really follow FinTech — I can’t even keep up with HealthTech! — but it caught
my eye when Visa announced that
it was acquiring FinTech company Plaid for $5.3b; a 2018 funding round valued
the company at $2.65b. A 100% increase in valuation within a year suggests
that something important is going on, or at least that people think something
there may be some lessons for healthcare in there somewhere.
of you who are equally as unfamiliar with FinTech’s terrain, Plaid has been described as
the “plumbing” that supports many other FinTech companies.
Launched in 2013, one in four people with a U.S. bank account are now believed to
use Plaid to connect with 2,600 FinTech developers connected to more than
11,000 financial institutions. Its customers include Acorns, Betterment,
Chime, Coinbase, Gemini, Robinhood, Transferwise, and Venmo. Plaid claims
it connects with 200 million consumer accounts.
Looks like Uber has found its place as a healthcare company. On the heels of announcing a major partnership with Cerner to integrate its platform directly into the Cerner EMR system (and its reach of 220 million patients), Head of Uber Health, Dan Trigub, stops by to talk all things ‘rideshare in healthcare.’ From the regulatory environment shaping non-emergency medical transportation to reimbursement, Dan provides a sophisticated, in-depth description of the market opportunity the ride-hailing business sees in healthcare. How is Uber Health fairing within Uber’s larger business model, which is notoriously known to still be waiting to turn a profit? With more than 1,000 clients and 400% year-over-year growth in the health vertical it sounds like things are picking up.
Healthcare is in the midst
of a digital transformation, creating information security, compliance, and
workflow challenges. The engagement of
an increasingly decentralized workforce along with anytime anyplace healthcare
and the proliferation of cloud-based applications, databases, and mobile
devices have now (or soon will have) eroded the once well-defined network
The healthcare industry remains one of the
most highly targeted for cyber-attacks – a recent report from Beazley Breach
Insightsshowed that, 41 percent of all breaches in
2018 occurred in the healthcare sector. This
means that, going forward, healthcare organizations must pay particular
attention to cybersecurity and do so
without restricting or compromising access to the systems and services
providers and patients are now using and may do in the future. A
successful cybersecurity plan requires these organizations to focus on
establishing and managing trusted digital identities for all users,
applications, and devices throughout the entire extended digital healthcare
enterprise – from the hospital, to the cloud, and beyond.
Why are modern hackers targeting
healthcare? Because they can, and they have the opportunity to do so! Hackers
also know the value of the data stored within provider systems. Today, medical
records fetch up to ten times more money on the dark web than the average
In order to celebrate the next decade (although the internet is confused whether its actually the end of the decade…), we’re taking a step back and listing our picks for the 9 most influential healthcare companies of the 2010s. If your company is left off, there’s always next decade… But honestly, we tried our best to compile a unique listing that spanned the gamut of redefining healthcare for a variety of good and bad reasons. Bon appétit!
1. Epic Systems Corporation
The center of the U.S. electronic medical record (EMR) universe resides in Verona, Wisconsin. Population of 13,166. The privately held company created by Judith “Judy” Faulkner in 1979 holds 28% of the 5,447 total hospital market in America. Drill down into hospitals with over 500-beds and Epic reigns supreme with 58% share. Thanks to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and movement away from paper records (Meaningful Use), Epic has amassed annualized revenue of $2.7 billion. That was enough to hire the architects of Disneyland to design their Google-like Midwestern campus. The other amazing fact is that Epic has grown an average of 14% per year, despite never raising venture capital or using M&A to acquire smaller companies.
Over the years, Epic has been criticized for being expensive, non-interoperable with other EMR vendors, and the partial cause for physician burnout. Expensive is probably an understatement. For example, Partners HealthCare (to be renamed Mass General Brigham) alone spent $1.2 billion to install Epic, which included hiring 600 employees and consultants just to build and implement the system and onboard staff. With many across healthcare calling for medical record portability that actually works (unlike health information exchanges), you best believe America’s 3rd richest woman will have ideas how the country moves forward with digital medical records.
It used to be that patients would have to go see a doctor to get lab tests ordered to check their cholesterol or metabolism, but now, thanks to at-home testing companies like Everlywell, those tests (and 30 others, including STI tests) can be ordered online or picked up at some big box retailers. We chatted with Dr. Frank Ong, Everlywell’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, about what it means to put patients in charge of ordering their own lab work — and combing through their own testing results — vis a vie the Everlywell platform. As consumers demand more control over their healthcare dollar and the experience it buys, is there a point where patients risk getting in over their heads? How have doctors been responding to patients who come in armed with their own lab results? We check in on how at-home testing kits are ‘testing’ the reaches of patient-led care.
How can helping a cartoon fox also help your mental health? Enter Socks the Fox and Sinasprite, a world exploration game that teaches players evidence-based treatments and coping methods for anxiety and depression. How does it work? Litesprite CEO Swatee Surve explains that players are charged with helping Socks the Fox become a Zen master (of course) and, in doing so, work through a series of challenges and exercises that teach coping mechanisms that range from journaling to diaphragmatic breathing. With its super-sticky storyline (Socks is adorable) the clinically validated game offers a new, upbeat way to bring tech and game theory into the way we treat mental health disorders.
Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.
Today, I’m closing out the year of Health in 2 Point 00 from the ski slopes. In Episode 103, Jess asks me about the ACA ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, whether Sutter Health got what they deserved after the $575 million settlement, health insurer Bright Health raising a huge $635 million round, and a rumor about a $250M Softbank investment coming next week. Wishing you all a very happy 2020! —Matthew Holt
The question of how much time I spend in front of the screen has pestered me professionally and personally.
A recent topic of conversation among parents at my children’s preschool has been how much screen time my toddlers’ brain can handle. It was spurred on by a study in JAMA Pediatrics that evaluated the association between screen time and brain structure in toddlers. The study reported that those children who spent more time with electronic devices had lower measures of organization in brain pathways involved in language and reading.
As a neurologist, these findings worry me, for my children and for myself. I wonder if I’m changing the structure of my brain for the worse as a result of prolonged time spent in front of a computer completing medical documentation. I think that, without the move to electronic medical records, I might be in better stead — in more ways than one. Not only is using them potentially affecting my brain, they pose a danger to my patients, too, in that they threaten their privacy.
As any practicing physician can tell you, electronic medical records represent a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. They present a tangible benefit in that medical documentation is now legible and information from different institutions can be obtained with the click of a button — compared to the method of decades past, in which a doctor hand-wrote notes in a paper chart — but there’s also a downside.