The work of making healthcare massively better for every human being never ends. In that spirit and in advance of this year’s Rock Health Summit, we’re thrilled to share updates on several recent investments we’ve made throughout the course of 2018. Each of these companies was at our seventh annual Rock Health Summit earlier this month.
Our recent investments
- Enzyme Jan ‘18: Automating and simplifying compliance—think TurboTax for FDA filings
- Sitka Apr ‘18: Virtual patient triage to empower transparent, shared decision making
- ClinCapture Apr ‘18: Easy-to-use, highly adaptive, 21st century data capture for clinical trials
- Revive Solutions Sep ‘18: Game-changing, life-saving cardiac technology made accessible to all
- Marigold Health (fka Sunrise Health) Oct ‘18: Scalable group support for behavioral health and substance use patients
Looking ahead to 2019, we’re excited about several segments of healthcare and are evaluating innovative new companies within these areas. We’ve learned lessons from our seven years in digital health and doubled down on our research to better understand what lies ahead. We continue to believe there are attractive new opportunities for technology to radically reshape the way healthcare is delivered. Here’s a sample of what we’re looking forward to.
Transforming the drug and device development process
We’re no strangers to the high cost of discovery and delivery of medical devices and drugs. Life science companies—from startups to Fortune 500s—are hungry for new tools to help them reduce time to market and transform the pace and productivity of innovation, including clinical trials and FDA approvals. No matter how much money goes into digital health, progress in healthcare is gated by the pace of innovation. We’re intrigued by companies who can deliver value to life science operations, particularly when it enables small, nimble companies to keep pace with large incumbents—and impact patients everywhere. Here’s what we see:
- Off-the-shelf compliance and regulatory infrastructure for digital health and life sciences companies makes it easy to build new services and lowers the cost of innovation for the entire ecosystem.
- The FDA has assumed a leadership role in innovating the medical device clearance process (regulation Rock Health and some of our portfolio companies have contributed to in multiple ways).
- Rock Health has built an exciting “sub-portfolio” of companies rapidly dominating this space:
Digital therapeutics and “Beyond the Pill”
The evolving landscape of stand-alone digital therapeutics as well as pharmaceutical-oriented “beyond the pill” solutions remains a promising frontier. We’ve said it before: Everything that can be virtualized eventually will be. Patient engagement or satisfaction are no longer enough to drive digital therapeutic success. As we evaluate digital therapeutic investments, we are searching for companies pursuing a direct path with the FDA; developing randomized controlled trials; and generating comparative, equivalent, and superior outcomes data relative to the current standard of care therapies. This year, more than ever, companies are pursuing FDA strategies—and succeeding with FDA approvals. Here’s what piques our interest most right now:
- More and more digital health companies are marrying medical claims—in some cases, FDA-regulated claims—and the clinical validation this requires with novel technology with new business models (a recipe for truly breakthrough innovation).
- FDA is charging ahead with digital health device clearances at a pace not seen before.
- With pressure on prices and increased competition, pharma companies are actively partnering with and investing in digital health solutions (as we noted in our recent quarterly funding wrap up).
Remote monitoring (and diagnosis and management)
Reimbursement is catching up with digital health technologies. We’re particularly pleased to see continued expansion of reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for remote monitoring. We believe this opens up a number of successful business model opportunities for connected devices, remote diagnosis technologies, and preventive care and are looking for new investments that can expand the scope of telehealth platforms.
Many of our companies (Podimetrics, Bodyport, and others) have generated great outcomes data, clinical results, and cost savings to their customers by focusing on prevention of acute and chronic conditions.
- In the near term: Reimbursement will accelerate adoption and innovation.
- In the medium term: Pervasive remote monitoring will become the new norm.
- In the medium/long term: System-level cost saving opportunities will open up when remote monitoring is taken as “a given.” Focus will shift to orchestrating these technologies and optimizing value.
These are but a few of the areas we are currently evaluating—we are committed to supporting all digital health entrepreneurs. We’re excited to continue to invest in and support companies from their early stages and throughout their journey.
Working on a solution to drastically improve healthcare? We’d love to hear from you—tell us about your company.
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