‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lessons in big data: From New York to Pasadena

| November 19, 2014

Nirav Shah

Dr. Nirav R. Shah serves as Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s senior vice president and chief operating officer for Clinical Operations. He previously served as the New York State Health Commissioner, where he oversaw the implementation of a statewide healthcare technology initiative, the creation of a successful health insurance exchange, and the redesign of the Medicaid program. He is a board-certified Internist, an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and formerly served on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.

1. During your time as NY State Health Commissioner, New York set up a great model for data sharing—what was the biggest win?

One of our most notable achievements was creating a statewide network for health information exchange. What does that mean? It means that if you got into a car accident in Buffalo, the doctor could pull up your electronic medical records from Brooklyn. This network for nearly 20 million New Yorkers is funded by the state—which means it’s each and every citizen’s data—not the insurance company’s data or the hospital’s data. As a New Yorker, you will have full access to your records through a patient portal (or can download the data using the blue button standard) and you can decide who has access to your data or even decide to opt out.

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The 10 Most Beloved CEOs in Digital Health

| October 22, 2014

DigitalhealthCEOS

It’s no secret that a company’s vision and culture stem from the top. Without the right leader at the helm, even the best ideas fail to gain traction. Sometimes this leadership takes the form of a benevolent chieftain (Richard Branson); and other times s/he is a ruthless perfectionist (Steve Jobs).

So with the deluge of growing digital health companies, we wanted to know which CEOs had the most respect from their teams. According to Glassdoor, an online jobs and careers community where employees rate CEOs, Evolent Health’s Frank Williams took first place with a 98% approval rate, followed by Castlight’s Giovanni Colella (95%) and Fitbit’s James Park (94%).

The distinguishing characteristic apparent in employee testimonials is that good CEOs hire well: nearly all the positive testimonials pointed to smart, supportive co-workers as a “pro” (followed only by ping pong tables).
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Creative destruction: The future of healthcare entrepreneurship

| October 16, 2014

Dr. Richard Foster, a jack-of-all-trades in healthcare innovation and venture sat down with Rock Health to discuss industry trends and the future of entrepreneurship.  He is the author of two best-selling books: Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage (1986) and Creative Destruction (2001). He was also named one of Harvard Business Review’s “Masters of Innovation” in the past century.

We’ve seen rapid growth in this field in the past few years from startups, and now in the past couple months from larger companies such as Apple and Google. Do you see the industry controlled by a few hands in the future?

 I don’t—I do think that Apple, and particularly Google, have taken all the messages about why big companies can’t innovate to heart, and are working on solutions. Google has proven their willingness to shut things down that they’re experimenting with. The hardest part is not coming up with the creative idea, the hardest part is shutting down what you already have—your noble experiments that don’t work. The market doesn’t have any problem shutting things down. It’s called: “We’re not going to fund you for round B.” But corporations have traditionally had a harder time—Google has fixed that problem.

In healthcare IT, we have Epic, Cerner, athenaHealth, Allscripts, and five or six others that are important. Except if you actually look at the number of healthcare IT companies out there (I’m currently tracking 2,167 of them)—I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again—I think in fifteen years, 75% of the S&P 500 will be companies that we don’t know today. That’s not because we don’t know their names, but because they don’t exist. There’s no way with that amount of change, that we have to worry about monopolies.

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Digital health meets Wall Street: what it takes to IPO

| October 07, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.03.40 AM

I sat down with Peter van der Goes, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Head of HCIT.  The bank has led several healthcare IT companies to the public markets over the years, including Athenahealth, Allscripts, BenefitFocus and Castlight. I talked with Peter about growing public market interest in digital health and what that means for companies hoping to go public one day.

How do you think about digital health and the way it compares to other sectors, like traditional tech and healthcare companies?

Healthcare IT was historically pretty sleepy because the market was a sleepy part of the economy. With things like Obamacare and inevitable cost pressures in healthcare, we’re now finally starting to see real technology innovation, real data, real analytics, and real IT solutions inside the healthcare vertical. Although it’s early, it’s really exciting.

We’ve also seen a tremendous amount of VC investment inside the vertical over the last 12 months, in contrast to biotech, where we’ve seen only a bit of a resurgence. The impact that digital health innovation can make in healthcare can be even bigger than the great innovations that the biotech industry has brought and can bear. There’s tremendous potential for efficiency, outcomes, and satisfaction improvement that can all be brought into the healthcare economy at a lower cost than what we’ve seen in the past. Before the most recent digital health companies, there have been very few publicly traded health companies that get you to a better outcome while taking cost out of the system. That is what digital health businesses are all about.
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How to make wearables work? Digital health coaching.

| September 12, 2014

View More: http://deathtothestockphoto.pass.us/brick-and-mortar

Steph Habif and Glennis Coursey

Over the past five years, we’ve seen an explosion of companies working to scale digital health coaching. Rock Health specifically has seen a number of exciting announcements in 2014.

In February, MyFitnessPal announced the acquisition of Sessions. Omada Health completed a Series B funding round of $23 million in April. In May, Weight Watchers acquired Wello, and Kurbo Health announced that it raised $5.8 million to “use digital health coaches to help fight childhood obesity.”
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Apple watch and activity trackers’ day of reckoning

| September 11, 2014

Jonathan Palley, Co-founder and CEO, Spire

Activity trackers died and were reborn on Tuesday. With the Apple Watch as well as Jawbone’s announcement that its apps will work with anyone’s hardware (which follows a similar announcement from Misfit), wearable activity tracking is no longer a product—its a feature.

What’s a wearable activity tracking company to do?

Jawbone and Misfit’s answer has been: platform! Wearable-donned people can use their app anywhere while the companies bring all of the user data onto their server. History is not on their side. All the great platforms in technology—from Windows, to iOS to Facebook and even to Google’s ad network—started out with a core technology/business that no one else could replicate. Then came the platform. While we can argue over which activity tracking app is best, the difference and the technology is minimal.
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Meet the More Disruption Please pitch competition winners!

| September 02, 2014

OnDemandDietician

We finished off our recent fourth annual Health Innovation Summit in the full-spirit of our mission to support entrepreneurs powering the future of digital health, partnering with athenahealth on a fast pitch contest to find and reward five up-and-coming digital health startups.

Attendees from across the country submitted their ideas over the two-day event and our favorites stood up in front of the audience to share their company stories. Introducing the winners:

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Meet the future of digital health

| July 17, 2014|Tags: ,

summer-in-digital-health-interns

We’re one month into our first Summer in Digital Health program and can’t wait any longer to introduce you to the stellar group of interns who spend their days working on various projects for our portfolio companies, and their down time attending Rock Health roundtables, social events, and weekly founder breakfasts. Meet the interns!

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Rock Weekly: 23andMe makes up with the FDA

| June 23, 2014|Tags:

Rock Weekly

June 23, 2014

The FDA is up to their neck in digital health. First, in a rare move, they announced they’ll be hands-off with certain mobile medical apps that happen to resemble HealthKit. Then they told pharma and medical device companies what they can and can’t tweet. They finished the week off by launching a review into a new 510(k) application—this time from 23andMe as part of its first step to re-enter healthcare.

Want to train your brain in the art of digital health company building? Check out our Startup Elements series, where luminaries drop knowledge about everything from IP and accounting to HIPAA and the FDA.

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Healthcare needs lean management

| June 20, 2014

Kevin MacDonald, Co-founder & CEO, Kit Check

Is healthcare in the United States inefficient? The answer is a pretty obvious ‘yes’ if you’re up to speed with the state of healthcare economics. At Kit Check, we started a company on the premise that hospital pharmacy operations are inefficient. Digital health startups often struggle not because their innovation falls short, but because they can’t overcome institutional resistance to change.

We recently surveyed pharmacy directors from over 600 hospitals across the US to determine how they thought about improving operational efficiency. The data was encouraging. Traditional resistance is shifting to institutional support.

No one expects lean management in healthcare
In hospital pharmacy, discussions tend to focus on new drug therapies, complex pharmaceutical interactions and identifying substitutes for drugs on shortage. You can imagine how surprised we were that 78% of the 600 hospital pharmacies surveyed were using Lean Management in select areas and 37% consider it part of their core philosophy.
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