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Tag: Jessica DaMassa

HLTH 2022: Komodo Health Says “Big Pharma Needs to Kick Its Consulting Addiction”

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Komodo Health’s co-founder & President, Web Sun, has a big challenge for Big Pharma: Kick your “addiction” to the laborious, time-consuming, consultant-led process it takes to get the answers you need to your big data questions.

Komodo itself works with a lot of Big Pharma clients to use its full-stack approach to deliver insights on patient costs and outcomes at-scale – so, what’s up with the tough love??

The answer may have more to do with the news Web shares about how Komodo is starting to evolve its business model from working with Pharma on “applications” that leverage its platform to a model that lets third-party developers access that platform and its capabilities DIRECTLY. Web unpacks what this shift means, and how his team hopes it helps Pharma more cost-effectively invest in research for everything from clinical development and real-world evidence projects to health economics studies and patient outcomes research.

Still not sure how Komodo does its data magic? Web talks us through a great example — a synthetic control arm project (!!!) — Komodo is doing with AppliedVR, and, OF COURSE, what WTF Health interview would be complete without a follow-up on IPO gossip.

HLTH 2022: Thirty Madison and The Expanding Definition of Women’s Health – and Its Revenue Model!

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

The definition of women’s health keeps expanding beyond sexual and reproductive health (finally!) and among those leading the way toward more holistic health for women is virtual pharmacy startup, Thirty Madison, which acquired “Uber-for-birth control” biz, Nurx, at the beginning of this year.

Thirty Madison’s President Michelle Carnahan gives us an update on the integration of the two companies around women’s health, and talks about Thirty Madison’s brand-new mental health offering which will address “mild to moderate” mental health care needs including medication management.

More interesting for those interested in the business of health tech, however, is how Thirty Madison’s business model is starting to evolve from its direct-to-consumer beginnings. Michelle says that just a year ago, 95% of revenue was generated from their D2C efforts. Now, it’s more of a 70/30 split, with enterprise earnings coming in through a variety of mechanisms including accepting insurance on their site, partnering with PBMs, and some special partnerships with incumbents like UnitedHealthcare and CVS Health. Interesting evolution AND interesting partners there…watch to hear more!

HLTH 2022: “Build-Mode” Glen Tullman Talks Transcarent Clients, Charts Comparison With Livongo

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Lesson learned: Don’t bet against Glen Tullman. Transcarent’s CEO brings his legendary “paper schedule packet” to our interview to prove the point that he carries Livongo’s first growth chart around with him everyday as a reminder of the number of overnights it takes to build a “overnight success” of a business. As Glen puts it, “When you’re building these companies, everybody remembers where you ended…they don’t remember where you started.”

So, how in the world did we get to this public prove-you-wrong? Catch the conversation that led us there as we talk about Transcarent’s growth two-years in and address the elephant in the room about why there have been so few customer announcements from the employer-focused health and care company. We get a few name-drops here, and also assurance that publicity around some new Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 clients is imminent. Lots of other interesting “build-mode” talk about what else is starting to come together at Transcarent including the “first independent provider network in the country” and more details on the recent Prescryptive partnership which is aiming to rewrite the script on how employers source pharmacy benefits.

New VC Fund Angelini Ventures Launches to Find Next Big Digital Health & Biotech Disruptors

BY JESS DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

NEW VC Fund! Angelini Ventures just launched their $300 million dollar investment fund to support early-stage biotech and digital health startups in the US, Europe, and Israel. CEO & Managing Director Paolo Di Giorgio and Managing Director Elia Stupka explain the fund’s thesis which is different than the usual corporate investment funds because of its “very long-term” strategy and interest in supporting disruptive health innovation that doesn’t necessarily need to relate to the core businesses of its multi-national parent, Angelini Industries. Find out more – including details about where this fund has already placed some investment dollars – from this quick chat in Milan.

Is Care Navigation Healthcare’s Next ‘Gold Mine’? Quantum Health’s Move to Win Over Larger Employers

BY JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

One-to-watch as a potential health tech IPO this year is care navigator Quantum Health, and I’m talking to CEO Zane Burke about both their breaking new product launch AND the key differences between Quantum and the increasingly competitive field of other employer benefits advocacy-based businesses like Accolade, Rightway, and Transcarent.

Private equity backed, two-decades old, and EBITA positive, Zane says Quantum Health is delivering an ROI of “over two-and-a-half to one” to its client roster of 450 top large, self-insured employers and saving more than 14% on all healthcare costs over time. The new product – Quantum Health Access – is a streamlined, more flexible version of the soup-to-nuts Complete Care offering capable of yielding these results, and it’s being offered to give the largest of employers (those big enough to be working with multiple health plans, for example) a way to start out with Quantum’s data-driven navigation tools without a total overhaul of their current benefits situation.

Zane explains Quantum’s “real-time intercept tool” and how it not only helps engage high-utilizers in an employer’s plan (aka those who spend more than $10,000 in claims), but how 85% of the time it catches them on their care journey before they’ve spent a thousand dollars – creating an early opportunity to provide better routing and, ultimately, reduce overall costs. The upside for Quantum? “Employers have long thought of the carriers as this is their responsibility, but the carriers are really maximizing around their siloed system to pay a claim, do the disease management, get you off the phone and into somebody else’s queue,” explains Zane. “Our model is, ‘hey…every single one of those interactions is a gold mine.’”

We get further into the details around the new Quantum Health Access product, and, more importantly, what Zane sees as Quantum’s key point of differentiation against Accolade, Rightway, Transcarent, and the rest. Tune in around the 20-minute mark to hear this bit and to find out what Quantum’s doing with provider data that makes “everybody else that talks that game” look like they are just playing “Pick Up Sticks.”

Patient Journey or Customer Journey? How Salesforce’s CRM Aims to Reposition the EHR

BY JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

While at Dreamforce 2022, one of most thought-provoking things I heard was that, in order to really meet the needs of the healthcare consumer, we in healthcare need to once-and-for-all let go of the idea that there will be “one tech system to rule them all” and adopt an “and both” approach that integrates both the EHR and a CRM. The EHR is how we’ll “know the patient” and the CRM is how we’ll “know the customer.”

Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Salesforce’s SVP & Chief Medical Officer and Amit Khanna, SVP & GM of Salesforce’s Health & Life Sciences business join me to unpack this “and both” approach to infrastructure technology and talk all-things healthcare consumer. The paradigm shift that comes with this duality – we are at times “patients”, we are at times “customers” – is a big one. Especially in healthcare.

Dr. G speaks to the strategy that Salesforce is operating under to take its tech further into the healthcare and life sciences space, while Amit introduces us to some of the new Healthcare 360 product features launched at Dreamforce that fully show-off Salesforce’s expertise at integrating different technology solutions (Slack, MuleSoft, telehealth) and making perfect sense of massive amounts of real-time data (longitudinal record, health scoring).

As Salesforce advances further into the health market with more care-forward features in its CRM and a strategic focus on healthcare-important issues like improving equity and access to care, will our traditional view of the importance of the EHR change? What if the replacement tech comes with ‘self-service at-scale’ and more ‘seamless experiences?’ Could we head away from “and both” and choose CRM “instead of?” Tune in – the EHR IT infrastructure may have finally met its match!

Pfizer’s Biotech Strategy: When a “Market Force” Partners with a “Market Mover”

by JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

The synergistic relationship between biotech’s and biopharma’s can dramatically change the way new drugs and vaccines are bought to market – helping advance innovation on BOTH sides in a very mutually beneficial way. I’ve got an inside look at how Pfizer is working with emerging biotech start-ups, thanks to this in-depth chat with Pfizer’s Senior Vice President of Business Innovation, Kathy Fernando.

Kathy is not only responsible for developing relationships with biotech’s on behalf of Pfizer, BUT during the pandemic she led Pfizer’s mRNA scientific strategy, which was integral to its ability to rapidly develop the Covid-19 vaccine. We geek out on the “cool science” that mRNA is – AND the new platforms that biotech’s are bringing to the table – and talk about the impact both are making on the business of Big Pharma, the hot biotech investment space, and, most importantly, patients.

We also get into a bigger conversation about innovation in the Life Sciences industry – with great insights that can be extended to the rest of healthcare quite easily. I ask point blank: Pfizer is a gigantic, global biopharma company…Why wouldn’t it do these types of innovations internally, in-house themselves? Why partner outside?

Kathy explains the magic that is unlocked when a “market force” partners with a “market mover” for the sake of innovation, and the lessons learned are far reaching and applicable no matter where you are in health innovation.

How is Pfizer looking at new models for collaborating with biotech companies? What are the key characteristics of Pfizer’s culture of innovation that have newly emerged or deepened as a result of their work on the Covid vaccine during the pandemic? We dive deep into the biopharma-biotech model and all it brings in terms of new science, breakthrough therapies, and brand-new business opportunities. Watch now!

How Is Salesforce a Catalyst for the Consumerization of Healthcare? The Magic Formula is CRM + EMR

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

How is Salesforce thinking about the healthcare consumer? I had the chance to ask Salesforce’s SVP & GM of Health & Life Sciences, Amit Khanna, about it from both a product — and a lexicon – standpoint at Dreamforce 2022.

Words matter. So, Salesforce’s use of “customer” when talking about our usual “patients” or “health plan members” or “clinical trial participants” is a bit jarring at first, in the sense that it forces the issue of “patient centricity” to the extreme… to a “customer is always right” place, at least for me. I ask Amit about that terminology, its intentionality, and how he thinks his clients across the healthcare ecosystem are doing when it comes to embracing this new term and the new way of thinking it requires in order to truly activate it.

On the product side, we dive into Salesforce’s BIG launch this year: Salesforce Genie. This is cool in the Health & Life Sciences biz for a number of reasons, mostly because it is the manifestation of that consumerization idea. Real time data, a holistic “customer profile” (aka longitudinal patient record) – these are the things that consumers are used to across industries, says Amit, and the new product release focuses on integrating these for payers, providers, med tech companies, pharma and more. How could these features drive change in the healthcare ecosystem? Amit gives a glimpse of what Salesforce thinks is the ‘big win,’ specifically when it comes to that “wholistic customer profile” and the idea that an EMR and CRM can co-exist to serve different purposes in healthcare.

NEW Today! Health System Patient Comms Startup Well Health Becomes Artera

BY JESSICA DaMASSA

Gotta love a new name! Well Health, arguably one of the best-funded digital front door and patient communications startups you’ve never heard of (they’ve raised just under $100 million with little to no fanfare) is today announcing their new moniker, Artera.

Founder & CEO Guillaume de Zwirek breaks the news with us and talks about the strategy behind the name change from both a brand and a business standpoint. Artera is in the (still) hot health tech infrastructure space, selling a platform that health systems can easily integrate into their EMR systems, patient portals or other practice management software to easily send text messages, emails, or other communications to patients.

We get into the details about Artera’s business model, 500+ provider org client base (and what Gui is hearing about their current business challenges) and find our way into a big discussion about digital health funding, that whole bubble thing, health tech startup layoffs, and where Gui thinks the market is headed next. Bottom line: Some interesting comments here (starting around 18.30 mark) about how this might actually help healthcare in the long run.

Salesforce for SDOH: Health Equity is Taking Center Stage in Salesforce’s Real-Time Health Data Play

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

At Dreamforce 2022, Salesforce’s big annual user conference, “real-time data” was THE topic of conversation as the tech company launched a brand-new platform across its lines of business to help make this type of data integration-plus-analytics “magically” easy. I caught up with Salesforce’s EVP & CRO of Global Health & Life Sciences, LaShonda Anderson-Williams, just after her division’s keynote to find out more about how the new platform (called Customer 360 for Health) is intended to impact what we can do with health data, particularly in the realm of improving health equity and access to care.

Never mind the actual new product features – telehealth integration, health scoring, longitudinal patient records, marketing integrations, etc. – the sum-total of their potential impact is intended to not only improve the way healthcare understands its patients as health consumers, but to also enable it to better meet their nuanced needs with more personalized “seamless” experiences.

LaShonda and I chat about how this type of work is already happening at CVS Health and Moderna – the two marquee customer stories shared during the keynote – as well as how other healthcare organizations can benefit from “putting data at the center” of their health equity initiatives. Her best advice for health and life sciences businesses as they work on improving health access for all? Tune in to find out!

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