Categories

Tag: Jessica DaMassa

Komodo Health: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Partnership, Rare Disease Patients, and… IPO Rumors?

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Komodo Health has been catching lots of buzz lately thanks to a recently announced partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare as One Network AND some chatter about a possible upcoming IPO that seems to have come from its own CEO Arif Nathoo. To check what’s true and what’s false, we sat down with Komodo’s President, Web Sun.

What did we learn? Well… a lot. The core of both the CZI partnership and the future of Komodo’s business is their Healthcare Map, which Web says draws together the data of more patients (300M+), across a longer period of time (as long as 6-years for some cohorts) than anyone else in the industry. But, this comprehensive, longitudinal view of the patient journey is only part of Komodo’s usefulness – the other part is how they use that dataset to surface insights.

As Web talks about how all this will manifest itself in the context of rare diseases to benefit the patients who belong to the 60 different advocacy organizations that will now have access to Komodo thanks to the CZI partnership, it’s not only easy to understand how comprehensive data can help rare disease patients, but how this is a metaphor for helping all patients across all manner of healthcare. Shortening the diagnostic journey, better understanding symptom patterns and comorbidities, matching patients to specialists highly experienced and adept at managing their conditions, quickly bridging connections to novel therapies and clinical trial opportunities… how beautiful that this will be offered to patients who need it most. The market potential, however, lies in how it will be scaled-up-and-out to the rest of us – which brings us back to those exit rumors! Tune in to hear what Web has to say about his co-founder’s comments, and how he believes Komodo is differentiated from other big data businesses in the analytics space.

THCB Gang Episode 81, Thursday Feb 3

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on #THCBGang at 1pm PT 4pm ET Thursday for an hour of topical and sometime combative conversation on what’s happening in health care and beyond will be: Suntra Modern Recovery CEO JL Neptune (@JeanLucNeptune);  the double trouble of vaunted futurists Ian Morrison (@seccurve) & Jeff Goldsmith, WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa). Today’s special guest returning to #THCBGang is the “I make unicorns” King Bill Taranto from Merck GHIF (@BillTaranto).

You can surmise that there will be some discussion around #DigitalHealth valuations!

The video will be below. If you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved from Friday as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels

New Cancer Care Navigator Thyme Care Starts Out with $22M Series A & Big Name Backing

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Thyme Care is a cancer navigation platform that is looking to use technology to make the kind of high-touch care coordination usually only found at Centers of Excellence available to oncology practices across the country. The navigation we’re talking about is typically quarterbacked by experienced oncology nurse navigators, and is known to have a direct impact on a patient’s experience and their health outcomes. Thyme Care’s platform not only scale-ups this expertise, but also augments it with analysis of claims data and EMR data to help those navigators quickly detect which patients might be at higher risk for poor outcomes and which interventions might help mitigate those risks – whether that be addressing social determinants of health issues like transportation to appointments, or just more quickly spotting gaps in care.

Thyme Care’s President & Chief Medical Officer Bobby Green (an oncologist himself) introduces us to the tech platform and explains how, among a competitive field of tech-enabled care navigators, it’s managed to stand apart enough to win Medicare Advantage plan Clover Health as an early client and to gain a $22 million dollar Series A investment from platform-savvy investors like Andreessen Horowitz and AlleyCorp. (Frist Cressey Ventures, Casdin Capital and Bessemer also participated in the round, which was announced in October 2021.)

As the business looks to scale, what’s to make of all its connections to Flatiron Health, arguably health tech’s best-known cancer care platform? Lots of alumni on the cap table and in the biz, including Bobby himself! Find out more about expansion plans and points of differentiation in this quick get-to-know-you chat.

Inside Wheel’s $150M Series C: CEO Talks “Long Game” for Stealthy Virtual Care Infrastructure Biz

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Wheel’s CEO Michelle Davey says the white-label virtual care startup’s $150M Series C – led by notable health tech mega-funders Lightspeed Venture Partners & Tiger Global – is “really about the long-game.” We get into the details of this purposeful funding round and what it means for the future of Wheel, as well as the play-by-play analysis of what happened over the past 9 months, since the company closed its $50M Series B. (FYI: Wheel’s total funding is at $216 million to-date.)

Wheel is currently running behind-the-scenes for an undisclosed client list of brands, facilitating 1.6 million virtual visits a year for digital health companies, digital pharmacies, retailers, and, now, even traditional healthcare providers. That number is expected to triple by the end of 2022, and we get into what’s fueling that growth and whether or not Michelle believes that this institutional push toward online care will persist as the pandemic wans and the world continues re-opening.

Armed with this fresh funding, how will three-year-old Wheel continue to differentiate its offering from legacy telehealth infrastructure providers like Amwell and Teladoc? How will it win against their legacy relationships with legacy healthcare providers? Or, is Wheel’s big bet on the continued scaling of what Michelle calls “next generation healthcare”? Wheel has added A LOT of tech to its own infrastructure recently, providing asynchronous options, better clinician matching, more triaging and navigating, and, with this funding, are is now talking about adding “diagnostic services” to round out their service line. What, exactly are we talking about here in terms of business model evolution? Tune in and find out what this stealthy startup is up to!

Big Health’s Softbank Money, FDA Board Member Send Strong Signals About Digital Therapeutics Market

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

With a $75 million investment from Softbank last week, and the addition of former FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Anand Shah to its Board of Directors this week, Big Health has sure kicked 2022 off with some noise! But, this is more than just big news for Big Health as CEO Peter Hames is here to tell us. This is a story about the market potential for an all-tech approach to mental health care, AND an important endorsement for digital therapeutics – specifically, those that do NOT require a prescription.

Big Health sits at the intersection of two of the hottest health-tech markets: digital mental health care and digital therapeutics. Its approach, via apps Daylight (for anxiety) and Sleepio (for insomnia), has been flagged as unique because 1) unlike other leading digital mental health companies like Headspace Health or Lyra Health, Big Health’s approach to care is tech-driven and does not depend on coach or clinician intervention, and 2) unlike its digital therapeutics rivals, Pear Therapeutics or Click Therapeutics, Big Health’s business model isn’t relying on prescriptions to get paid.

Big Health is, in other words, proving the market potential for a different “breed” of tech-first, PBM-backed digital therapeutics, and I ask Peter about it head-on as we discuss Softbank’s investment. The mega-fund has placed bets on all sides now, having invested in Cerebral, which delivers clinician-first mental health care and prescription medication, and prescription DTx company Pear, which went public in December 2021. So, what should the market make of the fact that Softbank sees room for Big Health alongside Cerebral and Pear? How have high-profile deals with CVS Health and the NHS in Scotland proven out the model? And, what does the addition of Anand Shah (and his insider perspective on the FDA’s sentiment toward digital therapeutics) indicate about what’s ahead when it comes to the regulatory environment for DTx in the future? So many market dynamics at play, so much to talk about!

#HealthTechDeals Episode 5: Infermedica, Wellster, Casana, Babylon, and Atlas Health

How many more beloved TV characters does Peleton have to give a heart attack to before somebody steps in? Jess can’t take it anymore, and we hash out some new deals: Infermedica raises $30 million; Wellster gets a fresh $20 million; Casana the smart toilet seat maker raises $30 million; Babylon buys DaytoDay Health and Higi; Atlas Health raises $40 million. -Matthew Holt

TRANSCRIPT

Jess DaMassa:

Matthew Holt, how are we not talking about one of the single greatest health tech health crises of our time?

Matthew Holt:

What could that possibly be?

Jess DaMassa:

How many more beloved TV characters does Peloton have to give a heart attack too before somebody steps in? I can’t take anymore.

Matthew Holt:

I think the SEC is about step in. Is that for the heart attacks or is that for all the stock sales by the CEO?

Jess DaMassa:

Causing a real heart attack but for a whole different group of people. It’s January 26th episode of Health Tech Deals.

Continue reading…

Writing the Book on Digital Health: Roberto Ascione on “The Future of Health”

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

In Milan, just outside the Frontiers Health conference, I caught up with Roberto Ascione, conference Chairman and CEO of Healthware Group, about his newly released book, “The Future of Health: How Digital Technology Will Make Care Accessible, Sustainable, and Human.”

A primer on digital health and its role in shaping care and well-being, the book is intended to provide an overview of the digital health market and what it means for the way healthcare will be delivered and consumed in the future.

Loaded with real-world examples and guest perspectives from a number of Roberto’s fabulous friends from across the healthcare and life sciences industries, the book aims to tell the story of health-and-tech in a way that is fun and fast – and doesn’t require healthcare expertise to understand!

Roberto and I quickly cover the main themes of the book, and why it’s so important RIGHT NOW for patients, clinicians, and healthcare entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators to read about where health tech came from, where it’s at, and where it’s headed. You know your market category is coming-of-age when it hits the bookshelves!

Vida Health Hires New Chief Medical Officer from Hims & Hers: A Sign ‘Scripts’ Are Coming Soon?

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF Health

Vida Health’s new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Carroll is bringing a very unique expertise to the chronic condition management startup’s C-suite: pharmacy. Pat just left virtual pharmacy co, Hims & Hers, where he helped take the company public as CMO after building-out their virtual primary care practice. Before that, he was CMO at Walgreens…

We get to know Pat – brand-new in his role as Vida Health’s first-ever CMO – and catch glimpses of how his years of experience as a primary care doc and executive leader at leading consumer-focused pharmacy businesses will likely be shaping Vida’s future delivering care to poly-chronic patients.

Vida Health’s current approach to diabetes management and mental health care has stood apart for being fully-integrated from the get-go, tackling the mind-body connection through digitally-based coaching and counseling. While Pat acknowledges that this approach has thus far yielded “remarkable outcomes,” he definitely seems interested in finding out if those outcomes could be even better if a virtual prescriber group were involved as well.

Will this be a partnership with a medical group? Or something Pat sees Vida Health building out itself to fully support its 100% at-risk-on-outcomes model? A compelling set of questions, particularly when you consider Vida Health’s investor-and-client relationship with the largest managed Medicaid plan in the U.S. (Centene participated in their $110 million Series D round in May 2021), the prevalence of complex diabetes cases (30% are multi-chronic), and the interesting data point Pat shares about Vida’s ability to get more people to see their primary care docs, increasing PCP visit rates by 10%. Interesting opportunity for Vida Health to further compete with Teladoc-Livongo and other virtual-first primary care providers aiming to deliver on the chronic condition care spectrum.

Headspace Health Merger Update: First Look at How Ginger-Headspace Combo is Really Going to Market

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Headspace Health CEO Russell Glass says the merger-of-equals between on-demand mental health care provider, Ginger, and consumer meditation app, Headspace, is starting its upward trajectory on the “merger J-curve” and this monster 30-minute chat gets into the how-and-why.

We start out talking about the company’s recent acquisition of chatbot-based self-care app Sayana, but quickly turn to the integration of Headspace and Ginger and where things stand in terms of bringing those offerings together after three months of operationalizing. A combined vision and set of values have been launched with all 900 employees, and Russ says its enterprise clients (there are now 3,500 of those) are just weeks away from getting a fully-integrated platform that proves reporting for both Headspace and Ginger, allows launch from a single eligibility file, and offers communication that spans both service lines.

What’s “extra” in all this – and gives us a real glimpse of where Headspace Health is headed in terms of positioning itself to health plans and employers as standout from the Lyra Health / Quartet Health / Modern Health pack – comes out when Russ is describing the company’s partnership with Blue Shield of California at the 15:25-minute mark. The plan’s members can now access Headspace Health’s full-spectrum of services (meditation to therapy) via Blue Shield of California’s Wellvolution platform, which provides intelligent intake, smart patient routing, ongoing measurement and adjustment of services, and the ultimate ability to help prove-out mental health care’s connection to the reduction of downstream healthcare costs over time. As Russ says, “All of this is part of a long-term vision for what this could mean to a broader population, not just those who may need acute care, but to think about the entire population and how you pull the cost out of healthcare by managing behavioral health in a smart way.”

The big finish to this BIG conversation is Russ’s take on what’s ahead for both Headspace Health AND the digital mental health care market in 2022. Tune-in around the 20-minute mark to start this segment off with the IPO question that I never get answered, then lots of detail on where Headspace Health is looking to acquire and expand, what he thinks the headline story will be when it comes to the business of mental healthcare this year, and which patient population will rise to the top in terms of mental healthcare need.

Registration

Forgotten Password?