The THCB Book Club is a discussion with leading health care authors, which will be released on the third Wednesday of every month. And this is the first one!
We kicked off with the new book from Hemant Teneja (VC at General Catalyst who has been writing many big checks lately) and Stephen Klasko (CEO at Jefferson Health System and one of the most unusual hospital system bosses in America). Their book is called UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance which is a how-to for creating a platform for a revolutionary future for health care. You can go buy the book here (eVersion only $6!) It’s an easy read (about 130 pages on your iPad “Books” app).
UnHealthcare is about a new concept called Health assurance– which Tenaja says is “an emerging category of consumer-centric, data-driven healthcare services that are designed to bend the cost curve of care and help us stay well.”
Sitting in on the interview because we can’t get rid of him was Glen Tullman from Livongo (Just kidding, Glen!). He weighed in on how this connects with his new idea of Consumer Directed Virtual Care and the Teladoc-Livongo merger.
This was a great discussion. We had them explain the concept, and pushed them pretty hard on how realistic it was! And you can see it in the video below (and the podcast version will be in our iTunes & Spotify channels very soon)
In September the THCB BookClub will feature Jane Metcalfe with her 2020 book NEO.LIFE
On Episode 144 of Health in 2 Point 00, Matthew has gingerly emerged from his office and gone into a Magical Forest! Jess asks me about Healthline media acquiring PsychCentral, the first-ever online psychiatry support group and I explain the history of how it has been passed around from Corporates to PE firms, Bridge Connector getting 25.5M for its interoperability platform, Cecelia Health raising $13M for its chronic condition management service, and Reify closing $30M to help pharma companies run clinical trials from home. Also, we had our first book club discussion with authors Hemant Teneja (VC at General Catalyst) & Stephen Klasko (CEO at Jefferson Health System) on their book “UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance”. Glen Tullman also made a special guest appearance during the discussion. The episode will be released soon! – Matthew Holt
You might have missed it amongst all the headlines about the U.S.P.S., the 2020 elections, and, of course, that little thing we call the pandemic, but Fortnite got kicked off Apple’s App Store (and subsequently Google Play).
I’m not a gamer, but I am fascinated by gaming, because, as Steven Johnson put it, “The Future is where people are having the most fun.” Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games, Inc., which makes Fortnite, seems to be having a lot of fun. And he thinks the future is the Metaverse.
Healthcare, take note.
The tech giants were reacting to Epic allowing “permanent discounts” on developer fees for in-game purchases made directly, rather than going through Apple or Google. Developers thus avoid the 30% commission charged in those Stores. Mr. Sweeney has been railing about the commission level for some time, leading to the recent decision.
Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.
On Episode 143 of Health in 2 Point 00, we have all the alphabets in the raising series represented ;)! Jess asks me about Lumeon raising a $30M Series D for their care orchestration centers, Nurx raising a $22M Series C to develop out its online pharmacy presence, Thirty Madison getting $47M and Johnson & Johnson is an investor this round, Bodyport closing an $11.2 M Series A for their weighing scale platform that can detect early cardiovascular disease, and Kumanu raising a $3M Series A to grow out its platform that helps people figure out their lives’ purpose.
Be sure to check out our talk from the 7 competitor CEOs to Teledoc & Livongo who weigh in about the $19B merger. If you want to join our book club, we are reading UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, which is a how-to for creating a platform for a revolutionary future for healthcare, by Hemant Teneja (VC at General Catalyst) and Stephen Klasko (CEO at Jefferson Health System). We will have a video on our discussion with the authors which will be published on the 3rd Wednesday of every month! —Matthew Holt
“Next-gen” healthcare might just be getting its start in primary care. So says Crossover Health’s CEO, Scott Shreeve, who laughingly channels Justin Timberlake and says he’s “bringing sexy back” to it too. With Walmart launching its own Healthcare Super Centers, Walgreens partnering with VillageMD in a $1-billion-dollar three-year deal, and some soaring post-IPO stock prices for OneMedical and Oak Street Health — it appears he’s onto something. And, hopefully, it’s something big that’s borne from Crossover’s recent partnership deal with Amazon. Will this be the tech giant’s next foray into healthcare? We’ve got the analysis on Amazon, Scott’s insider insights on what’s next for the primary care market, AND some phenomenal perspective on the “rise of the ‘Health Activist Employer’” as healthcare’s “most innovative payer.”
Six competitor CEOs and one ex-CMO discuss the biggest-ever digital health merger
By JESS DAMASSA & MATTHEW HOLT
It was the news that stunned the world of health tech. And us! So we had seven of Teladoc and Livongo’s biggest competitors weigh-in on what the merger means for telehealth, digital health, the future of health care delivery–and their businesses! You’ll hear from the CEOs of Omada, Ginger, One Drop, Vida, Lark & Cloudbreak, with some spicy commentary from Lyle Berkowitz who was, until recently, CMO at MD Live. From reaction to the merger to speculation about how this will impact the future of digital health funding, fasten your seat belts for some impactful and fun infotainment about all the implications of the deal.
Episode 21 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, August 13th! Watch it below.
Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) today are some of our regulars: policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), MD turned leadership coach Maggi Cary (@MargaretCaryMD), patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), and Consumer advocate & CTO of Carium Health Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia). It was a great conversation surrounding the patients’ role in all the technology being deployed, how providers can work to close the gap in care, and whose duty is it really to ensure a person is “healthy”. Give it a listen below if you missed the live show
If you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan
JUST before the Teladoc-Livongo merger was announced, I had a chance to catch up with Doctor on Demand’s CEO, Hill Ferguson. The future for telehealth, he said, is “bright green” — and I’m pretty sure it’s looking even greener now! Doctor On Demand has stood out among telehealth companies for being particularly early on virtual primary care and it sounds like they’re going to continue developing that line of business — in which they have key partnerships with Humana and Walmart — with the $75M series D funding they just received.
Add to that a brand-new, first-of-its-kind telehealth program for the Medicare Part B population, and crazy consumer-focused type UX features like same-day scheduling for behavioral mental health care (yes, that’s right, dynamic scheduling for healthcare is here, folks!) and you can start to see how DOD is strategizing to pull away from the pack.
With the competitive landscape shifting, especially after Teladoc-Livongo, how does Hill view the onslaught of new entrants like digital health companies who added telehealth in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, or potential unicorns like Ro or HIMS, who are focused on tying the prescription drug business into virtual care delivery? It’s the insider insight you’ve been waiting for in this era of ‘tele-everything’ healthcare.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I cover all the deals that got overshadowed by the big news of Teladoc and Livongo’s merger. First up is Ginger, the mental health provider which raised $50 million in a D round bringing their total up to $120 million. Infermedica, an AI enabled symptom checker and triage tool, raised $10.25 million in a series A. Next, Xealth landed a $6 million investment from Cerner and LRVHealth, partnering with Cerner and bringing their digital health prescribing tool to Cerner in addition to its current integration with Epic. Finally SOC Telemed is going public through a “reverse” merger with Healthcare Merger Corp. —Matthew Holt
Today, a special Health in 2 Point 00. Jessica DaMassa asks me about the biggest news in public digital health companies ever: this morning’s merger of Teladoc and Livongo. We discuss the deal, the implications for digital health, what’s next for Continuous Clinics, whether our T-Shirts will become a collectors item, and of course what about our book club on August 19! —Matthew Holt