Rock Weekly: Why tech companies are flocking to healthcare

| December 15, 2014|Tags:


In the last decade, healthcare innovation has gone from “the entrepreneurial equivalent of Siberia” to…well, Silicon Valley. As healthcare finds new entrants from tech, consumers expect them to be closely watched over by the government. Surgeons on the other hand, perhaps they should be self-regulating.

Speaking of entrepreneurs from tech, today we are excited to announce the launch of Hi.Q, led by Rock Health entrepreneur and founder Munjal Shah. Download Health IQ.

Last Minute Digital Health Gift Guide

| December 15, 2014

The holidays are upon us! While you scramble to find a perfect gift for that digital health geek (or yourself), we hope you find this list helpful.  

BitGym $7.99

With the cold season on your doorstep, outdoor runs get moved inside. BitGym keeps the motivation going by bringing the scenery to your cardio machine, and runs on any smartphone or tablet. Lucky you! BitGym is giving all our readers a free month of premium access with the code ROCKHOLIDAY.

BeamBrush $29

Bring the party to the daily routine and snag the first connected tooth brush, Beam Brush. With built-in Bluetooth and gamified challenges, you’ll always be in the know about your kids (and your own) brushing habits.


Liftware $295

If someone you know lives with Parkinson’s or Essential Tremor, you probably know how difficult using utensils can be. Lift Labs gives back the gift of eating by making super portable and easy to use stabilization tools for people living with tremor. To spread the holiday cheer, Lift Labs is extending their buy one, give one program—just use the code GIVETUES.

Rock Weekly: Data is just a shadow of human experience

| December 09, 2014|Tags:


“Data is just a shadow of human experience. We still need to connect the dots,” Smart Patients founder and Rock Health entrepreneur Roni Zeiger argued last week. Luckily, healthcare may finally be ready for big data—just so long as the algorithms don’t ruin your life.

On the regulatory front, our friends across the pond gave everyone’s favorite at-home genetic test the green light while Zenefits is rocking the insurance world’s boat because of its free software.

Healthcare conferences still a sad place for diversity

| December 02, 2014

A snapshot of the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Summit, October 29th, 2014, where only 20% of speakers were female

Last year, Rock Health took the first look at gender diversity on the stages of a dozen high-profile healthcare conferences. We knew from experience that women were largely confined to the attendee list at these events, and we were appalled when our research  confirmed that only a quarter of speakers in 2013 were women.

We launched the XX Speaker Project as part of our larger XX in Health initiative to promote and support female leaders in healthcare. Opening up a dialogue about this imbalance, our goal was to make tangible changes and improve the numbers in 2014.

First, we called it out. Making these numbers transparent helps conference organizers, attendees, and the public at large realize there’s a problem. (You can view the data here).

Rock Weekly: The only two reasons to give up equity

| December 01, 2014|Tags:


December 1, 2014

Over turkey dinners last week, people discussed a mysterious trend where so-called accelerators take startup equity (up to 10%!) without giving a dollar. What’s our thought on the subject? Companies should give equity for one of two things—work or cash.

Here’s some more clarity to be thankful for: read up on the latest draft bill on digital health making its way through Washington, which would limit the FDA’s oversight on technology that poses little risk to patients.

Rock Weekly: Digital health investments are soaring

| November 24, 2014|Tags:

Rock Weekly

November 24, 2014

So HHS flubbed the math on health exchange enrollment, erroneously inflating it with 380K dental plans. Real score? 6.7M enrollees. Tired of the kerfuffle? Here’s your open enrollment tip: use Stride Health, an insurance-shopping-entrepreneur’s BFF.

Heads up: your Fitbit data can and will be used against you in court, and so may your rapid DNA test.

Happy Thanksgiving! Want to show your thanks this week? Pass along the Rock Weekly to a friend to subscribe.

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.


Where are they now? Kinsights

| November 17, 2014|Tags: , ,

Calling all founders! Only three more days to submit your business plan to receive funding and support starting in January. To give you an inside scoop of what it means to be part of the Rock Health family, we checked in with Kinsights, one of Rock Health’s very first portfolio companies. Kinsights is an advice-sharing network for parents that integrates your child’s health record to further personalize your experience and connect you to parents who are dealing with similar issues. We’re lucky enough to work in the same office as this stellar team; here’s what they have to say about Rock Health, what’s new, and what snacks get them through the day.

What are you working on? Any new projects or focus areas?
We’ve put a lot of our focus on rare pediatric conditions, helping thousands of parents connect with each other, access resources, and share health information with their care team. Seeing parents, at different stages in their journey, share insights and advice with each other has been incredibly rewarding. We have 30+ groups for rare pediatric conditions, and for many of these parents, their child’s condition is so rare that they have never met another parent who is dealing with the same issues and concerns.

Rock Weekly: Get a job.

| November 17, 2014|Tags:


November 17, 2014

We’re thrilled to announce our latest investment, Iodine, which gives people insight into their health—starting with the medicine cabinet. Speaking of badass startups, you should join us too—submit your deck by this Thursday, November 20th.

PS: Spread the word—we’re hiring!

Why virtual pharmacists could bridge the healthcare provider gap

| November 12, 2014|Tags: , ,

Roby Telepharm Rock Health

“Pharmacists are the most underutilized healthcare provider.”

Roby Miller, founder of Rock Health portfolio company TelePharm weighed in on the future of telemedicine and how virtual pharmacists, are fitting into the health tech conversation today.

Like many of us, Roby knows that the word “telemedicine” is becoming the word in the health tech industry. But what does telemedicine mean to most people? It has been Roby’s experience that “when people hear the term, they think of a video chat between a provider and a patient.” And when most people hear the word ‘provider’, they think of the doctor, not the pharmacist. Why? Most of us think of pharmacists as the dispenser of medication—that’s all. But what happens if pharmacists start spending more time counseling patients virtually? “We’ll see a shift in how pharmacists are reimbursed because their value will be realized shortly from a payers’ standpoint,” says Roby.