Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess has me weigh in on Cityblock Health’s big raise of $160 million bringing their total up to 300 million to improve health for low-income patients. On Episode 174, Elation, which is Cityblock’s EMR as well as that for some other independent primary care clinics, raises $40 million and working their way into a tough market. Modern Health raises $50 million for the “fourth” pillar of care, providing another mental health platform. LeanTaaS raises $130 million, providing a digital front end for hospitals and smooth out patient access, in contrast to companies like Olive working on the backend. Finally, Well gets $40 million in a Series A using AI and behavioral economics to provide health information and coaching. —Matthew Holt
By MIKE MAGEE
Health reporting this week is rightly dominated by the challenging worldwide distribution of the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19. Bringing the virus to bay is job #1, not only to preserve human life but also our global economy. But this week, on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, we are reminded that our long term human health, including clean air and water, mitigation of weather-related human disasters, and regulations that lessen our chronic burden of disease, depend as much on energy policy as they do health policy.
Nowhere is this more evident (though largely hidden from sight) than in our planet’s positioning to address global warming. The Paris Agreement, the climate accord signed by 195 nations, was abuptly dismantled by Trump four years ago. But President-elect Biden has signaled that his first order on January 20, 2021, will be to rejoin the agreement.
As Trump patronized his fossil fuel funders, and promised that “we’re going to have clean coal and we’re going to have plenty of it,” the oil and gas industry wrote down the value of its assets $170 billion in the first 6 months of 2020.
Acknowledging as much this past week, a cabal of energy investors, with combined assets of $9 trillion, signaled a shift in their strategy with a pledge to harmonize their investments with net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Those investors haven’t suddenly “discovered religion.” No. They’re looking at the numbers.
Clean energy options like solar and wind, combined with the latest battery technology, are now 79% cheaper to produce than US coal production. Investors realize that 90% of the new energy capacity generated worldwide in 2020, as reported by the International Energy Agency, has come from clean energy.Continue reading…
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Bayer G4A, the global life science company’s digital health innovation arm, held their splashy “Agents of Change” event last month to not only introduce their latest cohort of health tech partners, but to also demonstrate the pharma co’s commitment to digital transformation. The entire C-suite of Bayer’s Pharma division became a panel itself — marking the first time the full leadership team of a major pharmaceutical company appeared together to talk strategically about tech’s role in shaping the pharma business model of the future.
The rest of the program’s agenda teased out G4A’s priorities: consumer health, health disparities, women’s health, and investing. Matthew and I both moderated “star-studded” panels with health tech greats: he tackled health tech investment, ridiculous valuations, and advice for startups with a powerhouse crew of investors, while I led my women’s health panel past the usual talk of period-tracking and into a real push for a paradigm shift in thinking about what actually constitutes women’s health data. Rounding out the program were fascinating discussions about health equity and access led by Indu Sabiaya, and a ‘who’s-interviewing-who-here’ fireside about patient-centered tech with OneDrop’s Jeff Dachis and DiabetesMine founder Amy Tenderich, both entrepreneurs with diabetes who have a lot to say about how most tech misses the mark when it comes to grappling with patient needs in everyday life.
And… if you’re curious about what Bayer G4A actually invested in and who they decided to sign partnership agreements with, check out my exclusive WTF Health interviews featuring these companies by way of the playlist below.
Spoiler Alert: Not a single digital therapeutic.
What else could there possibly be for a pharma co to invest in? Watch and see. But, so you know a bit about what you’ll be getting into:
- Caria is women’s health startup focused on menopause
- Sweetch is using just-in-time-interventions linked to mobile data to help “outsmart” chronic diseases
- ONCARE is a care plan content management platform that lets any healthcare provider upload a care pathway that a patient can then follow via an app on their phone
- Decipher Biosciences is using genomic testing to disrupt the way prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated
- Elly is helping improve the quality of life for cancer patients and those with chronic disease by way of educational and motivational content delivered via voice technology
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’ve got quite a diverse set of companies to cover. MedArrive, which is Dan Trigub’s company – the former CEO of Uber Health – raises $4.5 million. Jess also asks me about PointClickCare acquiring Collective Medical, connecting data from EMRs in the acute care space into their long term care solution (I interviewed both companies on THCB Spotlights here). Consejo Sano quietly raised $17.1 million for their patient engagement and communication solution for the Hispanic community, and FOLX Health raises $4.4 million to provide care to LGBTQIA+ folks. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have a huge IPO coming up – JD Health, a Chinese company which has a valuation of $28 billion, could raise up to $4 billion in its upcoming IPO. On Episode 171, Jess asks me about Everlywell raising $175 million in a Series D for at-home testing, everyone’s favorite keto startup Virta Health raising $65 million bringing its valuation to a billion, Olive Health already putting their funding raise to good use by acquiring Verata Health, and dtx company Click Therapeutics raising $30 million. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess & I are together in Marin County before Jess sets off! On Episode 170, Jess asks me about Olive raising $225 million following a recent raise as well, WithMe Health closing a $20 million Series B, Andor Health getting an undisclosed amount in a Series A with an investment from M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, Upfront Healthcare raising $11.5 million in a Series B, and Voluntis – which is a publicly traded DTx company in France – raising $7 million. —Matthew Holt
By KIM BELLARD
Perhaps you read about, or were directly impacted by, the massive, multi-hour Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage last week. Ironically, AWS’s effort to add capacity triggered the outage, although apparently was not the root cause. It’s no surprise that AWS sought to add capacity; it, like most cloud service vendors these days, has seen skyrocketing growth. Even healthcare has jumped into the cloud in a big way.
But, as the outage reminds us, sometimes having core computing functions done in far-off data centers may not be always a great idea. Still, we’re not about to go back to local mainframes or networked PCs. The compromise may be edge computing.
Definitions vary, and the concept is somewhat amorphous, but goal is to move as much computing to the “edge” of networks, primarily to reduce latency. PwC predicts: “Now, with the rise of IoT, the centralised cloud is moving down and out, and edge computing is set to take on much of the grunt work.”
As they describe it:
With edge, instead of pushing data to the cloud to be computed, processing is done by devices ‘at the edge’ of your network. The grunt work is done closer to the user, at an edge gateway server and then select or relevant data is sent to the cloud for storage (or back to your devices).
The oft-cited example is self-driving cars; you really don’t want the AI to wait a single millisecond longer than necessary to make a potentially life-saving decision. An article in Nextgov pointed out:
Thus, a Tesla isn’t just a next-generation car; it’s an edge compute node. But even with Tesla, a relatively straightforward use case, building and deploying the edge node is just the beginning. In order to unlock the full promise of these technologies, an entire paradigm shift is required.Continue reading…
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
It’s not just eyeballs that Comcast NBCUniversal and Independence BlueCross’s joint venture, Quil, is after these days. Carina Edwards, Quil’s CEO, paints a compelling picture of the full-scale business model for “health-in-the-home” that her company is enacting. What started out with trusted healthcare content for surgery prep (able to be deployed across a household’s army of devices, including their TV for those 1.3M Comcast Xfinity cable subscribers) is now expanding with more tech and more services to meet the needs of seniors aging-in-place and the fifty million unpaid caregivers looking after them. Ambient, “context-aware” sensors. Voice integrations with smart speakers. And that’s nothing to say of the caregiver-focused programming that addresses everything from caregiver burnout to tackling tough conversations about a range of issues from paying for care to end-of-life wishes. Quil’s pilot of this new senior-focused offering will be rolled out with Comcast’s help this winter, with the full direct-to-consumer commercial launch expected in Q3 2021. As Carina says, “Comcast knows how to pilot technology.” And, Quil has shown its ability to impact healthcare quality measures thanks to studies around its initial surgery-prep offering. Will it be enough to take on others looking to help turn our living rooms into exam rooms? Tune-in around 17:20 to hear just how integrated Comcast and IBX are in the strategy at Quil.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, the big news is about another COVID vaccine… or is it the collapse of the telehealth and digital health market as we know it? On Episode 167, Jess asks me about Bridge Connector shutting down 2 months after getting a $25.5 million raise, UK-based online mental health platform Togetherall raising $10 million, Cerner partnering with Well Health for provider-patient communication services, Solv Health—the OpenTable for healthcare—raising $27 million, and Springtide raising $18.1 million for its clinic and platform for children with autism. —Matthew Holt
By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Lots of changes at Bayer G4A: a new investment thesis, new additions to their portfolio, a new Global Head of Digital Health to meet, and a hot new virtual health forum (a free one!) coming up on November 18, 2020. Dominick Kennerson and Sophie Park join us from Berlin, where they’ve got their eyes on the trends shaping the worldwide digital health market. Are pharma companies changing the way they look at digital health companies in the face of the pandemic? Have we gone, well, beyond “beyond the pill”? Dom says Bayer’s been ahead of the curve when it comes to prioritizing digital innovation, and that we’re all going to be “very surprised” in the next 12-18 months about what we see come out of one of the world’s largest life sciences companies. For more clues and additional insight on Bayer’s priorities when it comes to digital health and the future of pharma, give this interview a quick listen then register for G4A’s Agents of Change event. HINT: From the “mad genius” herself…the agenda for the event is Bayer G4A’s roadmap. Bold move!
For more on the Agents of Change event, visit www.g4a.health.