For Entrepreneurs3/10/14

Ideas We’d Like To Fund

Malay Gandhi

Rock Health exists to fund and support entrepreneurs working at the intersection of healthcare technology. We want to make healthcare massively better for every human being—driving down the cost to deliver improved services to more people. Simply, our mandate is impact. Massively better means incredible change—it’s improvement by an order of magnitude or more along every dimension. Healthcare that is incredibly functional, reliable, convenient, and yes, inexpensive. Ultimately, it looks like a system that we love.

The problems in healthcare are too numerous to enumerate; however, we developed a non-exhaustive list of some ideas we’d like to fund this year. If you want to make healthcare massively better, we want to hear from you, period. Submit your business plan by March 27th and hear back in April.

72% of internet users said they looked online for health information in the last year
And yet we hate all of the services. Few of us leave these experiences feeling satisfied, sitting at one extreme of being provided too much information or the other of a brain cancer diagnosis. Lacking historical context and personalization, this space hasn’t advanced in a decade. We’re looking for an iconic consumer company to reinvent health information. Bonus points if you go from information to action, helping consumers navigate the incredible proliferation of healthcare delivery services.

Eroom’s Law
Research and development productivity in pharma has been declining in aggregate for years. Our belief is that software is the essential platform that will support every therapeutic area, accelerating processes around target identification, molecule design, compound screening and clinical development. We’re looking to fund companies that can ingest pre-clinical (or earlier) data, model body systems (e.g., immune, cardiovascular, etc.) and help researchers discover breakthrough drugs.

Providing high-quality health care is a primary driver of satisfaction among physicians
Doctors feel unable to provide high quality care to all their patients. At the same time, electronic health record (EHR) technology appears to significantly worsen their professional satisfaction. We are interested in funding companies that believe the EHR is not the center of the healthcare universe and want to build new clinical workflow that sits inside a physician’s pocket. Bonus points if you believe you can massively improve the rate of clinical guideline updates by crowdsourcing better data and generating new evidence from point of care interactions.

$700+ billion is wasted in healthcare each year
Much of this $700 billion is due to administrative inefficiencies. The healthcare system remains oriented around the paradigms of paper, phone calls, and in-person interactions. We seek to fund companies that eliminate waste through automation anywhere in the healthcare system. We have backed successful companies that automate hospital pharmacies and payer call centers using technologies well understood in Silicon Valley (RFID and artificial intelligence, respectively), but not yet applied to healthcare.

A sequencer that can produce a $1,000 human genome has arrived
This is one the largest big data problems in healthcare. As a function of cost and output, we will see more genomic data than ever before in the coming years. We are interested in funding platform companies that play anywhere above the sequencer on the genomics and personalized medicine stack, making all this data useful to researchers, clinicians, and yes, even consumers.

The FDA cleared 100+ mobile medical apps since 1997
The tools of medicine need to be reinvented for a digital era. We want to directly challenge the assumptions that medical devices need to be incredibly expensive, that diagnostics should be based on invasive procedures, and that therapies can only exist in the form of molecules. We are interested in funding companies that turn our smartphones (or other commodity sensors) into devices, software into a diagnostic, and mobile engagement into a therapy. Don’t be scared of the FDA.

Rock Health is looking for the best digital health companies. Join our portfolio and build something useful. Submit your business plan.

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