Rock Weekly: The FDA approval you’ve been waiting for

| February 23, 2015|Tags:


February 23, 2015

Last week the FDA gave our friends at 23andMe a big green light to market genetic testing for one specific disease—and announced plans to re-classify similar tests moving forward.

If the FDA is affecting your mental health, we have a solution. Lantern offers personalized programs for diverse mental health issues, combining quick daily exercises with professional coaching. Try a free assessment. Then use the codeRH10 for 10% off your first month (for the first 50 readers).


How laws and policies are shaping telemedicine

| February 18, 2015|Tags: ,

By Sarah Jacobson and Teresa Wang

As Part 2 of our Healthcare Reform Series, we’ll give you the rundown of what, how, and why reform is shaping the telemedicine market. One analyst estimates that the global telemedicine market will reach $36.3B by 2020, and this attractive market is catching the eye of investors and healthcare providers so that one day patients can receive world-class care from anywhere. However, the future of telemedicine is dependent on reimbursement and regulatory policies both at the federal and state level. Policy makers have historically been slow to embrace telemedicine, but a number of bills in the pipeline could fuel massive adoption by payers, patients, and providers.

But first, time out. What is telemedicine? According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, telemedicine refers to real-time, face-to-face audio/visual communication with a healthcare provider. Telehealth is the umbrella term that includes telephone calls, remote patient monitoring, and store-and-forward imaging (capturing an image or video for review by a healthcare provider at a later date), though most organizations use these terms interchangeably.

Let’s take a look at key legislation that has shaped telemedicine to date.


Rock Weekly: How healthcare reform fuels digital health

| February 16, 2015|Tags:


February 16, 2015

A huge chunk of the 125% growth in digital health funding has flowed to companies embracing new healthcare reform-fueled business models. From telemedicine to consumer engagement and HITECH to HealthKit, become an expert with our series about how healthcare legislation is shaping the digital health landscape.

How healthcare reform impacts digital health

| February 12, 2015

By Teresa Wang and Sarah Jacobson

Healthcare reform is fueling digital health funding. You’ve probably heard a variation or two of that statement so here’s a look at how and why healthcare reform has helped define the digital health landscape. In a series of posts, we’ll explore the legislative landscape, starting with this overview and then diving into telemedicine, at-home patient management, and healthcare consumer engagement over the next few weeks.

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With healthcare costs expected to rise 4.9% next year, stakeholders are starting to feel the pressure to change. Legislators are busy trying to slow the growth of healthcare spending; providers strive to find a balance for cutting costs and improving care; insurers compete to gain more enrolled members. Most notably, healthcare reform efforts have created an environment for the growth of digital health, which received over $8B in funding over the past four years.


Rock Weekly: Hackers love healthcare

| February 09, 2015|Tags:

Rock Weekly

February 9, 2015

“Every smart tech person I know is working in healthcare,” said legendary investor John Doerr at our CEO Summit last week. Healthcare is hot—and clearly so is (stealing) health data, helped by the fact that the industry’s cybersecurity lags far behind other sectors (which the FBI warned of last April).

23andMe Co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki onstage with This Week in Startups host Jason Calacanis at our Digital Health CEO Summit

What entrepreneurs need to know about health insurance tax penalties

| February 05, 2015

Noah Lang, Co-founder and CEO, Stride Health

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A significant portion of the American population will be influenced this spring new tax penalty regulations. It’s predicted that up to six million households will have to pay a penalty not buying health insurance last year. Others will be surprised with a penalty for under-estimating their income when applying for a government subsidy.

Rock Weekly: Is HIPAA good enough?

| February 02, 2015|Tags:


February 2, 2015

POTUS praised EMRs, wearables, and data for their impact on the future of medicine, and called on entrepreneurs (and investors) to create tools for patients as part of the newly-unveiled Precision Medicine Initiative. Needless to say, sharing genetic data is pretty key to the whole project. Conveniently, the FTC just said it thinks HIPAA isn’t good enough to protect patient data.

Rock Weekly: Where’s the exit?

| January 26, 2015|Tags:

Rock Weekly

January 26, 2015

While digital health may be lagging on the public market, conversations about the industry dominated Inside the Beltway last week. POTUS kicked everything off by announcing the Precision Medicine Initiative (more on what it needs to actually work here), while the ONC declared it would better help entrepreneurs navigate HIPAA compliance. (FYI, these companies can too.)

Nine exceptional leaders in digital health

| January 19, 2015


On January 11th, we co-hosted the fourth annual Top 50 in Digital Health dinner along with Fenwick & West and Goldman Sachs.

This year we honored nine leaders and organizations making exceptional impacts in digital health:

Angel of the Year: Sami Inkinen
Few angel investors so wholly embody their investment theses like Sami Inkinen. This world-class triathlete and self-proclaimed “data geek” knows how to spot technologies that will hugely impact our health and wellbeing. He’s invested in Augmedix, Lantern, MyFitnessPal, and Rise. 

Crowfunding Hero: Empatica
Empatica’s Embrace is the first-of-its kind medical grade watch that measures epileptic seizures, among other things. To date, Embrace has raised 401% of its crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo.

Diversity Leadership Award: Castlight Health
Tackling complex problems in healthcare requires not only the brightest minds, but diverse ones too. Castlight has led by example for all digital health companies in assembling talented executives with distinct backgrounds to lead their mission. The Castlight leadership team includes doctors, developers, and 55% female executives.

How Rock Health helps startups grow

| January 14, 2015|Tags: ,

Kit Check co-founders Tim Kress-Spatz and Kevin MacDonald in their office in Washington D.C. last year

Kevin MacDonald, co-founder and CEO, Kit Check

Earlier this week, Kit Check announced our Series B funding of $12 million led by Kaiser Permanente Ventures. We successfully raised our Series A of $10.4 million in July 2013 after joining Rock Health’s portfolio. In the eighteen months between funding rounds we grew from seven to 144 hospital customers with over 5,000 users on our cloud-based system and 3.6 million medications tracked.

Kit Check represents the only successful Internet of Things success story for hospital consumables to date. We believe it is also the best example of successful cloud software adoption in hospital operations. We are helping hospitals reduce cost and increase patient safety related to medication dispensing and use, which is an important industry contribution. It’s a great story and far from over. One constant throughout has been strong support from Rock Health.