January 9, 2020

News You Need - 3 Big Little Things from HealthXL - January 2020

Chandana Fitzgerald

This is your first monthly digest of 2020! We have reviewed the three most noteworthy news stories in digital health from the last few weeks and explained their relevance below. We’ve analysed what they mean for the industry, and why you should know about them. Reach out to me if you wish to connect with our friends from the industry who can quite literally ‘get behind the headlines’.

Over 250 digital health investments in 2019.

Story Snapshot: InsureTech and Telemed capture the lionshare of the Top 20 2019 digital health investments followed by Digital Therapeutics and Virtual Pharmacies


Why it's Notable?

 The top 20 highest value investments indicated 4 key themes:  

  1. InsureTech - Two of the top three 500M+ rounds went to this category - Bright Health ($635), Clover Health ($500M)
  2. Telemed Consultation Services - Babylon Health ($550M) and Tencent Trusted Doctor ($250M) won two behemoth investment rounds this year
  3. DTx and Behavioural Health continues to attract investment - Quartet ($60M), Pear ($64M), Ro ($85M), Omada ($73M), Calm ($88M)
  4. Virtual Pharmacies saw some large rounds, including Capsule ($200M) and Hims ($100M)


Industry Implications:

  1. Payers are recognising the need to work with their other health counterparts in innovating and making their practices and services more accessible, transparent.  
  2. Telemed investments highlight increased access to care across geographies but also drawing skepticism in terms of the necessity of rounds of this size ($200M+) for these types of services. 
  3. 2 of the top 20 investment spots go to virtual pharmacy showing that investments in the virtual pharmacy space haven’t been deterred by the roadblocks faced by Pillpack to date, and further address access barriers. The combination of telemedicine and e-pharmacy can be powerful for the consumer. 
  4. Global is the way to go. All of the investments in 2019 have shown a global spread and reach, thus showing that digital health is not only the focus of the West but also (and more obviously) "mobile-first" societies. 

Robert Garber
Robert Garber
7Wire Ventures

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One Medical - the first digital health IPO of 2020.

Story Snapshot: The tech-enabled primary care provider One Medical, which combines brick-and-mortar doctor visits with around the clock virtual care, is the first digital health company to file for IPO in 2020. 

Why is it notable?

With Livongo, Health Catalyst, Peloton, Phreesia, Progyny and Change Healthcare all going public last year, many heralded 2019 as the year of digital health IPOs. One Medical’s recent filing seems to indicate a likely continuation of the IPO chasing trend within the industry. 

Industry implications:

  1. One Medical’s IPO filing is a likely testament to the popularity and growth of hybrid care offerings, resulting from the accessibility as well as convenience they offer to their members.
  2. While its new IPO status will certainly increase One Medical’s brand visibility, this is no protection against customer churn in favour of more traditional health care providers.
  3. Learnings from cautionary IPO tales - amplified investor hype is only partly to blame; companies must ensure that their houses are in order, otherwise the IPO process can quickly turn into an expensive misfiring!
Carlos Rodarte
Carlos Rodarte
SVP, Life Science Strategy & Business Development
Health Catalyst

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Voluntis, DTx company, partners with Salesforce. Yep, you heard that right.

Story snapshot: Salesforce is a leader in CRM and has just partnered with Voluntis, to implement Voluntis Practice Solutions (VPS), its full-service platform supporting DTx prescription and reimbursement. Salesforce’s Health Cloud, Community Cloud, Sales Cloud and Einstein Analytics solutions will be deployed together to power VPS.

Why it is notable?
Salesforce is a force to reckon with and has widespread adoption across health systems already.

  1. DTx companies are really going hard in pursuing adoption of their solutions among clinical institutions because there has been a lag in patient and clinician uptake of the same over the years. This is another example of the same.
  2. The platform will also integrate the most recent CPT codes established by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Industry Implications:  

  1. While it is not too clear to me how Salesforce's platforms work with clinical decision trees, Q2 2020 will tell us how and when this pilot kicks off. If the promise is real, the scale of access and adoption could be unprecedented.
  2. Backend tasks, billing, revenue management, etc may be the first to be impacted by this partnership, which is exciting enough because that is where the first opportunity for automation lies.
  3. If this partnership does scale, other DTx may follow suit to allow for widespread prescribing of digital assets in the management of disease.
Jessica Shull
Jessica Shull
European Lead
Digital Therapeutics Alliance

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