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Category: Jessica DaMassa

Livongo Takes on Hypertension | Zane Burke, CEO, Livongo

BY JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Livongo CEO, Zane Burke, has been a busy guy since the company’s IPO late last year. The applied health signals company has seen triple-digit (148%) growth and a robust expansion of the weight management and behavioral health platforms they’ve been building to support the ‘whole health life’ of people with diabetes. Case-in-point, Zane talks through the outcomes of the company’s latest clinical research on Livongo’s hypertension management tool, which showed that clients who used both Livongo’s diabetes management tool and hypertension tool in tandem experienced significant decreases in their hypertensive blood pressure in as little as four weeks. As traditional healthcare companies and digital health startups alike continue to watch Livongo’s every move for an indication of ‘what’s possible’ for health tech startups, we asked Zane to clue us in on how he’s keeping his team focused on product development, market expansion, and issues related to reimbursement.

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

Consumer Weight Loss Platform Noom Heads for Digital Health | Saeju Jeong, CEO, Noom

By JESSICA DAMASSA

Popular weight management app Noom is officially stepping into the world of digital health and digital therapeutics. CEO & co-founder, Saeju Jeong, shares some of the impressive stats that the behavior change platform has been able to help users achieve — including an average 7.5% reduction in body weight in 6 months. With more than 1 million (!) users around the world already, Noom is expanding globally and is venturing further into the healthcare space as a result of their successful pilot with Novo-Nordisk, which saw Noom as a ‘wrap around’ support to the drug company’s diabetes medication. On tap next, Saeju tells us he’s headed further into diabetes management, hypertension, kidney failure, and various cardiac conditions.

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

Disrupting How We Detect Asthma & Hypertension | Edward Allegra, BioLum Sciences

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

BioLum Sciences is introducing new chemistry that has the potential to completely change the way we test for respiratory illnesses, like asthma, and analyze blood samples to identify hypertension. CEO Edward Allegra talks through the science behind both their breath and blood tests, both of which are patent-pending and have the ability to completely bend the cost-curve when it comes to identifying and monitoring these two common chronic conditions. What’s next for the early-stage health startup? A range of applications to detect everything from COPD to lung cancer and more.

Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.

Digital Therapeutics Category Outlook for Reimbursement | Megan Coder, Digital Therapeutics Alliance

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

What’s ahead for digital thereaputics as the category carves out its place in the broader world of digital health and health tech? Megan Coder, Executive Director of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (the professional org founded in 2017 to guide the development of the category), swings by to level set with some definitions, talk reimbursement trends in US and Europe, and explain the intention behind the DTA’s recently published code of conduct and best practices for DTX companies.

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

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Detecting Heart Conditions Faster: The Case for Biomarkers-PLUS-AI | Dean Loizou, Prevencio

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Can artificial intelligence help prevent cardiovascular diseases? Biotech startup, Prevencio, has developed a proprietary panel of biomarkers that uses blood proteins and sophisticated AI algorithms to detect cardiovascular conditions like coronary and peripheral artery disease, aerotic stenosis, risk for stroke and more. Dean Loizou, Prevencio’s VP of Business Development, breaks down the process step-by-step and explains exactly how Prevencio reports its clinically viable scores to doctors. How does the AI fit into all this? We get to that too, plus the details around this startup’s plans for raising a B-round on the heels of this work with Bayer.

Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.

Innovative Cancer Care Meets Digital Health | Janhvi Patel, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is known worldwide for their leading-edge approach to cancer care…so, how can digital health help? MSK’s new Digital Ventures Lead, Janhvi Patel, talks about the types of tech companies she’s looking to partner with (or invest in) when it comes to advancing her organization’s oncology practice. Sure, precision medicine is an important area of innovation, but so are patient journey, provider workflow improvement, and data analysis. What else does one of the world’s leading cancer centers need to take their care to the next level? Tune in to meet Janhvi and find out.

Filmed at HLTH 2019 in Las Vegas, October 2019.

Leading Innovation in Dermatology | Francesca Wuttke, Chief Digital Officer, Almirall

BY JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Almirall is a dermatology-focused pharmaceutical company based in Spain, and its investment in R&D for developing new therapeutics leads the way as the largest within the country’s pharma industry. It’s no surprise, then, that Almirall has also adopted a digital therapeutics and digital health strategy to augment it’s molecular innovations with a ‘beyond the pill’ approach. We sat down with Almirall’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer, Francesca Wuttke, to hear about the pharma company’s digital strategy which is centered on laying the framework for advanced analytical platforms that gather more health data about patients and skin health. For help and fresh ideas, Francesca has opened Almirall’s doors to health tech startups, launching a brand-new accelerator program cutely called ‘Almirall’s Digital Garden,’ to ‘seed’ and ‘grow’ innovative solutions. Are there lots of health startups out there that focus on treating psoriasis, acne, and other dermatological conditions? Francesca tells us what she hopes ‘reap’ from the Digital Garden and how she hopes her broader digital strategy will flourish at the boutique pharma company.

Filmed at Barcelona Health Hub Summit in Barcelona, Spain, October 2019.

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Digital Therapeutic for Chronic Condition Management in India | Abhishek Shah, Wellthy Therapeutics

BY JESSICA DAMASSSA, WTF HEALTH

As the adage goes, “health is wealth,” and Wellthy Therapeutics is a startup looking to improve the health of patients with chronic conditions in India by making treatment more accessible. Only 5% of Indians are insured and much of the population is not health literate, so CEO Abhishek Shah hopes the Wellthy app will fill a critical gap in care for those with type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, and respiratory illnesses. With 15K users, the startup is focused on scaling up to truly capitalize on the potential of India’s enormous population. Learn more about their big plans, including those for a Series-A, to support that expansion.

Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.

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The Digital Physical Therapy Startup for Knee, Neck, & Back Pain | Dan Rubenstein, Physera

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Bum knees, aching backs, and neck pain are literally a pain-in-the-neck for millions of people – making chronic pain one of the largest areas of healthcare spending. Is it time to disrupt the traditional delivery of physical therapy? Physera CEO, Dan Rubenstein, thinks so, and talks to us about how his healthcare startup is revolutionizing the way physical therapy is being delivered by taking it virtual and driving down the cost. With more than $10M in funding (their $6M Series A was led by BlueCross BlueShield’s Venture Fund) and a major contract with a nationwide health plan provider in the works, the health tech startup is on track to help millions of people feel better and avoid the crazy rush to the PT’s office.

Filmed at HLTH 2019 in Las Vegas, October 2019.

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A New Era for One Digital Health’s First Unicorns? | Maeve O’Meara, CEO, Castlight Health

BY JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Is Castlight Health suffering a case of ‘first-mover’ curse? One of digital health’s first unicorns, Castlight Health, IPO’d back in 2014 with a valuation of over $3 billion dollars (reportedly, 107 times revenue) at a share price of $40. Today, the stock trades around $1.20, and the company has endured years of frustration from shareholders who’ve complained about customer churn and questioned the company’s business model. A recent change in leadership at the top of the organization has ushered in new CEO Maeve O’Meara, a long-time employee of the trailblazing company, who’s now responsible for blazing a new path toward forward herself. Refreshingly candid about the road ahead, Maeve explains how some new high-touch (but cost-effective) offerings are opening up new markets for the biz and hints at potential partnerships emerging with Big Tech. A must-watch for any digital health startup, investor, or industry analyst who wants longitudinal perspective on health tech’s market resilience and the importance of timing. Maeve, who was a health investor herself before joining Castlight, sums up the challenge of trailblazing tech in healthcare like this: “In healthcare, you always want to be one step ahead and not two steps ahead — you can get burned easily by being two steps ahead.”

Filmed at HLTH 2019 in Las Vegas, October 2019.

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