Digital health research from Brian Dolan
Welcome back to E&O Mondays, the free newsletter from Exits & Outcomes that features health tech puzzles and trivia, new and under-the-radar funding news, paid content teasers and other digital health odds and ends.
In this issue:
- Seven under-the-radar or not-yet-reported health tech funding deals.
- And a new Health Tech Rebus Puzzle…
- No time like the present: Consider becoming a fully-fledged, paying subscriber to E&O by clicking right here…
Two things to chew on:
- Apparently, on New Year’s Eve day, HHS posted a web page entitled: “HIPPA Violation File a Complaint” with the URL to match. This typo might just be a savvy SEO tactic? But at what cost?
- The state of Kentucky recently updated some of its laws related to telehealth and digital health, which, of course, meant the legislature needed to define those terms. (This is pretty much the only time a definition for industry jargon really matters.) The exclusion criteria they adopted is rather rough for digital health companies that rely on text or chat-based care. It sort of reminds me of the old exclusions for asynchronous telehealth, which Kentucky makes clear in these updates is included. But chat-based care… well, read it: “The definition of ‘telehealth’ or ‘digital health’ specifically excludes e-mail, text, chat or facsimile unless a state agency, through the promulgation of an administrative regulation, determines that health care services can be delivered through these modalities in ways that enhance the health and well-being of the recipient and meet all clinical and technology guidelines for recipient safety and appropriate delivery of services; and Basic communication between a health care provider and a patient such as appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, and voicemail.”
Seven secret (or under-reported) health tech funding deals from the past two weeks
Instead of rehashing the dozens of funding deals you’ve already read elsewhere, I focused this week on half a baker’s dozen that you likely have not yet read about (Most of these are in E&O first, but two did already get a mention in local business journals.)
$7.3 million – Evry Health – A health insurance company backed by Y Combinator. In a recent job ad the company revealed a little bit more about its ambitions: “Evry Health is a startup technology company and health insurer, backed by Y Combinator and several Silicon Valley venture capital funds. We build better health insurance for mid-size businesses and their employees, that costs up to 20% less. The company headquarters are in Dallas, TX, USA.” Site
$5.1 million in debt and other securities – Season – This is an interesting one that is still quiet. Season’s CEO Josh Hix (founder of food delivery company Plated) was a guest on a16z’s podcast in November and its CTO had a brief stint at Redesign Health. One of Season’s board members is at LRVHealth. I’d guess most or all of those investors are backing this startup? Here’s what they do: “We’re building the world’s first Digital Food Farmacy to reverse chronic disease and reduce the total cost of care. Season integrates technology with expert nutrition guidance to serve up recipes and meals that help fight chronic disease and improve health to make the most out of mealtime every day. Season doesn’t just provide thousands of options, but food the entire household will actually love!” Site
$4 million – Huxley Medical – This wearable medical device-maker is keeping pretty quiet. Its website is just a logo as of this writing, but a grant for an SBIR project sheds some light on what it is working on: “The proposed SBR Phase I project will advance the development of a sensor platform for a wireless device to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. The project will explore the feasibility of new sensing modalities to provide sufficient diagnostic information with a single wireless patch. The innovation stems from: (1) use of novel cardiorespiratory sensing modalities and machine learning to determine respiratory events and arousals from disordered breathing, and (2) integration of multiple sensing modalities into a chest-worn patch to provide a complete assessment of sleep apnea severity according to established clinical guidelines.” SBIR Project Page
$1.1 million in debt (convertible promissory notes) – SkinIO initially developed mole checkers and monitoring software that aims to prevent skin cancer, but in April 2020 — during the pandemic — the company extended its business into virtual care: “SkinIO Teledermatology turned to its history in mole-mapping and total body photography to design an app that guides patients to take the best possible photos that provide both standardized and contextual images for dermatologists to review.” Site
$1.5 million – TeleVet, formerly known as Horse Facts Inc., offers a virtual care platform that connects veterinarians to their existing clients. Here’s how the company pitches themselves: “all-in-one platform that streamlines your scheduling, communication, and payments, so you and your team can stay focused on doing the work you love.” Site
$750,000 – HealthJay – “A software company that offers seniors, caregivers, and family and friends an ecosystem of care products including JayPad (tablet and tablet app), JayWatch (smart-watch and smart-watch app), JayMobile (cell phone app) and FlightDeck (web admin portal). These products are designed with easy-to-use features for seniors living in communities as well as those staying at home.” Site
$260,000 in debt and other securities – EqualityMD reminds me a little bit of Folx Health: “EqualityMD will connect you to inclusive healthcare professionals on any device, from anywhere, at any time. You’ll be able to receive medical advice from LGBTQ+ culturally competent providers, fill prescriptions, discover alternative treatments and find solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. You’ll also be able to connect with other patients to create virtual community centers where you can privately discuss anything you like… from health and general wellness topics to community and lifestyle matters.” Site
Health Tech Rebus Puzzle (plus bonus Trivia)
In the last E&O Mondays issue, I failed to reveal the previous week’s puzzle answer (even though I listed out a few winners.) For those of you who got stuck on it, the answer was:
“Someday we will just call it health.”
There’s a new Rebus puzzle below.
Here’s how to play: This kind of puzzle is called a Rebus. Write down or think of the word for what’s pictured in each box as a starting point. Then swap letters (if you see =), or remove letters (when you see -), or add letters (when you see +) at the beginning, middle, or end of the words as noted. Then sound it out.
Hint: This is what some entrepreneurs tell journalists in response to a common interview question.
Hit reply if you figure it out… BONUS: I learned a fun bit of trivia in recent weeks while tracking down a curious FDA clearance for E&O’s paying subscribers. Trivia Question: The CEO of which digital health company was on the team that discovered the Higgs boson particle (the “God Particle) back in 2012?