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Category: Start-Ups

Walmart Picks Transcarent: Tullman on First ‘Everyday Low Prices’ Offer for Self-Insured Employers

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Walmart is looking to scale its healthcare business in a brand-new way: setting its sights on self-insured employers. Today the retail giant announced a go-to-market partnership with Transcarent that will make its “everyday low price” prescription drugs and healthcare services available to self-insured employers for the very first time. Transcarent’s Executive Chairman & CEO Glen Tullman drops in to give us the inside story on the deal with Walmart, what it means for the industry, and how it could once-and-for-all ignite the ‘disruption of the payer’ that we’ve been waiting for since JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon came together to found Haven.

Transcarent and Glen are hell-bent on re-making the healthcare payment model by eliminating as many middlemen as possible, reshaping the health and care experience along the way. So, what does this partnership with Walmart mean for that mission and for Transcarent? Is this “THE Deal” we’ll look back on as the one that catapulted Transcarent into a new phase of growth? Remember when Glen’s last company, Livongo, shot into the stratosphere after its deal with CVS Health? I ask Glen if he’s running the same play in a much bigger game and finally concede: Transcarent is NOT a healthcare navigator!

CareAlign, fixing that physician workflow–demo & interview

By MATTHEW HOLT

I recently interviewed Subha Airan-Javia, the CEO of CareAlign. CareAlign is a small company that is working to fix the clinician workflow by creating a tool for all those interstitial gaps that the big EMRs leave, and now get moved to and from paper by the care team. In this interview she tells me a little about the company and shows how the product works. I found it very impressive

Full transcript below

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Jonathan Bush Launches Zus with $35M & “Build-Your-Own EMR” Proposition for Health Tech Startups

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Jonathan Bush has “More Disruption Please-d” himself and is back at it with a new company, Zus (get it…like the father of Athena) backed by a $35M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz, F-Prime Capital, Maverick Ventures, & Rock Health.

“It’s ‘Build-A-Bear’ for EMR, patient relationship management, CRMs…” says Jonathan, and meant to help digital health startups work around incumbent EMR companies by providing a developer kit of components common to the “middle” of a health tech stack — AND a single shared record backend where all Zus clients can land and access patient data.

The intention is to help digital health startups reduce the time and cost of developing their tech by eliminating the redundant, generic aspects of building a healthcare tech stack in the same way companies like Stripe or Twilio have taken the burden out of writing code to process payments or integrate messaging. Zus intends to be the go-to for code used to make an appointment, create a patient profile, connect to a telehealth platform, etc. And the shared record on the back end? Does that make Zus a next-gen EMR company?? Find out more about Zus’s business model, current client list, and why, exactly, Jonathan believes that NOW is the time that the dream of the shared patient medical record is within reach.

What’s the Latest with Evidation Health?

An email interview with the Co-CEO’s of Evidation Health

Over the last few weeks I’ve been conducting a back & forth email interview with Christine Lemke (L) & Deb Kilpatrick (R), the co-CEOs of Evidation Health. They raised $153 million in a Series E back in March (almost a small round these days!) but I wanted to understand a bit more about what the “new” Evidation was doingMatthew Holt

Matthew Holt: Congrats on the latest funding. Clearly Evidation has evolved since its founding, but focusing first on the clinical trial study aspect, can you explain how the Achievement panel is structured? How was it put together? What are the typical ways that your clients use it, and what is the member experience?

Deb Kilpatrick: Our Achievement platform is the largest virtual connected research cohort in the United States, with more than 4 million users across all 50 states and representing nine out of every 10 ZIP codes. Through the platform, accessible via our app or through a browser, individuals have the opportunity to contribute to ground-breaking medical research in a number of ways: they can connect smartphones, wearables, and connected devices—think Apple Watches, Fitbits, CGMs, etc—that generate heart rate, activity, sleep quality, and other health-related data; they can connect health apps like Strava and MapMyFitness; and they can participate in surveys and provide patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of many forms. 

And they do so with strong privacy protections for both data collection and data use, including use-case specific consents that can be sequential over time. This goes for new Achievers and those who have used the platform for years. And Achievers always have the option to remove themselves from any research project, and/or the platform altogether, at any time.

What do we do with that data? Evidation partners with leading health care companies, including nine of the top 10 biopharma companies in the world, to understand health and disease outside the clinic walls while measuring real world product impact. We’ve conducted virtual trials for almost a decade now, totaling more than 100 real-world studies across therapeutic areas. 

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Komodo Health’s CEO on $220M Series E & What’s REALLY Happening with Big Data in Healthcare

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

You know all that “magic” that machine learning is meant to bring to seemingly lackluster healthcare data and our limited understanding of it? Komodo Health’s co-founder & CEO Arif Nathoo demystifies the wizardry of one of our favorite buzz phrases, “The Algorithm,” and gives us a colorful overview of how his startup is making data useful to the way payers, health systems, and pharma co’s study populations at-scale. Komodo’s raised $314M to-date, closing a MASSIVE $220M Series E backed by Tiger Global Management, Casdin Capital, ICONIQ Growth, Andreessen Horowitz, and SVB Capital in April, and after hearing this enthusiastic explanation of what they’re working on – and the market potential for it – we understand why.

At its most simplistic, Komodo is using de-identified healthcare claims data as a base from which to learn how patients flow through the healthcare system. Other data sets are brought in and layered onto that “patient-flow, dollar-flow” claims trail in effort create a new vantage point for seeing what’s happening within the system, at a population level. That insight can then be used to predict patient behavior and provide evidenced analysis for how the system can be improved. Don’t worry: Arif provides lots of detailed examples and talks through exactly what kind of data can (and currently can’t) be pulled into the mix. If you want to get smart on the “Big Data” opportunity in healthcare and how it’s going to be impacting the future of care delivery and virtual care delivery, this is one chat you won’t want to miss!

Special Event: The Catalyst @ Health 2.0/Wipfli Survey on the State of Digital Health Results Presentation

TODAY Tuesday, May 11th at 2pm ET/11am PTRSVP here

Back in November of last year, Catalyst @ Health 2.0, supported by professional services firm Wipfli, launched the Survey on the State of Digital Health, with the goal of creating a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on digital health companies and the rest of the ecosystem. Between the end of 2020 and thru March 2021 we received detailed responses from 300+ digital health aficionados including 180 digital health companies. We’re sure this is the most detailed assessment of what’s happening on the ground in digital health companies you’ll find anywhere.

Join us at 2pm ET/11am PT on Tuesday, May 11th for The Catalyst @ Health 2.0/Wipfli Survey on the State of Digital Health Results Presentation, you’ll see the full results from me & Catalyst’s Elizabeth Brown, hear from Wipfli’s Paul Johnson & Girish Ramachandra, and get reaction to the results from our guests Ryan Johnson, lawyer at Fredrikson & Byron; Sunny Kumar, investor at GSR Ventures;, and digital health CEOs Helena Plater-Zyberk, Supportiv; and Mudit Garg, Qventus.

I think the zoom is full, but you can see it livestreamed below at 11 am PT – 2pm ET – Matthew Holt

Sharecare’s SPAC IPO: A Second Success for WebMD Founder Jeff Arnold?

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Sharecare, the population-health-slash-care-navigator of the stars (literally, celebrity doc Dr. Oz is a co-founder, and Oprah’s Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications are partners) is about to hit the public market via a $4-Billion SPAC IPO with Falcon Capital. Jeff Arnold, co-founder, CEO, and Chairman drops in to talk about how he plans to make Sharecare even more successful than the first healthcare business he founded-and-exited, WebMD.

The Sharecare ecosystem is sprawling. The company’s been around for more than a decade, acquired about a dozen digital health point solutions and health tech businesses, and built a population health analytics platform that’s interwoven consumer, employer, provider, and health plan data for years. Now, the business is even getting into providing Health Security verifications for hotels, restaurants, and the like to prove that their facilities meet guidelines for health and hygiene protocols, cleaning standards, physical distancing and other health requirements implemented in the Covid-19 era.

So, how does Jeff anticipate meeting shareholder expectations for growth? The investor deck touts a future of recurring revenue driving sustainable 20% year-over-year growth; Jeff talks through each of Sharecare’s verticals in detail so we can learn how.

Health Tech Deals, on Clubhouse tomorrow (Thursday 8th) at 1 PT/4 ET

Tomorrow we are taking a break from #THCBGang. Don’t worry it’ll be back with a vengeance next week. Instead, Jess DaMassa & I will host a new show “Health Tech Deals” on Clubhouse

So please join Jess and me in The Health Care Blog’s room for “Gossip, analysis & Sh!talking about digital health funding”.

Tomorrow, Apr 8 at 1:00 PM PDT – 4pm ET on @joinClubhouse. Join us! (And if you need an invite to Clubhouse, let me know)

And it’ll be on our podcast channel (Apple/Spotify) from Friday — Matthew Holt

Kelsey Mellard, CEO Sitka

By MATTHEW HOLT

Kelsey Mellard is CEO of Sitka, one of the emerging companies that’s providing specialty consults online to primary care docs. They’ve been building a specialty care network that can be accessed by asynchronous video, slightly different to some of their competition. Most of their customers are capitated medical groups, like ChenMed, trying to reduce their spend on specialty physician care (as Kelsey calls it the “unmanaged Part B spend bucket”). I asked her how it works, where the company is going (think virtual care integration), and whether it will be needed in the future. (You can guess her answer to the latter!)

Bayer G4A Agents of Change: Watch the Panels, Meet the Co’s that Got Deals

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

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