There are surprise profits in an overfunded sector, but then there are funding deals for staffing company Incredible Health ($80m), voice recorder Abridge ($12m), meditation company Interaxxon (Muse Headband) ($9m), medication company Arine ($29) & new virtual care medical group Keycare ($24)–Matthew Holt
“You’ve Gotta Shoot Some Sacred Cows:” MSU Health Care’s CIO On Health Systems & Tech Transformation
By JESSICA DAMASSA
“If I continue to hear how difficult it is for hospitals to make money, I would like for them to see what it’s like to operate a real business. They are overstaffed…they are overpaying…they are not responsible for quality or outcomes…there are no guarantees on their services…they can block competition from entering their markets…they can buy up market share – that’s not a real business.”
Well, lesson learned. If you ask Roger Jansen, Michigan State University Health Care’s Chief Innovation & Digital Health Officer, how he think things are going in US health systems when it comes to digital transformation and the integration of technology and value-based business models in hospitals, be prepared for a blunt conversation about how US healthcare model is failing and how the lack of incentive for change is keeping us all stuck in the same-old, same-old.
From digital health and telehealth to EMR and value-based care business models, we cover a lot of health innovation ground in this chat and get a reality check on whether or not things are really evolving inside health systems – and which stakeholders Roger believes hold the key to driving that change. (Hint: He identifies them as those who are already “footing the bill for the lavish lifestyles that healthcare administrators live that are probably well out-of-balance with the value that they actually bring to their corporations.”)
Roger on digital health? There’s better adoption and receptivity when it’s combined with “a service component that doesn’t add additional burden to the clinical component.” On virtual care and telehealth?
Down 70% since the pandemic’s lockdown days and more of a “behavior change problem” at this point than anything else.
When we get to EMRs around the 19-minute mark, things get extra spicy and we take a turn into “all this gibberish about volume versus value” and how value-based care models aren’t gaining meaningful traction either. It’s a big, bold reality check on the state-of-play of health tech, virtual care, and healthcare payment model innovation in health systems… watch now and let us know what you think!
BY ERIC LARSEN and TOMMY IBRAHIM
Our rural health care system has suffered badly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It entered the pandemic with severe structural weaknesses, including magnified health disparities and inequities, lower rates of vaccination in the general population, and high risk of rural hospital closures. Beginning with these challenges, rural providers have been harder hit by the pandemic than just about any other health care sector.
Juxtaposed against this struggle is the optimism for digital health – one of the few bright spots of the pandemic. We have witnessed a veritable digital health revolution – record capital infusions of $37.9 billion to digital health companies in 2021, a proliferation of digital health companies (11,000 by some estimates), a wave of healthtech IPOs (29), and an unprecedented talent migration of Silicon Valley programmers, technologists, and engineers into health care. With this investment and talent boom comes staggering growth in new digital health tools. From telemedicine to remote diagnostics to the delivery of medications directly to a patient’s home, it seems that for every health care access need there is a digital solution.Continue reading…
BY MICHELLE SNYDER
Unless you have been off the grid for the past few months (which frankly sounds kind of nice right now), you know that the digital health market has changed dramatically. While not surprising to those of us who have been through the boom-and-bust cycles of the past two decades, it nevertheless has been an awakening for many investors and entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur, there are some things you cannot control – the macro-economic climate, supply chain disruptions and narcissist led wars halfway around the world. But what is entirely within your control is how you tell your company’s story and your ability to make investors want to join you on the journey.
As a longtime storyteller for several digital health companies and a current story listener (aka investor), I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Though the word “storyteller” can have negative connotations for some people, I value and appreciate great storytellers who engage me right off the bat, get me excited about the “why” and clearly articulate why it’s in my best interest to invest in their company.
The art of storytelling has always been important, but in the current digital health funding environment, it is quickly becoming essential for success. Are you telling your company’s story in the most effective way? Read on to find out.Continue reading…
Lyle Berkowitz has been very well known as a techy doc for years. He’s ran an innovation center at Northwestern, written books, been featured at tons of conferences (including Health 2.0), had a stint at MDLive and was founder and Exec Chair at HealthFinch which was bought by Health Catalyst. But instead of lying on the beach drinking MaiTais, Lyle has decided that there’s room for yet another virtual care play, and today his new company Keycare is announcing a $24m round and a deal with Spectrum Health (Michigan). What is it? It’s a virtual medical group that’s going to be supporting traditional health systems with care after-hours, out of state and much more. Is there room in the telehealth market for yet another niche play? You may guess that I asked and Lyle explained why!–Matthew Holt
BY MIKE MAGEE
Senator Lindsey Graham (R.,S.C.) is on summer recess. A consummate professional politician, and war hardened lawyer, Sen. Graham has made a career out of flipping on a dime. His moral calculus has been flexible enough to wiggle and weave, and switch sides if cornered.
In a dream, I caught a glimpse of him reading on one of his state’s beautiful beaches. He was juggling a weighty 1215 page classic – Leo Tolstoy’s “War & Peace” in one hand, and a yellow highlight marker in the other.
He looked a bit on edge, maybe because this week a federal judge refused to block a subpoena seeking his testimony for a Fulton County, Georgia, Grand Jury probe into efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his potential state Republican “alternate electors” to overturn Georgia’s Biden victory in the 2020 election.Continue reading…
By JESSICA DAMASSA
Particle Health’s CEO Troy Bannister stops by to not only talk about the API platform company’s $25M Series B, but to also explain exactly what’s going on in that patient data ‘exchange-standardize-and-aggregate’ space that, these days, looks poised to pop as the 21st Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule stands ready to make hospitals share data like never before.
Troy calls Particle a “network of networks” and what that means is that their API pulls patient records from organizations and businesses that are already aggregating them (so aggregating the aggregators) to get all the lab data and medical data a clinician would want to in order to have a more complete picture of their patient. For clients like One Medical or Omada Health, who deliver value-based care and take on risk, having such a robust historic data set on patients – along with a more complete picture of their comorbidities – helps improve decision making and outcomes.
So, how is Particle Health working now – and what will change – as the Information Blocking Rule gets implemented? Troy’s written about this for Forbes, and explains what has him fired up here too. Turns out their model has room to accommodate a big pivot: giving patients access to their own ‘network of networks’ record. Find out what sets Particle off in this new B2B2C direction and how they will be using that Series B funding to build out deeper analytical tools to help everyone make better sense of what the data in all those records can show us.
Link to Troy’s Forbes piece on Anti Information Blocking Rules
Link to Jess’s chat with Micky Tripathi, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, on Anti Information Blocking & TEFCA:
BY ANISH KOKA
The NIH recently announced $1.2 billion dollars in funding for research on Long COVID. This is in part because of a faction of scientists that have mined electronic health record databases to find evidence that the long term impacts of COVID on a variety of different organ systems is significant.
I have some concerns when it comes to the cardiac complications discussed related to Long COVID.Continue reading…
It’s a tale of two markets: on one side we have layoffs, sinking stock prices, and all sorts of trouble, but on the other side we’ve got some good bills passed and some pretty great fundraising! In this episode, Jess and I dive more into the dual nature of the state of health tech. Is it the best of times and the worst of times? We find out, and talk through some recent multimillion-dollar deals: Cera raises $320 million; Birdie raises $30 million; Theator raises $24 million; Tebra raises $72 million; Diagnostic Robotics raises $45 million.
Am I having a staring contest with the future of digital health? Who’s gonna blink first? How has demand gotten so low? What is going on? Tune in to this episode of Health Tech Deals to hear Jess and I hash things out, and to hear more new deals: Everside Health raises $164 million; Particle Health raises $25 million; Annexus Health raises $33 million; and Homeward raises $50 million.