I was driving home the other day, noticed all the above-ground telephone/power lines, and thought to myself: this is not the 21st century I thought I’d be living in.
When I was growing up, the 21st century was the distant future, the stuff of science fiction. We’d have flying cars, personal robots, interstellar travel, artificial food, and, of course, tricorders. There’d be computers, although not PCs. Still, we’d have been baffled by smartphones, GPS, or the Internet. We’d have been even more flummoxed by women in the workforce or #BlackLivesMatter.
We’re living in the future, but we’re also hanging on to the past, and that applies especially to healthcare. We all poke fun at the persistence of the fax, but I’d also point out that currently our best advice for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty much what it was for the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic: masks and distancing (and we’re facing similar resistance). One would have hoped the 21st century would have found us better equipped.
So I was heartened to read an op-ed in The Washington Postby ReginaDugan, PhD. Dr. Dugan calls for a “Health Age,” akin to how Sputnik set off the Space Age. The pandemic, she says, “is the kind of event that alters the course of history so much that we measure time by it: before the pandemic — and after.”
Analysis on peer accountability focused community building efforts in making lifestyle changes through digital therapeutic programs
Before we jump ahead to the medicine piece, what the heck does a community even mean? In the past, communities were more likely associated with a group of people living in the same physical location such as a neighborhood, school, or a town. I remember my neighborhood soccer community very well, for instance. Instead of being born into or trying to fit in, community is something we choose for ourselves and express our identities through. With the advancement of accessing the high-speed internet globally, today’s community has no physical or geographical boundaries.
Community builder Fabian Pfortmüller brilliantly explains the difference between communities and other groups. He asserts that unlike project teams or companies who are optimizing for external purposes (collective goals); communities optimize for internal purposes (the relationship and the shared identity). His definition of a community deeply resonated with me and the communities that I had the opportunity to build.
Today on Episode 137 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess questions if “Jack in the Bean Stalk” is actually abut how VCs are growing into the health tech space. Listen to Jess’s take on the comparison as she asks me about Sprout getting $10M in a seed round to grow its Autism platform, Gyant securing $13.6M to improve its AI & Chatbot functions for providers, Meditopia receiving $15M for its medication app, Caption Health raising $53M to help people conduct ultrasounds, and Kind Body raising $32M for its fertility care platform. Enjoy! — Matthew Holt
There are few better positioned to speculate on what’s next for telehealth than Roy Schoenberg, co-CEO & President, of Amwell. After 15 years, more than $710M in total funding, and probably the best analogies out there for describing telehealth’s potential as a disruptive technology, Roy weighs in on just how unprecedented COVID19 has been for the uptake and evolution of virtual care.
“Historically, people thought, could telehealth be as good as a physical visit? The reality of COVID,” says Roy, “has literally opened the door to the question, can telehealth be better?”
From the near-term “new wave” of telehealth that has already begun to “eclipse the urgent care telehealth” to how Amwell’s clientele of clinicians, healthcare delivery systems, and payers are shifting to accept the idea of the technology as “the start of healthcare,” Roy talks of a future of telehealth that is “entrenched inside the system.” And how Amwell is meant to act as “facilitator.”
“When we start thinking about telehealth as a switchboard — not as a product, but as an infrastructure for the redistribution of healthcare — we’re talking about a completely different experience for us as Americans on what healthcare is available to us and how we can consume it.”
“To me, and I’ll fast forward to the end here, we want to get to the point that telehealth changes our expectation when we grow old as to where we can grow old. We want to be in a place where we can stay at home…where we don’t have to be in the ‘belly of the beast’ to get healthcare.”
How far away is this future that Roy describes, midway through telehealth’s biggest year yet? Is the appetite there among incumbents? And what of those Amwell IPO rumors? How might that kind of funding help rush things along? Tune in to this episode of ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ with Jessica DaMassa to find out.
Matthew Holt and Jessica DaMassa gave a talk at the “Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech Conference” on June 17, 2020. They spoke about how technology is evolving the mental health space, along with their thoughts on where the future of the industry is headed.
Jess & Matthew first start off with their “Health in 2 Point 00” segment, discussing all of the funding deals in the mental health space, from Headspace to Mindstrong raising money in Q1, to Kaiser rolling out MyStrength to its members.
Then they jump into a deeper dive segment, where they discuss how the money is being distributed in the mental health space, and how startups are coming up with creative solutions to package their services. Some mental health companies are wrapping solutions into other digital health platforms that already manage chronic conditions, like Livongo & Omada, others are working to directly address and treat mental health issues, and some are developing digital therapeutic solutions to manage mental health problems. As this part of the industry grows, Matthew & Jess predict how the mental health tech space will change & develop with increasing demand, more investments, and a lot more innovative tools to serve the population’s needs.
Zoya Khan is the EIC of The Health Care Blog & a Strategy Manager at SMACK.health
On Episode 136 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess has 15 new deals to talk about (and its only been a day since the last episode!). Jess asks me about CityBlock getting $54M for their Series B round to provide primary care services to dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid members in New York, Medly raising $100M & NowRx crowdsourcing $20M to grow their telepharmacy platforms, the mega-merger of Curavi, Carepointe, and U.S. Health Systems (now called Arkos Health) to develop out a care coordination platform, and DoorDash partnering with Walgreen to distribute non-prescription drugs. —Matthew Holt
Episode 18 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, July 16tth! Watch it below.
Joining Matthew Holt were some of our regulars: writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), MD turned leadership coach Maggi Cary (@MargaretCaryMD), and guest Suneel Ratan, GM of Collective Medical Technologies (@CollectiveMed)! We discussed ACOs & fee-for-service problems, what the future of care looks like as a result of the November elections, and how to serve communities that are socioeconomically disadvantaged with calls to #DEFUNDHealthcare. Give it a watch below if you missed the live version
If you’d rather listen, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, it’s the 4th shoe! On Episode 135, we’ve got Amazon’s entry into primary care through its pilot program with Crossover Health, UnitedHealth Group launching Level2, their own digital health diabetes prevention program, Health Catalyst acquiring healthfinch, Truepill raising $25 million and then investing in Ahead, a company which matches psychiatrists to patients. —Matthew Holt
Today on Episode 134 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I cover Livongo’s stock price swinging, Brian Dolan’s PPP “Black List” for Health Tech Startups, and Oak Street Health & GoHealth filing their S-1’s. We also get Matthew’s take on Walgreen’s deal with Village MD to become a primary care center, and Doctor on Demand closing a $75M round, bringing its total to $235M in funding —Matthew Holt
The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time for virtual reality. It has caused many workers to work remotely, introducing many workers to collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams and even more to video platforms like Zoom or Skype. But we’re just beginning to understand what collaboration could look like — such as virtual reality (VR).
As CNBCnoted: “Virtual reality is booming in the workplace amid the pandemic.” Even a pre-pandemic Perkins Coie survey, done for the XR Association, predicted an explosion of immersive technologies like VR, augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Elizabeth Hyman, President of XRA, said: “We are at the precipice of an integration of XR technology that will transform businesses and society for the better.”
The report expected healthcare to be the industry most impacted by immersive technologies (outside of gaming/entertainment).
Spatial is a collaborative, holographic, augmented reality solution. You can teleport to someone’s space, work as an avatar sharing that 3D space, and use it instead of a screen to manage a project, present an idea, and more.
Don’t you love the “and more,” as though the teleportation wasn’t enough?