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CONFERENCE UPDATE–Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care?

By MATTHEW HOLT & JESS DAMASSA

Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care? is the conference bringing together the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery, and all the permutations thereof. Today we add to last week's fantastic list of speakers with another 14 great speakers, including one CEO of  a company that has just SPACed onto the public market (Sharecare), and another that is about to (Babylon Health)! You can register here or learn how to sponsor. This week's new additions are:

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Ali Parsa
Babylon Health

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Julia Hu
Lark

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Niko Skievaski
Redox

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Rushika Fernandopulle
Iora Health

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Andy Coravos
HumanFirst

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Iyah Romm
Cityblock

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Pauline Lapin
CMMI

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Michelle Davey
Wheel

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Blake McKinney
CirrusMD

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Jeff Ruby
Newtopia

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Sami Iniken
Virta

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Deena Shakir
Lux Capital

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Jeff Arnold
Sharecare

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Stephanie Tilenius
Vida

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CONFERENCE UPDATE–Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care?

By MATTHEW HOLT & JESS DAMASSA

Last month we told you about the new conference bringing together the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery and all the permutations thereof. That's all those companies raising huge venture rounds and really getting to scale. You’ll see them at Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care?, and they include Glen Tullman (Transcarent), Jonathan Bush (Zus Health) Roy Schoenberg (AmWell) and 17 more leaders in digital health.

Now we are announcing another 16 great speakers, including 2 publicly-traded digital health company CEOs!  And we'll announce a further 16 next week! You can register here or learn how to sponsor. This week's new additions are:

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Owen Tripp
Grand Rounds

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Paul Johnson
Lemonaid Health

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Mario Schlosser
Oscar

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Anil Sethi
Ciitizen

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Ashwini Zenooz
Commure

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Russ Johannesson
Glooko

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Jim Pursley
Hinge Health

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Peter Hames
Big Health

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Daniel Brillman
Unite Us

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Arif Nathoo
Komodo Health

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Raj Singh
Accolade

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Tim Barry
VillageMD

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Steve Yaskin
Health Gorilla

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Sean Duffy
Omada Health

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Stephanie Papes Strong
Boulder Care

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Abner Mason
ConsejoSano

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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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!)

What If Healthcare Was Like Wikipedia?

By KIM BELLARD

Last week I wrote about, well, how awful social media has become, so this week it’s nice to write about pretty much the opposite: Wikipedia turned twenty last Friday (January 15). 

In person years that’s not even old enough to buy alcohol, but in Internet years that makes it one of the grand old masters, like Google or Amazon.  Wikipedia is one of the most visited Internet destinations, with its 55+ million articles, in 300+ languages, getting some 10b+ views per month. 

It is something that, by all rights, shouldn’t exist, much less be successful.  A non-profit, volunteer written/edited, online encyclopedia?  An online resource widely trusted for its objective, generally accurate articles in a world of fake news?  As the joke goes, it’s good that it works in practice because it does not work in theory.

That’s sort of the opposite of our healthcare system: it’s good that it works in theory, because it sure doesn’t work in practice.

Wikipedia works due to its army of editors (“Wikipedians”); some 127,000 have edited the English edition alone within the past 30 days.  They work in virtual real time; when someone wins an Oscar the update happens almost immediately.  When the U.S. Capitol was stormed two weeks ago, Wikipedia had a page up before the protesters were gone. 

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Virtually Better

By KIM BELLARD

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 CNBC noted: “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).

Take VR-start-up Spatial, which thinks it has a better mousetrap.  Chief Product Officer described their solution to MIT News:

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?  

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Goodbye Glasses, Hello Smartglasses

By KIM BELLARD

It’s been a few months since I last wrote about augmented reality (AR), and, if anything, AR activity has only picked up since then — particularly in regard to smartglasses.  I pointed out then how Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were extremely bullish on the field. and Alphabet (Google Glasses) and Snap (Spectacles) have never, despite a few apparent setbacks, lost their faith.   

I can’t do justice to all that is going on in the field, but I want to try to hit some of the highlights, including not just what we see but how we see.  

Let’s start with Google acquiring smartglass innovator North, for some $180m, saying: 

We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background. We call this ambient computing. 

North’s founders explained that, from the start, their vision had been: “Technology seamlessly blended into your world: immediately accessible when you want it, but hidden away when you don’t,” which is a pretty good vision.

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 118 | Aledade, Medopad, Amblyotech and Yes Health

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I talk about HCA now that the real numbers have come out. On Episode 118, Jess asks me about Aledade raising $64 million. Founded by former ONC director Farzad Mostashari, they set up ACOs for independent physician practices and have been doing a lot around COVID-19. Medopad has rebranded as Huma and acquired Biobeats and Tarilian Laser Technologies (TLT); they’ve been doing remote monitoring and have been around for a while. Novartis acquires Amblyotech, a lazy eye digital therapeutic. Finally Yes Health gets $6 million – yet another “we’ll put you on a diet and have coaches bully you” platform. —Matthew Holt

Wait — Robots Work But I Get Paid

By KIM BELLARD

We’re not through the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’re probably not even near the end of the beginning yet.  That hasn’t stopped many pundits to start speculating about how our society (and our healthcare system) are likely to be permanently changed as a result, such as continued reliance on telecommuting and telemedicine.  

OK, I’ll play too: I believe we need to greatly expand the role of robots, and begin something that resembles Universal Basic Income (UBI).  They’re not the only changes that may result, but they are two that should.

Robots

We’ve been seeing robots infiltrating the workforce for many decades, such as in manufacturing but also in many other industries. 

Still, though, as our economy pares down to “essential businesses” during the pandemic, I’ve been alarmed at how many of the jobs remain done by humans.  Not just healthcare workers on the front lines but also all those people doing the cleaning for essential businesses, all those people in the supply chain of food and other vital materials, all those people making deliveries, all those first responders, all those people all those people keeping the power on, the water running, and the internet streaming, among others.  And so on.

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 115 | Olive, Bright.md and AristaMD

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have a no-nonsense April 1st episode—with deals this time! On Episode 115, Jess asks me about Olive raising $51 million for its AI-enabled revenue cycle management solution, Bright.md raising an $8 million Series C for its asynchronous telemedicine platform, and AristaMD raising $18 million for a different sort of telemedicine, eConsults, which allow primary care physicians to consult with specialists virtually. —Matthew Holt

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