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Category: Health Technology

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 189 | DispatchHealth, TytoCare and Highmark Health

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re wishing Jess a happy belated birthday! On Episode 189, Jess asks me about DispatchHealth raising a massive $200 million Series D, bringing their total up to $403 million, providing in-home urgent care. TytoCare raises another $50 million for their Series D, bringing their total up to $155 million, providing tech-enabled health at home with their device and providers. Finally there’s a partnership with Highmark Health, Google Cloud, Verily, and OnDuo – what’s going on with this lot? —Matthew Holt

Amwell’s CEO Roy Schoenberg on Telehealth as “Healthcare Infrastructure”

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

“Telehealth has a much bigger role to play than just carrying out transactions,” says Amwell’s President & CEO, Roy Schoenberg, who joins Jess DaMassa for a sweeping philosophical discussion about how telehealth’s role will continue to evolve through the covid19 pandemic and the changes its forced on the healthcare market. Conversations about telehealth that were once about the value of improving “access to care” are now about the technology’s potential to drive “quality of care.” And Amwell – which says it is a “technology infrastructure company” focused on helping traditional healthcare players transition into digital distribution – is pushing past the old notion that virtual care is merely a “product to get a Z-pak.”

Roy gives us updates on Amwell’s much-buzzed-about partnerships with United Healthcare and Google, the later being focused on how the telehealth co is looking at integrating some of those famous Google technologies (think natural language processing, translation, and geolocation-ala-Maps) into virtual care delivery in a way that sounds like a lot more than just a “switchboard.”

Two other colorful Roy Schoenberg soundbites to tease you into this conversation about the immediate future of telehealth from the leader of one its biggest players: 1) “the notion that we are no longer looking at the home as an illegitimate place of care is drama in in every sense” and 2) “I think the next war-zone, the next place where there’s going to be a lot of heated confrontations and conversations, is state licensure.”

Modern Health’s CEO on Becoming Digital Mental Health’s Latest Unicorn

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Digital mental health startup Modern Health just closed a $74M Series D, bringing their funding total to $170M, and earning the company a $1.17B valuation that makes it the FASTEST-EVER female-founded company to hit unicorn status. CEO Alyson Watson explains what sets Modern Health apart in the incredibly crowded, well-funded, and highly-competitive mental health tech space where the growing issue of skyrocketing demand for care is likely soon to become a shortage of care providers.

Modern Health is hoping to win here by becoming a one-stop-shop for a full-suite of mental health services. They’re bundling together all the different kinds of mental health point solutions currently out there – from tech-enabled self-service cognitive behavioral therapy programs and peer-to-peer group therapy all the way to one-on-one virtual visits with clinicians – and differentiating by designing a better way to intake patients, so care can be more accurately and cost-effectively matched to patient needs. Says Alyson, “If you’re just solving mental health through the old-school way of connecting someone to a therapist, and that’s your be-all-end-all and your only solution…well, eventually, that bubble will burst.”

Founded in 2017, the company has grown both its client-base (220 employers) and coffers quickly. They’ve already acquired Kip, another digital mental health biz, and are looking for more. Tune in to hear what Alyson’s got on deck for 2021 and what she expects to be driving further growth in the mental health virtual care market.

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 184 | Zocdoc, RapidSOS, Capital Rx and Equip

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I are back to cover more fun(draising) deals. First, Zocdoc raises $150 million and Jess asks me what’s going on with this old-school appointment scheduler? RapidSOS raises $85 million, bringing their total up to $220 in an infrastructure play for first responders, Capital Rx, which is a startup working to bring transparency to PBMs, raises $50 million, and eating disorder care startup Equip raises $13 million, bringing their total to $17 million. —Matthew Holt

Signify Health IPO: CEO Kyle Armbrester on $7.1B Market Debut

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Signify Health’s CEO Kyle Armbrester stops by on IPO day! Hours after ringing the bell on $SGFY’s launch on the New York Stock Exchange, Jess DaMassa digs into the health tech company’s $7.1B valuation and plans to help providers, payers, and self-insured employers scale-up their value-based care offerings. Kyle calls it “Value-Based Care 2.0” and, for the uninitiated, does a great job of stepping back and explaining this healthcare payment model’s history and how Signify is building its next-gen approach from the groundwork laid over the past decade.

What’s unique about Signify Health’s model is that it’s not just relying on tech to make it easier to find where managed care organizations can help cut healthcare costs and drive better outcomes – they also provide in-home health services that send nurses, doctors, and social workers out into patient’s homes to physically look for potential roadblocks to recovery and wellness. It’s in this critical “last mile” where Signify is possibly making the greatest impact, connecting the social determinants of health (physical environment, social support networks, economic status, etc) back into the healthcare system in a way that not only helps patients, but is also aligned with how all the stakeholders along the care continuum are incentivized. (And that includes Signify, which goes at-risk along with their clients and only gets paid when they drive better outcomes and cut-out costs.) So, what is the ultimate opportunity for this kind of “deep healthcare” business? We get into Signify Health’s business model, the competition, and its plans for growth and M&A activity now that they’re backed by $564M in capital from their initial day on the public market.

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 183 | Oscar IPO, Plume, Sitka, & Alma

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’ve apparently got 58 different SPACs looking to acquire health tech companies – so looks like Jess and I will be staying busy! On Episode 183, Jess asks me about Oscar Health filing their S1 and all the dirt people are digging up for IPO, Plume raising $14 million for their full stack clinic for transgender people, Sitka raising $14 million, and Alma raising $28 million providing practice management software for mental health providers. —Matthew Holt

Local Doctors Get the “Centers of Excellence” Treatment: Embold Health’s CEO on Data-Driven Quality

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Apparently, self-insured employers hot on better managing their healthcare spend are finding truth (and dollars) in Embold Health’s mantra that “quality is the best, most sustainable way to control costs.” This health tech startup is applying the old “Centers of Excellence” framework to the individual physician level; helping identify high-performing primary care docs and specialists in local markets for employers who not only want to offer their employees better quality care, but also improve the healthcare system in the communities in which they live and work.

Daniel Stein, Embold Health’s co-Founder & CEO, explains the company’s model, which is being perfected with one of the most demanding-yet-coveted “health activist” employers out there: Walmart. In this particular case, Walmart is actually incentivizing its employees to go to the providers ranked highest by Embold’s assessment, which looks at physician performance along three categories: 1) appropriateness of care; 2) outcomes; and 3) cost-effective compared to peers in-market. Backed by the robust national BlueCross BlueShield dataset, the information Embold Health is collecting, analyzing, and doling out to employers can definitely cause some health systems to take pause — and their docs to bristle. So, how does Embold Health diffuse potential blowback? Here’s where the competitive nature of local healthcare, particularly in the world of primary care, becomes clutch. Tune in to hear the details, including some very interesting stats, as well as Embold’s latest endeavors to help docs make better referrals to specialists.

Better Get Your Quantum Computer

By KIM BELLARD

By all rights, I should be writing about the battle between Reddit forum WallStreetBets and Wall Street hedge funds. Depending on one’s point of view, it’s hilarious, frightening, or a searing indictment on stock trading – maybe all three. 

But I’m going to let Elon Musk and Elizabeth Warren handle that one.  Instead, I want to talk about quantum computing – and why healthcare needs to be looking ahead to it.

Let’s start with this: for the low, low price of $5,000, you could have your very own quantum computer.  Spin Q Technology, a Chinese company, has recently introduced its Spin Q, a less expensive, less powerful version of its Spin Q Gemini, which went for $50,000.  Other quantum computers, such as those by Google, IBM, or D-Wave, have a few more zeroes in their price.  Spin Q Technology has a clear goal in offering this version:

We believe that low-cost portable quantum computer products will facilitate hands-on experience for teaching quantum computing at all levels, well-prepare younger generations of students and researchers for the future of quantum technologies.

You may remember that Steve Jobs and Apple had a similar strategy in the 1980’s, establishing a presence in the education market and among a generation of users that has served it well. 

If you’re looking for something more powerful, maybe even use for business purposes, you are also in luck: today Microsoft announced that Azure Quantum “is now open for business.”    Microsoft bills Azure Quantum as “the world’s first full-stack, public cloud ecosystem for quantum solutions.” 

Continue reading…

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 181 | SPAC-ing rumors & more deals

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about Lyra Health raising $187 million — this is their third raise in less than a year — and gets my take on the SPAC rumor for 23andMe, which is valued at $2.5 billion and just raised $82.5 million in December, and the rumor about Ro following Hims & Hers in a SPAC. Sharecare IS planning on “SPAC-ing” and recently acquired Doc.ai, and DarioHealth acquires Upright Technologies for $31 million. —Matthew Holt

Medable’s CEO: Covid19 Vaccine Will Start Big Pharma’s Era of De-Centralized Clinical Trials

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Covid 19 vaccine development may have mainstreamed questions about how to hasten drug development timelines, but Medable, a health tech startup that offers researchers a way to de-centralize clinical trials, has been working to solve this problem for five years. Freshly funded with a $91M Series C raise, co-founder and CEO Michelle Longmire talks through the benefits of “liberating” clinical trials from academic research centers and sending them onto devices into patient’s homes. Traditionally, drug development processes average more than 10 years, cost millions of dollars, and are limited in the diversity of patients they can recruit because of the heavy focus on the geographic location of the research team conducting the trial. Medable’s digital platform breaks these limitations, reducing drug development timelines and costs by making it easier for researchers to draw study participants from anywhere. More importantly, it makes the novel medicines being tested by the trial available to a bigger, more diverse array of patients. Despite the gains made in 2020 toward the de-centralized clinical trial model (Medable’s revenue shot up 500%), there’s concern that Big Pharma may return to the business processes of old once the pandemic is under control. Does Michelle think last year make enough of an impact to change their business model for good? Find out what’s ahead for the future of pharma.

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