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Category: Health Technology

Who’s in Your Supply Chain?

By KIM BELLARD

Tesla is now, by market cap, the second largest auto manufacturer (after Toyota).  Its market cap exceeds U.S. auto makers Ford, G.M., and Fiat/Chrysler — combined.  This despite selling less than 400,000 vehicles in 2019, a figure that is more than the prior two years combined.   

Tesla has made its bet on the future of electric cars.  It didn’t invent them.  It isn’t the only auto manufacturer selling them.  But, as The Wall Street Journal recently said

Investors increasingly see the future of the car as electric—even if most car buyers haven’t yet. And lately, those investors are placing bets on Tesla Inc. to bring about that future versus auto makers with deeper pockets and generations of experience.

 A recent analysis suggested a big reason why, and its findings should give those in healthcare some pause.  Tesla’s advantage may come, in large part, from its supply chain.

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Behind the Big Deal: Teladoc Health’s Acquisition of InTouch Health | Joe DeVivo, InTouch Health

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

It was a seminal moment in virtual care as Teladoc Health acquired Intouch Health for $600 million, effectively taking its mostly direct-to-consumer telehealth platform directly into more than 2,500 care providers — or, as they say, “from hospital to home.” We caught up with InTouch Health’s CEO, Joe DeVivo, to hear his thoughts on the deal, including what it means for the further advancement of virtual care and for the digital health industry at-large.

Filmed at J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, January 2020

Scaling Up One Drop: From Walmart & Apple Stores to Employers & Bayer | Jeff Dachis, One Drop

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

On the heels of a $40M Series B funding round led by Bayer, One Drop CEO Jeff Dachis stops by to hit the highlights about how the digital health platform is touching the lives of 1.6 million users in nearly 200 countries. Focused on chronic conditions like diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, etc. One Drop is unique in the BIG direct-to-consumer business they’ve built through partnerships with Walmart and Apple stores. While Jeff says their growth capital will go toward expanding their heath plan and employer business, there’s also room for growth with Bayer, which could help expand the company’s core operating platform into other therapeutic areas like cardiovascular disease, oncology, and women’s health.

Filmed at Frontiers Health in Berlin, Germany, November 2019.

The FDA Needs to Set Standards for Using Artificial Intelligence in Drug Development

By CHARLES K. FISHER, PhD

Artificial intelligence has become a crucial part of our technological infrastructure and the brain underlying many consumer devices. In less than a decade, machine learning algorithms based on deep neural networks evolved from recognizing cats in videos to enabling your smartphone to perform real-time translation between 27 different languages. This progress has sparked the use of AI in drug discovery and development.

Artificial intelligence can improve efficiency and outcomes in drug development across therapeutic areas. For example, companies are developing AI technologies that hold the promise of preventing serious adverse events in clinical trials by identifying high-risk individuals before they enroll. Clinical trials could be made more efficient by using artificial intelligence to incorporate other data sources, such as historical control arms or real-world data. AI technologies could also be used to magnify therapeutic responses by identifying biomarkers that enable precise targeting of patient subpopulations in complex indications.

Innovation in each of these areas would provide substantial benefits to those who volunteer to take part in trials, not to mention downstream benefits to the ultimate users of new medicines.

Misapplication of these technologies, however, can have unintended harmful consequences. To see how a good idea can turn bad, just look at what’s happened with social media since the rise of algorithms. Misinformation spreads faster than the truth, and our leaders are scrambling to protect our political systems.

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 109 | Flywire & Simplee, Headspace, and Iora Health

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with many new funding deals! On Episode 109, Jess and I discuss Flywire, a payment startup that received not only $120 million from Goldman Sachs, reaching unicorn status, but also acquired the healthcare payments company Simplee which aids the hospital-patient billing process. Headspace raises $93 million, around half of which will be used to build a new ‘Health’ category and the other half to teach meditation. Outset medical raises $125 million for a portable dialysis machine and Iora Health raises $126 million for Series F funding. Finally, I give my take on patient-centric SaaS company Seqster receiving an undisclosed amount from Takeda. –Matthew Holt

Health Catalyst’s New Data-Driven Life Sciences Business | Sadiqa Mahmood, Health Catalyst

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

As if an IPO weren’t enough big news for Health Catalyst in 2019, the company also launched a brand-new life sciences business, basically setting forth a new solution for a completely new set of healthcare clients. Sadiqa Mahmood, Senior VP for Medical Affairs, explains how Health Catalyst is building off their deep expertise analyzing clinical care data and adding to it the molecular data typically collected by pharma companies, biotechs, med device manufacturers, and even digital health companies in order to open up a new era of precision medicine. The idea is to enable these innovators to better define patient cohorts for targeted therapies by creating a more robust data-set that integrates clinical measures. Was this strategy part of Health Catalysts’ larger plan to go public? How have life sciences companies responded so far? Sadiqa gives us some insight on Health Catalyst’s growth plans.

Filmed at Frontiers Health in Berlin, Germany, November 2019.

For Your Eyeballs Only

By KIM BELLARD

There’s so much going on.  There’s the coronavirus: It’s now a pandemic!  China can build an entire hospital to treat coronavirus patients in under two weeks!  Or there’s primary care: One Medical’s IPO boomed!  AmazonHumana and Walmart are testing their versions!  People are flocking away from primary care!  Or, on a completely unrelated note, Tesla wants to disrupt auto insurance too. 

As interesting as all those are, it’s augmented reality (AR) that I want to talk about. 

Stop thinking about Snap Spectacles or Pokémon Go as what you think of when you think about AR.  Stop thinking about the supposed failure of Google Glass.  Start thinking about AR being ingrained in our daily lives.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes “at some point in the 2020s, we will get breakthrough augmented reality glasses that will redefine our relationship with technology.”  He went on to elaborate:

Instead of having devices that take us away from the people around us, the next platform will help us be more present with each other and will help the technology get out of the way. Even though some of the early devices seem clunky, I think these will be the most human and social technology platforms anyone has built yet.

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The EU-Backed Community of Health Innovators Transforming Health | Katharina Ladewing, EIT Health

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Financially backed by the EU, EIT Health is a pan-European network of health innovators and 150+ corporate and academic partners across the continent who pool their assets to support widespread health innovation across Europe. We caught up with Katharina Ladewing, Managing Director for EIT Health Germany, about the group’s priorities, how they enable early and late stage startups to find funding and business partners, and how digital health has been evolving (rapidly) in the EU over the past few years. Wondering what the differences are between the health tech startup ecosystems in Europe versus the US? Katharina shares some of the insights she’s gained after four years watching this space mature.

Filmed at Frontiers Health in Berlin, Germany, November 2019.

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 108 | OneMedical IPO, Hinge Health, & Humana

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re starting out with a riddle: what’s the similarity between the 49ers Super Bowl performance and digital health? Find out on Episode 108, where Jess and I discuss other news in health tech starting off with another IPO, OneMedical. Now worth more than Livongo at $2.7 billion, this went better than anyone could’ve expected. Hinge Health raises $90 million in a Series C round, offering physical therapy at home and tapping into the loads of waste that goes towards back surgeries. Finally, Humana partners with a private equity company to expand primary care centers, what is the deal with this? —Matthew Holt

Autonomous Pharmacy: An Industry Movement to Free Hospital Pharmacists | Randy Lipps, CEO, Omnicell

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

From the point at which a medication arrives at a hospital’s receiving dock to the time it’s given to a patient, Omnicell systems are relied on to “store it, package it, barcode it, order it, issue it, and charge it.” Now, CEO Randy Lipps wants to automate ALL OF IT — getting medications from dockside to bedside, without the help of human hands. The Autonomous Pharmacy is not only Omnicell’s bold vision for the future of medication management for hospitals that brings in robotics and software to improve the safety and accuracy of every aspect of the drug delivery process, but as Randy says, it’s an “industry movement” to free the hospital pharmacist from the “basement pharmacy” and allow them to truly practice at the top of their license. Although integrating new tech into healthcare systems is never easy, this CEO says that it’s less the tech — and more the lack of urgency in shifting our mindset as an industry — that’s slowing us down. What exactly needs to change? Bold visions require big plans…

Filmed at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, December 2019.

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