Pharma exit decline. Deepmind deep dive. Medical-grade wearables.
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Jawbroken? Jawb-owned? 

The big news from this past week is that hardware company Jawbone is in the process of liquidating its assets. This was a nearly 20 year journey with almost $1B of financing going into the company, along with some pretty onerous financing terms along the way. We analyzed the company from start to finish here

Jawbone rode the wearables hype train, reaching a peak valuation above $3B in 2014. But a couple of years ago sentiment around consumer wearables changed. The companies as a whole have not had the wild success that was promised. Super high abandonment rates are one issue, but exits in the space have been pretty lackluster too. Even poster child Fitbit has not exactly blown up in public markets (well, at least in the positive connotation).

Jawbone's valuation decline was probably a leading indicator for Fitbit's. But as its public company comparable started to slide, it certainly did not help Jawbone whose terms got more onerous.

The interesting development is how wearables are now going into the medical-grade area. Fitbit has dabbled in clinical trials in the past, the Apple Watch has medical-grade ECG straps from AliveCor and ResearchKit. Even Jawbone's founder is apparently starting a health wearable company.

Companies once avoided the regulatory overhead of medical grade hardware, but now it's become a way to create actionable data in clinical settings. This was the quantified-self movement's dilemma: it couldn't create data that people trusted and there wasn't much you could do once you had it. A doctor is rarely going to take the data seriously without it going through a rigorous testing process. 

However medical device makers should keep these companies in mind. Strong consumer brands getting into healthcare is a trend we've talked about before, and represents a different way of thinking for traditional incumbents. We talked about this and other trends in a previous med device webinar.

We made a collection of wearables company, both medical-grade and otherwise. Check it out here

Stay healthy,

P.S. We have another webinar about what's happening in pharma tomorrow, sign up here.

Jawbone’s Valuation History Gave Early Hints As To Its Eventual End

At least 3 other consumer electronic companies have failed in 2017, including Electric Objects just this week. See the analysis.
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Pharma IPO Market Picks Back Up, As Overall Exits Decline

Notable exits of 2017 so far include the acquisition of Delinia by Celgene and the IPO of Jounce Therapeutics. See the trends.
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This Week in Digital Health

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

Notable Deals

Biovotion raises. Zurich-based Biovotion, a wearable physiology monitoring startup, has raised $3.1M from STMicroelectronics and the Swiss Reinsurance Company, among others investors.
Startup Ticker

Healthify Series A. Healthify, which helps healthcare organizations find community services and coordinate referrals, raised a $6.5M Series A from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners, and Activate Venture Partners.

Genoox Series A. Genoox, a cloud platform for genomic data management, has raised a $6M Series A led by Glilot Capital Partners and Inimiti Capital Partners.

Solera Health. Solera Health, a SaaS platform for managing chronic disease prevention, has raised an $18.3M Series B from Sandbox Industries.

Workit Health raises seed. Workit Health, a 90-day digital program for addiction therapy, has raised $2.8M from investors including Lux Capital, Montage Ventures, and RRE Ventures.

MobileODT Series B. Israel-based MobileODT, a developer of mobile cancer screening devices, has raised a $6.83M Series B led by OrbiMed Advisors and Tristel.

BaseHealth financing. BaseHealth, a health management platform that integrates genomic data with behavioral analysis, raised $4.54M from HBM Genomics, according to an SEC filing we picked up.

eHealthScreenings acquired. eHealthScreenings, a software development company focused on biometric screening technology, was acquired by Tennessee-based Premise Health.


Oscar + Humana. Oscar Health's small business unit, Oscar for Business, is launching a joint venture with insurance giant Humana which will focus on commercial health insurance for small businesses. The plan will launch this fall.

Nomad Health extends service to nurses. Nomad Health, an online marketplace used by freelance doctors to find work, is expanding their service to address the nursing market and will be starting in Texas.
Business Insider

monARC Bionetworks launches first trial. Palo Alto-based monARC Bionetworks, a digital research platform for clinical trials, has launched its first connected clinical trial targeting idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 

Jawbone liquidated. Jawbone, an 18-year-old developer of wearable fitness devices, has closed its doors as its CEO Hosain Rahman shifts his focus into health products, recently founding Jawbone Health Hub.

Algorithms and arrhythmias. Stanford computer scientists trained a deep neural network model on a large set of ECG data collected by heart monitoring company iRhythm. The algorithm now performs better than trained cardiologists.

Michael Phelps. The most decorated Olympian in history has joined the board of mental health startup Medibio, developers of objective tests for the management of depression, chronic stress, and other disorders.

Facebook in Nigeria. The product of a hackathon in Nigeria sponsored by Facebook, Swift Emergency Care will launch as the first online emergency response care system in the country.
Ventures Africa

Glooko and Novo Nordisk's new appThe two companies have announced the launch of their Cornerstones4Care diabetes management app, marking the first jointly developed product to evolve from their collaboration.

Articles & Perspectives

First DeepMind Health report. A panel of independent reviewers has published its first annual report into DeepMind Health with topics including data storage, regulatory adherence, and workforce implications.

Digital health, post-Brexit. Dr. Eric Miller reviews the impact Brexit will continue to have on the European healthcare system, with a focus on digital health services such as telemedicine.
International Travel & Health Insurance Journal

Smart medicine. Cardiologist and Professor Eric Topol (@erictopol) discusses the implications of the rising tide of digital health, including issues around data ownership, remote monitoring, and genomic medicine.
Wall Street Journal
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