Here's a recap of funding in digital health, the latest healthcare innovations, and trends in virtual care for August 2020.
Funding in Digital Health
Google is investing $100 million in telehealth provider Amwell, which will use Google Cloud
Google's cloud division is investing $100 million in Amwell, formerly known as American Well, a company that builds technology for virtual doctors' visits. The company has filed to go public, and Google's investment will be a concurrent private placement at the IPO price. As part of the partnership, Amwell will move parts of its business from Amazon Web Services, which it currently uses, to Google Cloud. Specifically, Amwell is selecting Google cloud as its "preferred global cloud partner" and moving some video performance capabilities to that platform, the companies said in a press release.
How Teladoc's blockbuster deal could impact the entire virtual care landscape
By combining Teladoc's telehealth capabilities with Livongo's chronic disease management and remote patient monitoring services, Teladoc will now have a "depth and breadth of services that is unmatched by any other company in the digital health space," Gorevic said during a business call with analysts Wednesday. "Teladoc is the only virtual care organization to deliver and enable full spectrum, whole person care, from primary care to chronic condition management and critical care needs from home to hospital worldwide," he said. Gorevic said “the combination of these two companies was an inevitability”—though one that was “accelerated substantially” by the health crisis that has pushed virtual care to the forefront.
Johnson & Johnson just invested in a telemedicine startup. Here’s why
Investors are betting that telemedicine's increased popularity during the coronavirus pandemic will continue after the outbreak is over.The latest example is Thirty Madison, a startup that offers online health portals for treatment of hair loss, migraines, and acid reflux. It said on Thursday that it had raised $47 million from the venture capital arm of health product giant Johnson & Johnson along with investment firms Polaris Partners (which led the round), Maveron, and Northzone.
Klara scores $15M financing round backed by Google's AI venture fund
New York City-based Klara is using artificial-intelligence-driven automation to improve communication between patients and their doctors' offices. The startup's work to modernize medical practices has attracted Google's AI-focused investment fund Gradient Ventures, which co-led Klara's $15 million financing round. Healthcare investor Frist Cressey Ventures also co-led the financing round with participation from existing investors FirstMark Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Project A and Stage 2 Capital. Klara, which launched in 2014, plans to use the funding to grow its team, further enhance its core communications product and build out AI-driven automation, the company said.
Mental health startup Ginger lands $50M backed by Cigna, Kaiser Permanente
The startup, which delivers evidence-based behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry right from a smartphone, has raised more than $120 million to date. The current mental healthcare system has long been inadequate, according to Ginger CEO Russell Glass. "But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous sociopolitical climate, we're facing uncharted territory," Glass told Fierce Healthcare. The company has seen record-high demand for mental health support during the current health crisis. During July, weekly utilization rates were 125% higher for coaching and 265% higher for therapy and psychiatry when compared to pre-COVID-19 averages, the company reported.
Seattle startup Xealth lands investment from Cerner as COVID-19 accelerates digital health adoption
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing hospital systems to adopt digital tools at record pace. They are getting help from startups such as Xealth, a Seattle-based company that just announced a key partnership with Cerner and an investment from the publicly-traded healthcare giant. Xealth will team up with Cerner, a leading electronic health record (EHR) tech company, to help hospitals incorporate digital health programs. Cerner also made a $6 million investment in the startup, along with LRVHealth, a health-focused VC firm based in Boston.
PatientPop Announces $50M in Series C Funding
PatientPop, the market leader in practice growth technology, today announced it has secured a Series C capital round of $50 million, led by HLM Venture Partners, one of the top healthcare venture firms in the country, along with participation from new investors Commonfund and Vivo Capital, and existing investors Toba Capital, Transformation Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. With the additional funds, PatientPop will deliver solutions that help private practices provide exceptional care virtually and in-person.
Science 37, a virtual-trials startup once eyed by Alphabet's Verily, just raised $40 million to push the drug industry decades into the future
Science 37 works with companies and academic medical centers to study new drugs and devices on participants who get to stay at home. On Thursday, the company said it had raised an additional $40 million from investors in a round led by Lux Capital, Redmile Group, and PPD. The top drugmakers Novartis, Sanofi, and Amgen also chipped in, as did new investors like Mubadala Capital and old ones like Alphabet's GV. The startup has raised $140 million to date and wants to expand operations around the world, Science 37 told Business Insider.
Latest Healthcare Innovations
Digital health startup GoodRx is going public, and we dug through the 185-page filing to find 6 crucial details about the company's plans to provide affordable, direct-to-consumer care
GoodRx now joins the growing parade of companies in healthcare and technology that have filed to go public in 2020, marking a banner year for public offerings as markets continue to surpass all-time highs.Digital health and telehealth companies, in particular, have seen a surge in public market activity as the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in what some are calling a new era for the healthcare industry. Coronavirus-induced shutdowns have driven wary patients from doctor's offices and waiting rooms in favor of at-home care, spurring growth in an industry that had been previously considered niche.
What's Next for Telehealth? Opportunities for Innovation
While telehealth has accelerated in popularity, it is far from reaching its zenith. Tremendous innovation is needed to help it reach its potential. BDO USA, part of BDO International, an accounting network, published the 2020 Healthcare Digital Transformation Survey earlier this year. HealthLeaders spoke with Deb Sheehan and Chris Cooper, both managing directors of the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence and Innovation who were involved with the study, to obtain their insights regarding where opportunities for improvement exist in the virtual care arena.
CVS, Salesforce team up to unite return-to-work platforms
The "strategic relationship" announced Monday will unite Salesforce's Work.com workplace management platform, which allows for wellness monitoring and manual contract tracing, with CVS' Return Ready offering, which offers flexible tracking and insights on COVID-19 testing. Should an employer wish to deploy the two platforms in tandem, the services provided by both will be accessible through the Work.com system, the companies said.
The Integration of Learning Design and Public Health
Public health is emerging as a core expertise of learning design. Harm reduction is now being incorporated into the core principles of universal design. COVID-19 has forced instructional designers to optimize for health protection alongside student learning. For some unforeseeable future, colleges and universities will be navigating the twin goals of providing residential learning experiences while protecting the health of students, faculty, and staff. Planning for classroom activities now must adhere to guidelines on distancing, masks, and density.
Allscripts Enhances Healthcare Innovation With Patent Program
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. MDRX has recently been awarded five separate patents over the period of only eight days, which underscores its commitment toward delivering unique solutions to clients. The move also highlights its substantial momentum in health IT innovation. Notably, Allscripts’ robust patent program is anticipated to add several additional patents throughout the remaining period of 2020 via innovation to enhance care delivery and connect the overall patient experience.
Ten innovations in the fight against COVID-19
Around the world, organisations are deploying tried-and-tested technologies and developing new ones to accelerate healthcare innovation and fight the coronavirus. From revolutionary CRISPR techniques to 3D printing of personal protective equipment, here are ten of the most exciting examples.
COVID-19 crisis as a catalyst for innovation and equity in health care
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased, among other things, the use of telemedicine or “virtual appointments.” In the past three months, Dr. Samitt said, telehealth appointments have increased 100-fold. He speculated that we might even see the return of the “house call” and anticipated that in the future 50 percent of medical appointments might be face-to-face, 20 percent telehealth and 30 percent in-home care.
Trends in Virtual Care
Lyra Health Hits $1.1 Billion Valuation, As Coronavirus Boosts Need For Teletherapy
As employers grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a reckoning taking place in human resources departments around the country: the need for better mental healthcare for employees. Around one in four U.S. adults suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition and depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Lyra Health, which provides mental health benefits for large employers, became the latest healthcare technology startup to hit unicorn status on Tuesday, following a $110 million Series D round.
Large U.S. Employers Accelerating Adoption of Virtual Care, Mental Health Services for 2021, Business Group on Health Survey Finds
Large employers plan to expand virtual care offered to employees next year as well as double down on mental health and emotional well-being as they continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an annual survey by Business Group on Health. Employers project health benefits costs will rise by more than 5% in 2021 although the pandemic’s impact is fueling uncertainty about overall costs.
Hospital revenues and telehealth are among the top healthcare trends over the next year
Respondents were also asked about the staying power of telehealth, which has experienced a boom in popularity as the pandemic has driven many to seek virtual care. More than half, 54.9%, indicate that telehealth has the most staying power for routine care for patients with chronic conditions. Because these patients may have comorbidities to their chronic condition, they are likely in higher-risk categories and could benefit from reducing the number of in-person, face-to-face visits.
New trends in patient satisfaction emerge during COVID-19
RepuGen's most recent study – the second set of data we have analyzed since the pandemic started -- looked at data from the following practice groups over the last few months: Cardiology, Family Practice, Gynecology, OBGYN, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Primary Care, Sports Medicine and Urgent Care Center. Patient satisfaction with telehealth visits was higher than compared to office visits for Family Practice, Gynecology and Urgent Care. In the Pediatrics and Podiatry practices, the telehealth visits and office visits scored the same. This may suggest broad patient acceptance of telemedicine and perhaps a continued adoption of it long after the pandemic has subsided.