Healthcare in politics, week 1Read more...
Virtual care, week of 6/19/20
In a strange way, healthcare seems to be reverting back to a style that had gone out of fashion many years ago, with an increased amount of health taking place in the home. There are now around 12 million people who are now getting in-home care, from more than 33,000 providers, and last year the annual expenditures for home health care were projected to be over $72 billion.
This is thanks, in large part, to technology and, more specifically, to connected in-home devices that can easily collect and send data to a physician in real-time. This allows patients to be monitored remotely, without constant trips to the doctor, and for physicians to do more timely interventions based on patterns picked up by AI and machine learning.
In July, Vator, HP and UCSF Health Hub will be holding an event centered around these devices, and how they are affecting the healthtech space. Every week until then we will be doing a roundup of some of the news around in-home devices and what some of the major tech companies are up to in this space.
Cloud communications company Vonage enabled personal health record storage platform liveClinic to offer a new Virtual Field Clinic service during the COVID-19 crisis through the Vonage Video API.
The Virtual Field Clinic is a backed by volunteer physicians, residents and other healthcare professionals, who are offering their services for free to remote communities in need access to non-emergency telehealth triage.
One of the first communities to connect to the Virtual Field Clinic was a remote tribal village in Alaska's Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta region with a population of 600 people. The village is located roughly two hours away from any healthcare institutions. Community leaders were able to connect with the Virtual Field Clinic team via video sessions and receive advice on how to best prepare their school gymnasium to serve as a field hospital, as well as how to establish protocols for their shared computer lab in a way that enables remote health consults while adhering to health and safety guidelines.
"When our team of healthcare professionals saw the immense need for telehealth support brought on by COVID-19, we knew we needed to adapt our existing software platform to allow our vision for a Virtual Field Clinic to become reality," Joydeep Bhattacharyya, founder and CEO of liveClinic, said in a statement. "Something like this had never been done before, and we needed to work quickly to connect a distributed network of unaffiliated healthcare volunteers to meet the needs of communities around the world. The Vonage Video API provides security, scalability, and reliable audio/video quality that allows our team to help people where they are."
Rosy, a technology platform providing tools for women with low sexual desire, launched a specialized telehealth service, called Rosy Telehealth, which enables virtual care visits for women experiencing issues with intimacy or a loss of sexual desire.
Rosy Telehealth connects women with physicians, psychologists, and therapists to address the physical and mental aspects of sexual health issues. Services include one-on-one appointments with specialized physicians that are able to prescribe necessary medications and other interventions to treat these issues. The service is currently available in Texas.
Virtual sessions start at $100 per visit with a licensed provider specializing in women's sexual health.
"Women's sexual health has been in desperate need of appropriate research, funding, and treatment options for far too long," Dr. Lyndsey Harper, MD, FACOG, IF, founder and CEO of Rosy, said in a statement. "I founded Rosy to be part of a growing movement by healthcare providers and other experts to create more access to specialized care and solutions in this area. We also aim to change society's conversation about women and sex to be more positive, open, and approachable. Rosy Telehealth will be an important step towards that change."
Founded in 2017, Rosy's mobile platform helps women improve their intimacy and relationships by connecting them to virtual care, educational content, self-help classes, erotica, and to a like-minded community. The platform has 2,600 healthcare providers who are referring patients to the tool.
The company has raised $1 million in venture funding from Social Starts, Joyance Partners, Alex Snodgrass and James Beshara.
Telehealth company Ro partnered with and healthcare data platform Ribbon Health, so that Ro's patients can use Ribbon's directory of primary and specialty healthcare providers to access in-person care. Through this partnership, Ro-affiliated providers will be able to connect patients to the appropriate in-person provider, and patients can filter results by insurance coverage, languages spoken, and provider gender.
“Ro’s mission is to become a patient’s first call for all of their healthcare needs, and when that means guiding them to the right in-person care, we want that experience to be as simple and as easy as possible,” Zachariah Reitano, co-founder and CEO of Ro, said in a statement. “Ro’s partnership with Ribbon Health showcases what’s possible when we start to connect telehealth and in-person care more closely -- expanding access to care, increasing transparency around price and quality of care, and promoting the continuity of patient care.”
Launched in in 2017, Ro has facilitated more than 4 million digital healthcare visits across its three digital health clinics: Roman, for men’s health; Rory, for women’s health; and Zero, for fighting addiction to smoking. The company has raised $176.1 million from investors that include 3L Capital, FirstMark, Torch Capital, Initialized Capital, Tusk Venture Partners, BoxGroup, Sinai Ventures, Eric Glyman, Slow Ventures, Karim Atiyeh, General Catalyst, SignalFire, Forbes.com, Prehype, Philip Krim and Liz Wessel.
Ribbon Health, which was founded in 2016, gives health plans, providers systems and digital health companies data that is both up to date and easy to access. It provides its customers with an API layer that can be integrated into any healthcare organization’s workflow and UX. That then API layer continuously then improves the accuracy of the platform’s data. Ribbon provides it customers to access to data via a single platform.
It has raised $10.3 million from investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, BoxGroup, Flatiron Health CEO Nat Turner, Clover Health co-founder and CEO Vivek Garipalli, and DataLogix CEO Eric Roza.
Target is offering its employees access to virtual care through CirrusMD, a platform that offers a chat-first virtual care solution.
Cirrus' platform allows patients to not text directly with their own doctor, but with other resources as well, including specialists, pharmacists, behavioral health professionals, and even non-clinical resources like schedulers and financial services. The texts are self documented, so there is a complete record of the entire interaction.
This is a part of a COVID-19 benefits package that Target is putting together for its workers, which also includes vulnerable paid leave for team members who are 65 or older, pregnant or those with underlying medical conditions; free backup care for all U.S. team members through the end of August; paid leave options for team members who are symptomatic, have a confirmed case of coronavirus, or have been quarantined due to exposure; and free counseling sessions, along with new anxiety and sleep resources.
“The most important investments we make are in our team. I have tremendous gratitude for the way our team members show up with such purpose and pride for our guests, communities and one another,” Melissa Kremer, Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer, said in a statement. “These investments help ensure that team members can build meaningful careers, take care of themselves and their families and contribute to building our communities through their work inside and outside of Target.”
Founded in 2012, CirrusMD has raised $27.6 million from investors that include Drive Capital and Colorado Impact Fund.
(Image source: deloitte.com)
Read more from our "The Future of Healthcare" series
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Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
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CirrusMD partners health plans to create happier, healthier and more engaged members by connecting them to high-quality care conversation. CirrusMD’s chat-first virtual care platform enables continuous access in seconds to board-certified physicians across 50 states from any web-enabled device, providing members with seamless care conversation that happens on their terms. Designed to deliver an unparalleled user experience and barrier-free access, the CirrusMD platform drives average member utilization rates of up to triple telehealth industry averages. CirrusMD has partnered with the nation’s leading payers and integrated delivery networks to help millions of members and patients access extraordinary virtual care. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, CirrusMD is led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Altorfer and co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Blake McKinney, M.D.
Joined Vator on
Social Starts is a $20M+ venture fund family. We support entrepreneurs whose companies serve the Social Construct, that change in human behavior generated by social/mobile technology. We invest at the moment of inception and Series A in 5 primary areas: media, marketing analytics, social platforms, mobile commerce and Internet of Things software. Our team has developed dominant media, research and tech companies in the 3 modern tech revolutions – PC, Internet and Social. Our portfolio companies benefit from the resulting rich perspective and world-class connections, a mutually supportive community of more than 130 fellow start-ups, and support from our LPs, who include leading figures in software development, marketing and media from 3 continents.
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Ribbon Health is a health care data platform that provides the critical infrastructure that payers, providers, and digital health solutions need to enable accurate provider directories, reliable referral management, and efficient care navigation.
Ribbon offers a seamless API layer that integrates into each health care organization's existing workflow to build connectivity across the industry and continuously improve the accuracy of its data with its spread and use.
Ribbon is the only solution to offer all of these capabilities in one platform, and delivers the most comprehensive data on doctors, insurance plans, and the cost and quality of care culled from thousands of sources.
By providing this infrastructure, Ribbon delivers on its mission of making it easy for every health care decision to be high-quality, cost effective, and convenient.