companies—PDX for $208 million and ERX for $213 million, and special funds by Andreessen Horowitz and Softbank supporting founders of color. —Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 125 | Amwell, Mindstrong, Big Sky Health, Medwing

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have more than $300 million in deals to cover! On Episode 125, Jess asks me about Amwell raising $194 million although they haven’t gone public (yet), Mindstrong getting $100 million and a new CEO from Uber in another big raise for their mental health app, Big Sky Health landing $8 million for its intermittent fasting, meditation and alcohol consumption apps, Tava Health raising $3 million to expand its teletherapy program, and German startup Medwing getting $30 million to address Europe’s shortage of healthcare workers. Don’t miss Jess speaking at the AHIP discussion on How Digital Self-Care is Transforming Mental Health Care tomorrow at 1pm ET! —Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 124 | Omada Health, Meru, Noom, and Alike

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about Omada Health raising $57 million and then spending $30 million acquiring Physera, Holmusk raising $21.5 million, digital mental health company Meru raising $8.1 million, Noom partnering with LifeScan for digital diabetes care and Alike raising $5 million.—Matthew Holt

RWJF Challenge: Health Care Emergency Tech

SPONSORED POST

By CATALYST @ HEALTH 2.0

Catalyst @ Health 2.0, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is seeking health technology solutions that can support the needs of the health care system (e.g. providers, government, public health and community organizations, and more) by addressing several obstacles during an emergency such as:

  • Resource Management: Shortages of equipment, staff, and cash flow
  • Health Data Exchange: Limited information and access available on patients’ health histories
  • Training and Communication: Limited training and cumbersome communication between responders and clinicians
  • Capacity: Limited beds, equipment, and resources and a need to maximize patient flow/throughput

Innovators must submit their tech-enabled solution by June 12th, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET.

Can you create a digital tool that supports the health care system during a large-scale health crisis? Apply today!

Catalyst @ Health 2.0 (“Catalyst”) is the industry leader in digital health strategic partnering, hosting competitive innovation “challenge” events, as well as developing and implementing programs for piloting and commercializing novel healthcare technologies.

Building an Intake Valve for New Ideas

By SUSANNAH FOX

Imagine this: You and your colleagues know there are problems to be solved. You have resources to offer, such as funding, access to experts, and publicity. 

You are pretty sure there are people with great ideas out there, asking questions, defining the scope of the problems you care about, seeing things that you can’t see. Some people are even forging ahead, developing solutions on their own, but you don’t know how to connect with them.

You need an intake valve for new ideas, a honeypot to attract problem-solvers. So you launch a prize competition. 

If you have escaped all the buzz around prize competitions and grand challenges over the last decade or so, don’t worry. KidneyX has a wonderful FAQ, including:

What is a prize competition?

A prize competition is a method of problem-solving that describes a problem (usually to the general public) and offers a prize or prizes to whoever comes up with the best solution(s). Prize competitions are a good way to attract ideas and skills from a wide range of fields.

I served as a volunteer judge for the KidneyX Patient Innovator challenge and was bowled over by the creativity of the submissions, both those who won and those who did not. It reminded me to welcome people into the health innovation conversation who may not think of themselves as inventors, but who deeply understand the community at the center of a crisis. The “need-knowers” as Tikkun Olam Makers call them.

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