This week, we enthusiastically welcome John Brownstein Ph.D, to the HxRefactored Keynote line-up. John is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical Center and he directs the Computational Epidemiology Group at the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program in Boston. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s his work championing Healthmap.org that really caught our attention at Health 2.0. Collecting data from over 10,000 disparate sources, including informal online publications, the HealthMap system arranges information into a beautifully visual and interactive platform that allows users to zoom into their local neighborhood or view global trends. Even renowned organizations such as the CDC, DHS, HHS, and the EU regularly turn to HealthMap for insight on the state of infectious disease. John’s voice and influence ripples through the World Health Organization, International Society for Disease Surveillance, the White House, and soon the HxRefactored audience. John will discuss the power of design and how data intelligence — including from non-traditional sources like eyewitness accounts — can fast track interception of emerging global health concerns.
We at Health 2.0 define health 2.0 as solutions that are interoperable, data-driven, and focus on user experience, and HealthMap encompasses all of these. We’re honored to include John Brownstein as our first featured Keynote Speaker onstage at HxRefactored, April 1st.
Register today and take advantage of the Early Bird Rate, $899. Startup rates are available through an application basis.
Keep a close eye on this blog space as every week we announce a new HxRefactored Keynote Speaker in our Speaker Spotlight.
These days, record amounts of venture funding is pouring into the digital health space. Yet, that hasn’t always been the case. Matthew Holt sat down with Rebecca Lynn, a General Partner with the Canvas Venture Fund, ahead of her appearance at WinterTech to discuss the quick and explosive growth in VC interest in digital health, as well what Canvas’ thesis-driven investment strategy means for its current and growing portfolio.
Matthew Holt: This is Matthew Holt. I’m talking to Rebecca Lynn. Rebecca is a General Partner at Canvas, which is a VC fund that came out of the better-known Morgenthaler fund about a year and a half ago. Is that right, Rebecca?
Rebecca Lynn: Yes. That’s right.
MH: Rebecca has done a number of things we were just talking about offline. Her very, very first deal was in the Lending Club, she has a background in personal finance, and the Lending Club just went public, so congratulations, Rebecca.
RL: Thank you.
MH: She’s also in the last four or five years been working hard on getting up to speed in health care and now you’re more than up to speed. You’re one of the leading venture capitalist experts in health technology. So that’s obviously what we are going to talk to you about and you’re going to be on the investor panel at Health 2.0’s WinterTech which is coming up on January the 15th. Also, you are the founder of something, which I was there at the start with you called, “DC to VC” which is a group putting together venture capitalists with government officials.
So you’ve been doing a lot around the whole notion of health care, in putting Washington D.C. and Silicon Valley together, and also doing some startup competitions as part of that as well. So you’ve been very, very busy in the last four or five years in health care space.
Why don’t you tell us Rebecca, you’ve got a sort of different approach to investing some of the other VCs. You tend to study things for a long time and pick your winners early rather than just doing the more scattershot approach that some of your colleagues may do. So why don’t you tell us a bit about your approach to investing in health technology?
RL: Yeah, Matthew, thank you for that introduction. Our approach overall as a firm is to be very thesis-driven and what that means is we do exactly what you said, Matthew. We look at the area pretty deeply. We talk to a lot of different players. We get our own thoughts about kind of where things are going in the space and then we pick what company that we would like to back.
Before we invested in Doximity, for example, we looked at more than 300 companies in health care IT alone. We did that and after following Doximity for years, we said, “Okay, this is the one company we believe can be a winner in this area.” Continue reading →
Rock Health has been around since 2011 first as an accelerator and now as an early stage venture fund. Matthew Holt had a chance to sit down with Rock Health’s Managing Director Malay Gandhi ahead of his appearance at WinterTech to discuss how Rock Health looks at the consumer side of digital health, and what developments Rock Health thinks we’ll see in the near future.
Matthew Holt: It’s Matthew Holt with Malay Gandhi. He is the managing director of Rock Health, and has been officially for what, nearly a year or so now, Malay? Is that right?
Malay Gandhi: Since June, June of this year.
MH: So about six months. Most of us know that Rock Health was founded by Halle Tecco and Nate Gross a few years back, 2011, and probably was the first and most influential of the incubators and accelerators that target health care specifically. Perhaps you can explain a little bit about how Rock Health works. Most people know that Rock Health is a nonprofit, and that you guys do a lot in terms of stimulating the ecosystem with small events, big events, and your reports on financing and so on. But you are mainly a fund and the amount of money that you invest in your companies has been increasing from I think $20,000 in the early days to $100,000 plus recently? Could you explain how that actually works compared to other accelerators or incubators?
MG: Yeah. Essentially, the way Rock Health works is there are three big things that we do, all under our mission to support and fund entrepreneurs. We have our venture arm, which does seed investments in the companies now. We’ll write checks up to $250,000 per company, really at the seed-stage. We conduct research which we release publicly. Let’s say about four reports or so a year, as you mentioned, tracking funding, but also doing deep diving in various topical areas.
Then our third area, we host a couple of events each year. Our signature events are the Health Innovation Summit, which is for everybody; the CEO Summit, which is an event for founders and CEOs of digital health companies; and then finally, the XX Retreat, which is a women’s professional leadership group for women who work in health care. Continue reading →
Health 2.0 recently had a chance to talk with Steven Wardell, an equity research analyst at Leerink Partners, ahead of his appearance at WinterTech to discuss themes he’s seeing in the digital health market and what he thinks will be the trends to watch in 2015. Hear more from Wardell and other investors from Rock Health, Canvas Venture Fund, GE Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners on investing in consumer health at WinterTech on January 15th in San Francisco.
Health 2.0: Tell us about your role as an equity research analyst covering digital health at Leerink Partners.
Steven Wardell: One of the most exciting parts of my role is I get to interpret the growing digital health landscape for the investment community. Investors want to better understand the major trends in the sector and how they are creating winners and losers in healthcare. They want to get a perspective on what the investment themes are and who the potential winners are. I’ve done deep industry research on digital health investment themes and I can help investors understand the themes and the companies that are benefiting from them.
Health 2.0: What are some of the digital health investment themes?
Steven Wardell: I think that the digital health investment themes will be familiar to the Health 2.0 audience. One of the most exciting themes is consumer empowerment. Consumers increasingly have control of healthcare dollars and healthcare enterprises are having to learn to serve the consumer and sell to the consumer. We haven’t had consumerism in healthcare in the modern era, so the emergence of the healthcare consumer is a big change.
Another investment theme is healthcare automation. The healthcare sector has under-invested in automation in the past but there are signs that the healthcare sector will rapidly increase its adoption of automation technologies in the future because of automation supply side and demand side shocks. One example of a demand-side shock is that we have an aging population that will need more healthcare and will demand more personalized healthcare, which is a big challenge for the healthcare system to cope with. And it’s clear that one of the ways the healthcare system can meet this challenge is through automating healthcare.
Another investment theme is connected health. Connected health is healthcare that is delivered wherever the patient is and when the patient needs it (and not necessarily inside the four walls of a traditional provider organization). Connected health often involves a connected digital device that generates a new health data stream and sends it from the patient to the provider. There are many opportunities for connected health devices to enable higher quality healthcare and more cost-effective healthcare.
Another digital health investment theme is population health management. Healthcare reform is changing the basis of payment in our healthcare system from fee-for-service to fee-for-value. And there is a big wave of new digitally-enabled population health management solutions that providing low-touch, cost-effective ways to maximize the health outcomes for populations.
Health 2.0: What will be some consumer digital health trends to watch in 2015?
Steven Wardell: I think that in 2015 we’ll see a move to give wearables greater sensor capabilities and greater clinical value-add than the typical activity tracker of 2014. I think we’ll see sensors that can collect a greater variety of clinical data such as blood pressure, pulse rate and sleep metrics.
In addition, I think we’ll see online health media grow in importance to the public, especially on mobile devices and this will feed consumer empowerment in healthcare. Consumers have shifted their attention decisively from offline channels to online channels and this is benefiting online health media and all online media as advertisers catch up. I think we’ll see consumers relate to their health through their mobile devices in innovative ways in 2015 that we couldn’t have even imagined 2 years ago.
For evidence of the global Health 2.0 movement, look no further than Health 2.0’s favorite Finnish startup, currently working mostly out of London with plans for expansion into the US. Meet Nelli Lähteenmäki, the Co-Founder and CEO of Fifth Corner (formerly Health Puzzle), makers of the YOU app.
Like many others, Lähteenmäki and her team are working on the tough nut of behavior change in the form of an app that nudges users towards better health with small, incremental steps. The idea is to bridge intention and action, says Lähteenmäki. The Health 2.0 team had a chance to pilot the YOU app in a six-week challenge this past fall, and rather enjoyed tallying healthful tasks like taking the stairs or eating greens for a chance to beat out colleagues. Of course, the Health 2.0 challenge had an equally big stick to go with the carrot of winning, but that’s neither here nor there.
Since then, Fifth Corner has made some big changes, including shifting from an employer-facing business model to a direct to consumer model. It’s a bold pivot at a time when no one has really succeeded with the direct to consumer model in digital health, but Fifth Corner has some strong votes of confidence with new seed funding from London-based venture firm Wellington Partners, and the addition of celebrity chef and healthy food guru Jamie Oliver to the team.
Have a look below to hear more from Lähteenmäki on Fifth Corner’s partnership with Jamie Oliver, how the team will leverage Oliver beyond marketing, and future plans for growth. You can also get a closer look at the stripped down, direct to consumer YOU app here.
With JP Morgan week and Health 2.0 WinterTech converging this week in San Francisco, the digital health space will dive deep into what will characterize investment in 2015 and identify who the major players are. Health 2.0 sat down with Casper de Clercq, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners to look at some of the trends for 2015 and explore his upcoming discussion of consumer health investment at Health 2.0 WinterTech.
Health 2.0: Today we’re just going to talk a little bit about what you’ll be addressing at Health 2.0 WinterTech and just also kind of getting a better sense for your experience and your insight into the digital health investment space. I was hoping you could start with an overarching look at what your role at Norwest Venture Partners really encompasses and sort of what your day-to-day looks like for our audience.
Casper de Clercq: As co-lead of the health care practice at Norwest Venture Partners I am actively investing in health care IT, technology enabled services and medical devices. We are currently investing out of fund twelve, a $1.2 billion fund. NVP has been in business for over 50 years investing primarily in consumer software, enterprise software and health care companies. We have offices in India, Israel, and New York. Growth equity is also an important aspect of our investment activity in which we typically invest in more established companies. In the health care group, we’ve made a significant number of investments in the digital health and medical device arena. We are among the most active health care IT investors having made over a dozen investments over the last three years. The breadth if our investments aligns with the trends we all hear about. Our portfolio includes enterprise and SaaS solutions such as Health Catalyst (ERM analytics and benchmarking data for hospitals). We also invested in CareCloud (SaaS based EMR) and Cleardata (HIPAA compliant data center). We have made multiple investments in connected devices from consumers to clinical research. In the consumer health and wellness arena we invested in wearable companies Basis (acquired bv Intel) and Misfit. Continue reading →
What was once an enterprise software company designing bespoke systems for each client has over the course of the past three years transitioned to a national network-as-a-service with configuration tools and a soon-to-come open API. Could there be a better example of Health 2.0 in action? Say hello to the ‘new’ Navinet, a 15 year-old network that connects over 400,000 providers to more than 40 health plans, covering more than 47 million lives.
Matthew Holt spoke with Navinet CEO Frank Ingari about both Navinet’s stealthy evolution, as well as the company’s new goals moving forward. Navinet still performs the core handful of transactions health care providers have always used the system for — eligibility checks, payment status, referral approval, and treatment authorization among others – but now with a connected network, the emphasis is on collaborative workflow and combining clinical information with reimbursement transactions to improve care.
Ingari said it best: the health care communication infrastructure sucks. Consumers know it, and it isn’t any better for payers and providers. To hear more about how Navinet plans to be that communication infrastructure health care is so sorely missing, watch the interview below.
On January 15th, Health 2.0 and the international digital health investment community have partnered to host Health 2.0 WinterTech: The New Consumer Health Landscape in San Francisco. As part of Health 2.0′s mission to foster and support innovation in the digital health space, we have created a platform for WinterTech attendees to gain access to the perspectives of over 16 venture capitals firms, digital health incubators, and international innovation centers. Explore what each investor group is looking for at WinterTech and apply to join the WinterTech Investor Breakfast - an exclusive morning meeting for startups and investors.
Qualcomm Ventures - Founded in 2000 with a $500M fund commitment, Qualcomm Ventures became an early player in the wireless health space. Health 2.0 WinterTech welcomes, Jack Young, Senior Director of the Qualcomm Life Fund to continue accelerating wireless health services and technology integration. As part of the Qualcomm Life Fund, Jack is looking to meet and invest in wireless health startups that can help accelerate the 2net Platform and that have or can show potential for revenue generation.
Morgan Stanley- Morgan Stanley’s venture fund, established 19 years ago, has invested more than $1B in equity capital in over 150 companies in IT and health care industries. Ankur Luther, Executive Director, has over 9 years of focused experience supporting technology IPO, equity financing, and M&A. Continue reading →
There’s a lot we don’t know about food and our health. Butter in your coffee, eat like a caveman, or no animal products: you name it and there’s an expert backing it. Even the nutritional labels placed on the majority of food items can be misleading and inaccurate. Fortunately, Isabel Hoffman is tackling this problem head on with her company Tellspec. Motivated by a personal history of allergies and ill health, Hoffman has developed a hand-held food-scanning spectrometer that immediately tells users the exact chemical composition of their food.
Matthew Holt, Co-Chairman at Health 2.0, interviewed Hoffman, who performed a live demo of the Tellspec device, shared her thoughts on Tellspec’s path to widespread consumer adoption, and the future possibilities for Tellspec.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand the excitement around Tellspec. The device not only demands transparency and accountability from the food industry, but also answers to a wide variety of consumer concerns from general nutrition to chronic disease to allergies. Tellspec has not completely won over all its critics, but to hear Hoffman tell it and to see the device in action is to come away with renewed hope for the potential to refine the connection between diet and health. See for yourself below.
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At 22 years old, Justin Fulcher looks like an average, newly graduated, young entrepreneur. But don’t be mistaken by his humble appearance. He is the Founder and CEO of RingMD, one of the fastest growing patient-provider communication platform, granting quality and affordable health care to people worldwide.
Founded in 2012 in Singapore, RingMD is a mobile based platform that connects patients with doctors via video or phone. Users input their symptoms, chose the format for the call, provide a mode of transaction, and get access to a list of providers based on location, price, ratings, insurance coverage, availability etc. Provider profiles have detailed biography, and feature dynamic pricing, making it an active health care marketplace. Patients can upload files in real time to share with the consulting doctor, and their EMR history is shown in a split screen on the provider side. Doctor notes are shareable, in both text and video formats.
RingMD has been an active telehealth provider in Singapore, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries, and is now ready to enter the US market. Mr. Fulcher visited Health 2.0 headquarters recently and shared his story with us. Following is an excerpt from the interview: