4 themes. Color Genomics interview. Oscar revenue. 
CB Insights celebration

A Healthcare Yearbook

Happy holidays everyone!

2017 has been...quite the year, healthcare and otherwise. With so much happening let's recap on some of this year's major trends across the health space.

Healthcare focused on the consumer relationship in 2017

Carriers realized that they had to own the consumer's first touchpoint with the health system to control cost, making sure people didn't see doctors unnecessarily or get other tests and services they didn't need.

CVS realized its valuable retail footprint was the healthcare touchpoint for many consumers and bought Aetna to take advantage of that. UnitedHealth bought Davita Medical Group to build out its direct care services (among other things). And our analysis on Oscar showed that it's trying to encourage its members to use the telemedicine option first when they're sick (seen in some of its earliest patents).

Simultaneously we saw companies go the consumer/wellness route to establish their brand and relationship with consumers before moving into healthcare. Fitbit went from fitness tracking to monitoring sleep apnea, while 23andme pioneered the direct-to-consumer kit model, going from ancestry to clinical uses like hereditary disease risk. These companies have a relationship with consumers and make money from their wellness side business, a valuable place to be.

We'll be talking about more trends in the consumerization of healthcare in our research briefing on January 4th, join us.

Big Tech inches to healthcare

You know who has great direct-to-consumer relationships? Tech giants. We saw many of the major tech companies start circling the waters closer and closer to healthcare. 

Apple has made the most concrete steps, as we outlined in our Apple in healthcare teardown. Among its many advantages, Apple and other tech companies have a significant amount of scale. This is a necessity when sitting at the healthcare table.

Amazon has been eyeing the pharmaceutical and medical distribution space but hasn't made any concrete moves, while Google intends to bring its expertise in AI to diagnostics, population health, and drug discovery. And if they're not building it themselves, almost every tech giant is investing or acquiring companies in healthcare.

Pharma adds services and outcomes-based pricing model 

The combination of genetics flooding the market and generally lower ROI on R&D for drugs has pushed pharma companies to change things up a bit.

Kymriah was a breakthrough for CAR-T cell therapies, but also indicated one of the first times a pharma giant has pushed for an outcomes-based pricing model together with CMS based on the drug's efficacy. In parallel, we saw more pharma companies take an interest in digital therapeutics, which has always been an outcomes-based business. Roche, for example, acquired diabetes management company mySugr earlier this year.

Digital therapeutics also represents a services approach to treatment, a departure from pharma's typical goods/product core competency. Another area we saw this is with Otsuka and Proteus Digital Health, where we discussed Otsuka adding a services element to help differentiate its now off-patent drug Abilify to compete with the flood of generics.

The cutting edge of biology and tech

Finally, we saw some awesome breakthroughs in healthcare. AI, one of the hottest tech trends as a whole, saw the most activity in healthcare (as seen on our AI deals tracker). Everything from patient risk, to chatbots, to drug discovery saw an AI application. However, we're still waiting for big success stories here.

On the biology side we saw our first approved CAR-T cell therapy and more experiments using CRISPR/Cas 9, including the first embryo gene edit in the US. At our A-Ha! conference we spoke to Othman Laraki of Color Genomics, who told us how its using CRISPR today.

The really "out there" stuff is still in the pipeline though, including bioprinting, neuro technology, and new diagnostics. We took a look at the companies in our healthcare horizons report.

Stay healthy,


P.S. What do you think is going to happen in 2018 in healthcare and what are you excited about?
This Week in Digital Health

A curated mix of recent articles on digital health financings, exits, announcements, hirings, partnerships & perspectives.

Notable Deals

Bigfinite financing. Bigfinite, developer of data analytics and AI tools for improving the pharma manufacturing process, raised $8.5M in seed funding from investors including Crosslink Capital, Uncork Capital, and La Famiglia.
PR Newswire

Asimov raises funding. Asimov, which develops computer-aided biology design tools, raised $4.7M in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz.

Flagship Pioneering raises $618M. VC firm Flagship Pioneering announced its $618M fund for life sciences startups geared towards biotech, medical tech, and bio-agriculture businesses.

MyBrainSolutions financing. MyBrainSolutions, which develops software-based brain assements and training, raised $20M from Bell Potter Securities and Gleneagle Securities.

Theranos raises $100M. Theranos, developer of biomedical devices, raised $100M in debt financing from PE firm Fortress Investment Group.
Wall Street Journal

Artemis Health Series B. Artemis Health, which develops a data insights platform for self-insured employers that want to reduce healthcare spending, raised another $6.7M Series B from F-Prime Capital, Kickstart Seed Fund, and Maverick Ventures.

1DOC3 raises. Colombia-based 1DOC3, developer of a e-health web and mobile platform for Spanish-speakers to connect with doctors, raised $2M in seed funding from Mountain Nazca Ventures and TheVentureCity.
Colombia Focus

CureFit Series B. India-based CureFit, developer of preventative and curative healthcare products and solutions, raised $1.09M Series B from Bruno Raschle and Endiya Partners.

Medixine financing. Finland-based Medixine, which develops patient engagement software solutions, raised $2.37M in seed financing from Mahindra Group.
ET Tech


HealthLoop partners with Sherbit. HealthLoop, which develops a cloud-based software providing patient engagement with healthcare team, is partnering with HIPAA-compliant data analytics company Sherbit.

Intermountain creates app. Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit health system, has created an app to monitor and identify heart failure conditions that communicate the results to a patient's doctor.
Healthcare IT News

Mint Health's Vidamint Tokens. Healthcare blockchain startup Mint Health introduced its Vidamint Tokens as incentives for encouraging and rewarding healthy behaviors for patients.
HIT Consultant

Collective Health expands. Employee health benefits provider Collective Health announced its planned 2018 expansion with increased client base and members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Business Wire

Babyscripts + MedStar Health. Prenatal care startup Babyscripts is partnering with MedStar Health system to offer a "Mommy Kit," - an iPhone app, wireless weight scale, and wireless blood pressure cuff for increased patient engagement.
Healthcare IT News

Gene therapy cures deafness.Gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 was used in mice DNA to prevent them from going completely deaf.
The Verge

Oscar's $1B revenue prediction. Health insurer Oscar Health predicts a $1B revenue and an enrollment of 250,000 members in 2018.

Machine learning + MRI. Recently published on JAMA, this study integrated fetal MRI features and machine learning to predict clinical management in children with fetal ventriculomegaly, the enlargement of cerebral ventricles in utero.
Journal of the American Medical Association

Articles & Perspectives

What comes after CRISPR? With the rise of gene-editing technology of CRISPR, many are predicting novel ways that it can be further manipulated to cure disease and potentially, "nudge evolution."

How medical journals can mislead. An article from the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at clinical outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease has recently received criticism for exaggerating the medical benefits associated with the drug.

Christmas in the ICU. Daniela Lamas, M.D. (@danielamasmd) narrates her experience working during the holiday season through her medical training and the difficult news she had to deliver to a patient's family on Christmas Day.
New York Times
If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
All the data in this newsletter comes from CB Insights. Join NEA, Cisco & hundreds of other clients and get access to the industry's best private company data.

Sign up for access.
Copyright © 2017 CB Insights, All rights reserved.