Here’s the big question of the day: VIVE or HIMSS or both? Jess and I offer our thoughts on both conferences and which ones we’re going to. Some deals in the past few days: ModMed buys Klara for $200 million; Nayaa raises $55 million; Sanofi and Dario Health have a $30 million deal; Ro acquires Dadi, an in-home sperm testing company; Daybreak Health raises $10 million—Matthew Holt
All right, Matthew Holt, the big question of the day: ViVE or HIMSS or both? Ugh.
Hey, that’s the way to do it. It’s the March 3rd episode of Health Tech Deals.
So, Jessica, I thought the big question was State of the Union versus invading Ukraine versus .. No, no, it’s all about ViVE versus HIMSS?
In this episode of Health Tech Deals, Jess is back! Where was she? Out in the wilds in Arizona, hiking in mountains. A big shoutout to Ian Morrison for filling in. Some recent deals: Omada Health raises $129 million; Somatus raises $325 million; Qventus raises $50 million; Story Health raises $22.6 million; and Medibuddy raises $125 million.
Hang on. You’re not Ian Morrison.
He let me come back.
Hang on, look. And we’re together.
We’re together. I went from being completely away and replaced, to being right next to you.
It’s not difficult to get Seqster’s CEO Ardy Arianpour fired up, but to get to the details about his business and what he refers to as its “f-ing incredible tech stack,” takes a little doing. Is Seqster a health data analytics company like Clarify Health or Komodo Health, or more of a longitudinal patient health record startup like bWell or Picnic Health?
According to Ardy, these companies would actually make great Seqster clients, and that his tech would serve as the ideal, white-labeled operating system upon which they could engage with patients, collect their data, and examine it alongside EMR data, pharmacy data, social determinants of health data, and even genomic data. While those aforementioned health tech startups might be able to do many of these services themselves, the life sciences companies, health systems, health plans, digital health startups, and non-profit patient registries Seqster does count as clients are using its platform for everything from running decentralized clinical trials to providing patients with a longitudinal single-source medical record.
Ardy breaks down the “operating system” approach Seqster is taking, and how he sees his platform becoming as the “Salesforce of healthcare.” Beyond the specific examples that really bring this concept to life, we talk about what’s ahead for the business, which has raised $23 million in total funding and, interestingly, counts both Takeda Digital Ventures and 23andMe’s CEO and Founder, Anne Wojcicki on its cap table.
You may know the term “digital therapeutics,” but how about the specialized category of “digital neuro-therapeutics”? MindMaze, which has developed a platform approach to creating prescription digital therapeutics for neurological diseases like stroke, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s has just landed $105 million in fresh funding from Concord Health Partners to further advance development of this unique category of pDTx’s.
CEO Tej Tadi, CFO Kevin Gallagher, and Chief Medical Director John Krakauer get us smart on the neuroscience behind MindMaze, their device-plus-gaming interventions, and how they are gaining reimbursement for their brain health and recovery therapies. Each therapeutic is a bit different – MindPod Dolphin, for example, helps patients rehab upper limb motor skills by way of a dolphin-themed gaming experience that incorporates sensors and an anti-gravity vest. The team says there are 10 clinical trials underway across seven indications, with the goal to bring at least three new prescription digital therapeutics to market by next year.
How will this new funding – and a partnership with the American Hospital Association – aid US market expansion for Swiss-based MindMaze? We explore the company’s growth plans, talk about market readiness for digital therapeutics, and even find out the backstory behind how Leonardo DiCaprio ended up on their cap table.
Get the details behind the deal! Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) is acquiring Caravan Health for $220 million in cash and common stock in effort to create one of the largest networks of at-risk healthcare providers in the country. For all those who love healthcare payment model innovation, this is a story about scaling both value-based care and accountable care organizations (ACOs), and we have Signify Health’s CEO Kyle Armbrester and Caravan Health’s founder and Chairwoman Lynn Barr here to explain the model and market potential this creates for Signify Health.
Signify Health is best known for its value-based, care-at-home focused approach in the Medicare Advantage space, and Caravan Health brings both tech and expertise to support the creation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the ongoing smart management of their patient populations. Caravan got its start with “safety net providers” in rural areas and pioneered what’s known as the “Collaborative ACO” approach that pools smaller health systems together based on practice similarities (instead of geography) to achieve the right kind of patient scale needed to mitigate risk. This is really important to scaling ACOs nationally, as you’ll hear both Lynn and Kyle explain, and, of course, we ask Kyle to zero-in on how this will extend Signify Health’s reach into new markets as well.
Beyond the acquisition, we also celebrate Signify Health’s one-year IPO-iversary. The company rang the bell on the New York Stock Exchange (then stopped by WTF Health to talk about it!) on Feb 11, 2021. Looking past the Caravan Health acquisition and to what it will lead to next, Kyle and Lynn (who will now be activating even more payment model innovation as Signify Health’s VP of Innovation) get fired up about what’s ahead.
Thirty Madison and Nurx are merging and here’s what Steve Gutentag, CEO of Thirty Madison and the soon-to-be-combined entity, is saying about the deal!
This is a merger of two well-funded, direct-to-consumer, virtual-care-plus-pharmacy startups that deliver specialty and expert care and prescription drugs to a combined 750,000 active patients, with or without insurance. To-date, Nurx has raised a total $110 million, and Thirty Madison closed a Series C in June 2021 that brought their total funding to $210 million with a then-valuation of over $1 billion.
Thirty Madison currently deals with migraines, allergies, GI issues, and men’s hair loss, while Nurx (once referred to as “the Uber of birth control”) brings a predominantly women’s health-focused portfolio of chronic condition care focusing on sexual health, contraception, STIs, and dermatology.
So, what makes sense about this combination? And, what’s the big-picture plan for differentiation against rivals like Hims&Hers or Ro’s Rory or Roman brands – OR, the myriad virtual-first primary care clinics that have popped up in-person and online and offer more traditional routes to care for these same such conditions?
Steve talks extensively about the chronic care focus of both businesses, how each is providing access to specialists and experts patients wouldn’t otherwise be able to see, and how both companies’ tech platforms are built to scale along with the addition of new conditions. Still…why bring together care for this assortment of conditions instead of, say, either Thirty Madison or Nurx looking to find a merger partner who could expand their platform into high-demand chronic care areas like diabetes management, heart health, or mental health care? Is that what’s next, after the paperwork on this merger is signed? Tune in for more on Steve’s plans for the future of the NEW Thirty Madison and how “longitudinal care models” factor into its strategy to win over more patients AND their employers and payers.
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.
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
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.
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!
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