Overheard at JPM 2020: The issues healthcare enterprise leaders are talking about

It was a whirlwind week with healthcare investors, entrepreneurs, bankers, and enterprise leaders descending on the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. After dozens of startup pitches, networking receptions galore, and hours spent rushing through the streets of San Francisco, we’re grateful for the energy and hustle we felt from the community working to make healthcare massively better.

As a venture fund focused on digital health, Rock Health is built to support both sides of the healthcare marketplace: We invest in startups who supply innovation and, in addition to the fund, we partner with enterprise-scale companies. In a (mostly) B2B healthcare world, this second group represents the “buyers” of innovation. We support their search for breakthroughs that will reshape healthcare.

With that in mind, we focused attention during this year’s JPM week on expanding and deepening relationships with our enterprise-scale industry partners. We’ve built a community of these organizations around Rock Health—a community we are honored to support through our Corporate Partner Program of over 30 leading companies.

Last week, at our second annual Insider Breakfast, we hosted over 25 leaders from major US and international healthcare companies for a deep-dive discussion of our research on consumer behavior and how the contours of consumer-centric health are taking shape. We shared ways Rock Health is both convening executive leaders through our Corporate Partner Program and, separately, providing project-based advisory services to the enterprise ecosystem to advance innovation.

Across all of our JPM conversations with healthcare corporate leaders, we heard a few recurring themes:

  • The digital front door: With AI-driven symptom triage solutions, provider search and transparency engines, and consolidated telemedicine offerings, the race to own the “digital front door”—the entry point to healthcare for consumers—is well underway. And health plans, employers, providers, B2B startups, big tech, and D2C solutions are all key contestants. This week we heard more about some of the challenges of these solutions—are patients equating costs with quality? What are the right connective points between these entryways into the traditional care delivery system? Will the “front door” really be digital—or will retail really be the entry point for consumers and their healthcare?
  • Platforms and rollups: Many are wondering to what extent point solutions might contribute to a fragmented and confusing experience for the B2B buyers and individual consumers of digital health. As “platforms” emerge to address this, the question of who will (try to) own the consumer navigation experience is becoming increasingly important.
  • Attribution: As the push to value-based care continues, so too does the need for precise measurement that link outcomes to specific interventions. Value-based contracts with plans, employers, and the government are conditional on the ability to attribute individual and population level outcomes. But it’s becoming increasingly challenging to do when (1) patients are accessing multiple solutions and interventions both digitally and in traditional care settings, and (2) it’s difficult to isolate the impact of a single intervention when it works synergistically with others.

We’re excited to explore all of these topics (and more!) through our research this year, and to support enterprise organizations as they continue advancing their digital strategies. To connect with us about our Corporate Partner Program or our advisory services, please reach out to partnerships@rockhealth.com.

In the midst of the JPM buzz, we also dove into insights on the digital health investment landscape with our friend and fellow investor Michael Greeley of Flare Capital Partners—check out the conversation.