We caught up with leading founders in digital health to tap their insider expertise on everything you need to know about building a company in healthcare—from recruiting top talent and building a company on human-centered design principles to hospital sales and putting your customers first. Here are the four newest installments in our Startup Elements series:
June 29, 2015
SCOTUS stole the show last week with two huge rulings affecting healthcare’s future. King v. Burwell went the way of Obamacare, with subsidies remaining intact, while the long-awaited marriage equality ruling promises to alter the health insurance landscape.
On the wearables front, Google wants to change clinical research with its new wristband. Health execs see positive ROI from patient-generated data but is the technology accurate enough to turn the devices into digital medical tools?
Over 10 years ago, Michael Gorton announced TelaDoc Medical Services, a new way for patients to receive medical care. Call the 1-800 number, and within an hour a doctor would call you back. All for only $35 per visit (plus a one-time fee of $18 and a monthly membership fee ranging from $4.25 for an individual to $7.00 for a family; more on subscription fees later). The American Medical Association fired back quickly, stating that “It is important to have a first visit at least where you have a face-to-face encounter and a comprehensive medical examination.”
Led by current CEO Jason Gorevic, Teladoc has grown from 20,000 members to more than 10,000,000 in the ensuing 10 years—fueled by an enterprise-focused business model. Thanks to Teladoc, somewhere close to 300,000 people all received medical care in under an hour just last year. And yet the same arguments remain, just this time it’s in Texas. It has become obvious that telemedicine is inevitable (although that doesn’t mean we should stop advocating for interstate licensing compacts and reimbursement), and that it will rapidly consume a large share of the estimated 1.2 billion ambulatory visits per year in the U.S.
Following significant year-over-year revenue growth, Teladoc has filed its S-1 and is set to go public shortly. While the company is somewhat unique versus its competitors, the filing provides a lens into the overall telemedicine category. With the initial price range set, Gorevic is now offering everyone the opportunity to invest in the first ever telemedicine IPO.
The iHub team in front of their soon-to-be headquarters
Brigham and Women’s, the world-renowned 793-bed teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, which saw over 62K ER patients last year, has a long history of innovation in healthcare—including conducting the first organ transplant back in the 1950s. In 2013, they launched their Innovation Hub as part of their commitment to supporting breakthrough ideas and technology. We sat down with Executive Director Lesley Solomon to get their advice for entrepreneurs looking to partner with their hospital and other leading academic medical institutions.
June 15, 2015
Or is medicine impeding the use of technology? Last week, the AMA delayed setting telemedicine guidelines, even though virtual visits continue to gain steam. And while 78% of office-based physicians use an EHR, 70% don’t believe it was worth it.
For every digital health company that produces clinically relevant data, the inevitable question at sales meetings is: “Can you integrate with our EHR system?” But the better question is not can we integrate, but should we?
The core domain of the EHR is to house the legal health record (LHR) in an electronic format. When it comes to data integration from other systems, they come up short. Digital health companies are pressured by clinical customers to “integrate” with the EHR. API relief via FHIR and Meaningful Use Stage 3 may come. But for now, discrete data integration remains a costly and time-consuming endeavor that may not be worth the trouble. The assumption is that customers need data exchange, when in fact what providers largely want is clinical workflow integration to deliver meaningful insights that are actionable at the right time.
On Friday, June 5th, Evolent Health debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $195M. Earlier this week, Evolent closed above a $1 billion market cap—a meteoric rise for a company that was founded in just 2011 with the backing of The Advisory Board Company and UPMC.
Shortly after the market closed on Tuesday, Rock Health spoke with Frank Williams, the CEO of Evolent Health, about the company and the market for value-based care. Few people understand how provider organizations are approaching the shift away from a fee-for-service environment better than Frank. A lightly edited interview follows.
June 8, 2015
Digital health kicked off the month of June with its third IPO of 2015: Evolent Health, which earned a pretty $195M in its first day of trading.
And in Googleverse news: the tech giant is expanding its Baseline pilot to define human health, Sergey Brin defended his glucose-sensing contact lens moonshot project to shareholders, Google Genomics is competing with Amazon for a $1B business to store your DNA—and they’re using AI to count the calories in your Instagrams.
June 1, 2015
What takes up 50% more of a doctor’s time than caring for patients, was supposed to save $77B for healthcare, just got a funding boost from CMS, and had sweeping changes proposed from AMIA last week? The EHR. A valuable tool or a total disaster? Weigh in here.
Perk for you! We’ve got free passes to the Exposition at the Quantified Self Conferenceon 6/20 in San Francisco, showcasing the latest tools emerging from the QS movement. The first 100 people to redeem with the code rockhealthfree get 100% off.
May 26, 2015
Let’s talk about robots. They’re hyper-accurate, cost-saving, depression-diagnosing—even cute. Regardless of the debate about robots vs. humans, one open question in healthcare remains: if algorithms and robots are more accurate than a human doctor, should the human brain be regulated as a medical device? Either way, we’re jazzed this man is getting his limbs back after four decades thanks to bionics.