Keeping up with the latest news in the virtual care space is challenging. Wheel's Virtual Care News is a monthly newsletter for stakeholders in the digital health industry. As a subscriber, you'll receive timely information on trending news, regulatory updates, engaging conversations, and key innovations emerging in the space
Explore the latest trends, insights, and innovations covered at the virtual care industry’s largest conference, HLTH 2023, in November’s Virtual Care News roundup.
This month, we’re bringing you a special #HLTH2023 edition of our monthly newsletter. Here’s what you’ll find:
- 📣Top 11 announcements from HLTH and why they matter
- 📈 6 key emerging trends out of this year’s conference
- 🆕 The inaugural State of Health Tech 2023 report from Bessemer Venture Partners
- And much more!
Read time: 7.5 minutes
🚀 Top HLTH News
11 HLTH Announcements You Don’t Want to Miss
- General Catalyst wants to buy a health system
- Uber and Optum announce partnership
- Walgreens to begin delivering D2C virtual care
- Evernorth buys Bright.md’s technology platform
- Microsoft rolls out new analytics, AI tools for healthcare
- Best Buy will start selling continuous glucose monitors (powered by Wheel!)
- Google unveils new generative AI capabilities for healthcare
- Oura rolls out new features, teams up with Headspace and Thrive Global
- Health systems, payers launch collaborative for responsible generative AI deployment
- Sutter Health plans to build a health innovation center
- Clear goes deeper into healthcare with two new partnerships (Verato and b.well Connected Health)
Poll Results: Which Announcement Will Shake Up Our Industry Most?
We asked our LinkedIn followers which HLTH23 announcement will make the biggest impact on our industry, and here’s how they answered. Share your thoughts in the comments.
📊Trends & Insights
HLTH 2023: 6 Emerging Microtrends for Healthcare Innovators
1. Medicaid takes center stage. Medicaid is now the largest payer in the US, and innovators are increasingly seeing the opportunity to create value in this space.
2. The "startup ecosystem" is back in a big way. After a few years of relative quiet, the healthcare startup ecosystem is booming again, with new companies launching and raising record amounts of funding.
3. Founders and funders should put their money where the TAM is. The total addressable market (TAM) for healthcare is massive, but there are still significant opportunities in underserved areas, such as mental health and behavioral health.
4. AI, trust top payers' concerns. Payers are increasingly interested in AI solutions, but they are also concerned about issues such as trust and transparency. Innovators need to be able to address these concerns in order to succeed in this space.
5. Content is healthcare's newest market. People are increasingly consuming healthcare content online, and this is creating new opportunities for innovators.
6. Innovation abounds in Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) despite market shutdown. RPM is one of the fastest-growing areas of healthcare innovation, even though the market has been disrupted by the pandemic.
Industry Voices—The 'Care-ification' of Retail is Here
It's clear that retailers are embracing the challenge of healthcare transformation, with major HLTH announcements from Walgreens, Walmart, and Best Buy. This could be good news for patients, but it’s important also to be aware of the potential risks. In this article, Wheel’s CEO Michelle Davey discusses how this ‘care-ification’ of retail is changing the healthcare industry.
Heard at HLTH: Healthcare Execs Share Perspectives on AI, Virtual Health and Value-based Care
Where will we see consolidation in digital health this year? How will AI enhance the virtual care platforms? What are the biggest challenges with value-based care? Medcity News asked executives from some of the biggest names in health tech what they are doing to address some of the biggest pain points in healthcare.
Medcity News >
🤔 First Opinions & Engaging Conversations
HLTH23: Experts Debate the Flaws, Future of Medicare Advantage
SCAN Group CEO Sachin Jain and consultant (former Trinity Health CEO) Rick Gilfillan sat down at HLTH to discuss the flaws and potential future of Medicare Advantage. While Jain believes MA has a strong foundation and can be improved upon, Gilfillan argues that MA should come to an end or seniors should have a more inclusive traditional Medicare option. The coverage from the discussion offers further insight into the value potential of MA at large.
Fierce Healthcare >
Making the Pitch: What Cigna Is Looking for From Potential Partners
How can you stand out when pitching yourself to health plans? Heather Dlugolenski, Cigna's SVP and U.S. Commercial Strategy Officer, shared tips on how to do this during an interview with Fierce Healthcare at HLTH. Dlugolenski suggests that you start by emphasizing the one thing your company does "better than anyone else." She gave an example from Cigna's concierge care platform, Pathwell, and explained how Evernorth became their preferred partner.
Fierce Healthcare >
⚖️ Policy & Regulatory Updates
GLP-1s for Weight Loss Leave Employers in a Bind Over Coverage
GLP-1 coverage was another major throughline from HLTH23. Unaffordable medication is not new to healthcare, but these high priced meds are typically for rare conditions. GLP-1 is unique in that it has the potential to help over 40% of Americans who are obese. This leaves employers in a bind between fostering employee healthcare access and bankrupting themselves by doing so. This ‘GLP-1 Squeeze on Employers’ was discussed on a HLTH panel featuring Blackstone’s Andreas Mang, Virta Health’s Chief People Officer, Lucia Guillory, Ro’s Chief Medical Officer Melynda Barnes, and Omada Health’s Wei-Li Shao.
Healthcare Dive >
Sheppard Mullin’s Top 10 Takeaways From HLTH 2023
The healthcare industry is undergoing a rapid transformation, driven by tech innovation, changing consumer preferences, and constant regulatory shifts. Healthcare lawyers need to stay ahead of the curve in this evolving landscape. Sheppard Mullin's top 10 takeaways from the HLTH 2023 conference provide a valuable roadmap for lawyers navigating the key trends and challenges shaping the future of healthcare.
JD Supra >
✨ Growth & Innovation
NEW! State of Health Tech 2023
Leading VC firm, Bessemer Venture Partners, unveiled its State of Health Tech report at HLTH this year. In their inaugural annual report, they delve into the recent performance of the health tech sector and identify opportunities for the next cohort of emerging private companies to drive long-term value.
HLTH 2023 Conference: Key Investing Takeaways
During a panel discussion titled "The Great Leveling Out," moderated by Sofia Guerra of Bessemer Venture Partners, investors provided insights into the current state of play in digital health markets. The panel consisted of Laura Veroneau, Managing Director of Optum Ventures, Andrew Adams, Managing Director of Oak HC/FT, and Nick Richtt, Managing Director of JPMorgan. The discussion covered the topic from early-stage to mature private equity (PE) financed to public strategic buyers.
Here are the 5 key takeaways from that discussion:
1. Investors are looking for companies that can make a profit quickly, rather than just grow their market share.
2. Experienced teams that can handle tough times and come up with creative solutions are key to survive through choppy waters.
3. Healthcare investment opportunities include Medicaid, virtual care collaborations, and niche areas.
4. Investors need tangible success stories to justify investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
5. To get investment, companies need to solve long-term problems, have verified data, focus on a growing market, have good profit margins, and have a strong team.
Best Buy to Sell Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems - Facilitated by Wheel
As announced at HLTH, Best Buy will soon offer eligible customers prescription continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs) delivered to their home. Facilitated by Wheel's consumer-centric virtual care platform and HealthDyne's pharmacy technology, Best Buy will sell the Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System to eligible customers through BestBuy.com.
“We know how important it is for people living with diabetes to have access to the solutions they need to better care for themselves,” said Deborah Di Sanzo, president of Best Buy Health. “Providing a simplified experience that allows customers to take control of their health is another great example of how we enable care at home for everyone.”