Rock Weekly: A desperate town hands over its DNA

| July 28, 2014|Tags:

Rock Weekly

July 28, 2014

As if the government’s complete lack of decisiveness over the legality of Obamacare subsidies wasn’t enough, Google also seems to be doing some flip flopping of their own. It looks like they’re super into health after all, embarking on an ambitious and aptly named science project, Baseline, in an attempt to define the health of the human body. The search titan already knows everything about your movie habits, wish lists, and pregnancy status, and the FTC doesn’t want them (or anyone else) gathering your health data. (Unfortunately, it’s too late for this town.)

11 truths of digital health

| July 23, 2014|Tags:

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Ever wish you could pick the brains of the leading thinkers in digital health? Now you can. In anticipation of Health Innovation Summit in just a month, we’re sharing 11 top defining statements in digital health—(which also happen to have been made at past HISUMs). Visionaries including Lean Startup evangelist Steve Blank and Bill and Melinda Gates CEO and former UCSF Chancellor Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann revealed insights about their experience in the health space and areas ripe for innovation. Want a sneak peek of what’s in store for this year? Check out all the full video lineup from 2013 here(more…)

Rock Weekly: Apple makes its next big move in health

| July 21, 2014|Tags:


July 21, 2014

The tech giants know they can’t do it alone. Last week we learned Google is joining forces with Novartis for a glucose sensing contact lens, and that Apple will pair up with IBM on “a radical step for enterprise”. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced they will be laying off 18,000 people.

Speaking of tech workers, our portfolio company Studio Dental—the first dental office on wheels that visits you at work—is now live in San Francisco. Have you made your appointment yet?

Meet the future of digital health

| July 17, 2014|Tags: ,


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!


Rock Weekly: Obamacare is working (but possibly illegal)

| July 14, 2014|Tags:

Rock Weekly

July 14, 2014

Word is out that Obamacare is working. The newly insured are pretty darn satisfied with their new plans and the uninsured rate just plummeted to the lowest levels in recorded history. While everyone else danced around the maypole, Speaker Boehner slapped a lawsuit on the President for, get this: postponing the employer mandate—and stepping on Congress’s toes, among other things.

The best event in digital health is fast approaching. Join us for Health Innovation Summit on August 21-22 to hear from health and technology luminaries, meet your future investors, and see the latest digital health products over drinks. Get your ticket.


Uber for your teeth: A founder’s story

| July 10, 2014|Tags:

studio dental truck

We stepped into our portfolio company, Studio Dental’s brand new office-in-a-truck parked outside Rock Health HQ to catch co-founder and dentist Sara Creighton between patient visits. Here’s what she had to say about her path from dentist to entrepreneur, the role of design in healthcare, and advice for those who are thinking of taking the ultimate plunge into entrepreneurship. Full disclosure: Sara cleaned my teeth in the Studio Dental truck. I emerged with a gigantic smile—and not because of my new pearly whites.

Firstly, we’re so excited about what you’re doing. Can you tell everyone what Studio Dental is?
Studio Dental is the first dental office on wheels that will visit you at work. We prioritize service, design, and expertise to deliver an unmatched dental experience.

What inspired you to build the first mobile dentist office? What about the dental industry needs to be revolutionized?
Studio Dental was founded with the idea of providing better dentistry to more people. Dentistry is in serious need of sprucing up—the industry is stigmatized as old, smelly, and often times scary. I previously had a practice in North Beach in San Francisco where many concepts for Studio Dental were born—specifically, how we could use experiential design (a truck), beautiful branding, unparalleled care and easy access to encourage—dare I say, entice—more people to get to the dentist. 2 out of 3 people just don’t go to dental appointments, which is crazy to me. As a profession we’re clearly missing something in terms of reaching our consumers—and technology is critical to this. From scheduling appointments online, to texting or chatting online with our office, to digital x-rays and impressions, Studio Dental has a very modern feel.

Rock Weekly: Google is just not that into health

| July 07, 2014|Tags:

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July 7, 2014

Last week Google co-founders told Vinod Khosla that they’re just not that into health—though their multiple endeavors say otherwise. Their friends down the peninsula are knee-deep in health, however. Facebook’s science experiment on user emotions is ruffling feathers for its questionable ethics—though the real fear might just be due to the growing power of big data. Don’t worry, Facebook actually has no idea how you feel—at least not yet

2014 Midyear Digital Health Funding Update: Obliterating Records

| June 30, 2014|Tags:

At the end of the first quarter, we were optimistic that 2014 would be another record year for digital health funding. What we didn’t expect was that in just six months, 143 companies would have successfully raised $2.3B. Not only are there more companies receiving funding, but the average deal sizes are also up to $15.6M compared to last year’s $10.0M. (Note: Our venture funding statistics only include deals above $2M.)
01_Aggregate Digital Heatlh Venture Funding (2011-2014YTD)

2014 digital health funding obliterates record-breaking 2013

| June 30, 2014|Tags:

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June 30, 2014

No big surprises lurked in Google’s announcement of their recently leaked Google Fit platform last week. However, they failed to mention the word ‘health’ once, focusing instead on basic fitness metrics—perhaps still nursing the wounds of their former Google Health and Flu Trends projects. At least Larry Page has healthcare on his mind, reiterating how much he wants to mine your health data. And he’s not the only one.

Want to know the real news of the week? Digital health funding in 2014 already exceeds total funding for all of record-breaking 2013. Sink your teeth into our just-released Midyear Funding report.

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.