We’re excited to share that since the start of July we have opened up our beta platform to all of our customers. In this blog, we discuss why we built it, how our members use it today and our vision for where we’re taking it next.
Healthcare is complex, and innovation within healthcare even more so. We have been delivering briefing reports to our customers week in week out for over five years now. What this meant was lots of desk research, and collaboration with the HealthXL community of experts to corroborate our findings and give us some visibility on what is happening in the frontlines. This was hard work - each important data point - be it investments, published or ongoing research, regulatory status, patents, competitive intelligence - had to be captured from a different source. This was not only cumbersome, but also left room for error. This led to the inception of the HealthXL platform - a data aggregator that brought together these diverse data sets.
Early Internal Presentations on What We Wanted to Achieve
This was born out of our own need to serve our customers more effectively, but quickly they too wanted access, and doors began to open to new parts of their organizations; no longer just innovation executives, but the research and business franchises with whom they collaborate.
With a strong pull from our customers, we decided to open this up, and make it a core part of how we deliver value to our customers. To ground our decisions in what is truly important to our customers, and not just our imagination, we set up an Innovation Advisory Council, a group of ten senior executives from leading pharma and medtech organizations. These individuals engaged in monthly calls early in the scoping of making this a customer facing solution, a forcing function to focus on how this solution could be an integral part of how they work.
We opened up the beta to these council members and their close knit teams early in the process, allowing us to quickly identify the gaps we needed to fill with our product and services in order to help them move from learning about a new subject, right through to identifying the shortlist of companies they want to work with.
Additionally, the research team at HealthXL are our toughest critic, eating our own dog food on supercharge. Their work mirrors that of many of our customers, acting as a partner in crime to drive their innovation objectives. We had the voice of the customer ringing in our ears whether we liked it or not, a powerful asset and differentiator in everything we do at HealthXL.
As with any new venture, there were many ups downs, but we have come through with a solution that has already established its importance to our customer’s jobs, and a revised vision of how we can help them become more successful in the future.
The Solution Today
So, what are the core things our customers have access to today.
Visualise digital health market data, identify key players and potential collaborators
More than 70k startups, hospitals, investors, payers, pharma...with their investments, research, 510k announcements, commercial relationships and more
Your own designated HealthXL analyst
A member of our senior research team who understands the needs of the accounts they manage and act as an extended part of their team, collaborating with them to achieve their innovation objectives
Access to 100’s of pre-made landscape lists
Don’t waste time and energy starting from scratch, build on segments and verticals from remote monitoring to digital therapeutics that our research team are building on every day, constantly adapting to how these fast changing segments are evolving
Collaborate with colleagues to drive deliver on your innovation objectives
Create and see the most recent lists of companies being updated by members of your team
Our vision is to make this platform the one true source for digital health. Integrating our focus on healthcare data and collaboration, we leverage expert led insights to help our customers make sense of new market segments, and provide them with the language they need to communicate this to internal stakeholders. The executives we work with are putting themselves on the line because they believe digital health can be a positive force in healthcare, and we want to help them be successful in driving that change.
If you are interested to learn more about our platform, you can apply HERE and someone from our team will be in touch.
Story snapshot: This month, Biofourmis announced the acquisition of Biovotion. The acquisition includes all of Biovotion's assets, including the Everion biosensor and 60+ global patents, covering most of the wearable and sensor technology that exists for the arm or hand, as well as Biovotion's staff, partners, and clients. On top of this, Biofourmis have just announced a partnership with Novartis on the use of a predictive analytics platform (BiovitalsHF) in combination with the Everion sensor to monitor heart failure patients.
Why is it notable?
Biofourmis have now established themselves as a very strong contender in the digital therapeutics and predictive analytics market, combining their data platform with a well established clinical-grade device from Biovotion. Biofourmis (after their inception in Cambridge) did most of their early work in Singapore, and those roots may give them a stronger foothold in Asia going forward given the relationships they've built.
This acquisition of Biovotion is actually Biofourmis’ second acquisition in two months. In October, Biofourmis acquired India-based Hashtaag (an information technology and services company focused on software and product development). This strategic acquisition of a company that Biofourmis previously worked with as a vendor was focused on acquiring the 30-person Hashtaag team and its related expertise to accelerate Biofourmis’ product development - specifically for pain and oncology.
The recent partnership with Novartis is also notable given the work Novartis are doing in relation to their heart failure drug ENTRESTO. So now, patients’ doctors are not only prescribing ENTRESTO—they are also prescribing digital therapeutics to optimize the drug therapy and to better target dosages, with a goal of better patient outcomes. Interestingly, Novartis also recently announced a partnership in the Asian market to develop WeChat assistant 'AI Nurse' for heart failure patients.
Biofourmis and Biovotion have been long standing industry partners - Could we see a similar trend of acquisition by data analytics platforms of partner device companies in future? Just a few weeks ago we say Tech Giant Google acquiring wearable device maker fitbit, hammering home a recognition of the value for wearables as a mode to capture digital biomarkers.
On top of all of this, Biofourmis deal with Novartis is one of the largest commercial digital therapeutics projects to date. The project will begin with initial roll-out in South East Asia, with plans to expand into more geographies in future. We are excited to see where this partnership goes and if it will catalyse more commercial DTx/Pharma partnerships, particularly given the recent news of the Pear/Sandoz breakup which highlighted the vast unknowns that still exist around DTx commercialisation.
Story snapshot: I am sure you heard - Google has bought Fitbit for a whopping $2.1 billion. We debated writing about it this week because the healthcare implications are not that obvious yet. But then again, this is Google, and the healthcare participation will certainly follow. So, here goes.
Why is it notable?
AI, software and hardware - Fitbit has already figured out these bits.
Google is no stranger to healthcare - since it raised its first fund in 2009, it has backed nearly 60 health-related enterprises; Verily Life Sciences founded in 2015; Alphabet has filed for 186 patents related to the healthcare field, ex-Geisinger Health System CEO as the VP etc. So Fitbit may well be another play in this direction.
Fitbits’ 28 million users could literally be a predictive analytics game changer in serving personalized health recommendations and interventions, as long as this data is not used to serve us back Google ads!
Fitbit has already worked off Google Cloud for Healthcare APIs with the promise of sharing fitness and health data easily and safely. This acquisition may imply further strengthening of this promise.
Story snapshot: Pear Therapeutics has entered a partnership with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals to bring to market prescription digital therapeutics (PDT) for gastrointestinal (GI)indications.
Why is it notable?
GI indications like Irritable Bowel Syndrome are quite amenable to a 'digital' intervention in the form of supporting nutrition, symptom tracking, etc. So it is perhaps an easier intervention. The same cannot be said about Inflammatory Bowel Disease where the medication cannot be replaced by these PDTs.
Noise. DTx have been making so much noise in the last while. The reality is that we are unclear on what GI indications or products this partnership is going to bring out.
Comes at the back of the end of Pear's partnership with Sandoz for substance use disorder treating PDTs. So, it looks like Pharma partnerships are still going strong for digital therapeutics.
We cannot say we know anything more than we did last month or the month before, which is challenging as more pharmaceutical companies and start ups try to crack the business model and go to market strategy for these types of partnerships.
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