May 28, 2019

Penn Medicine and PBM giant Express Scripts launched interesting new models last week that could aid digital health innovation. Penn Medicine is offering up its machine learning algorithms in an open source platform as a free service for users. By making complex algorithms available in a user-friendly interface, Penn Medicine hopes to accelerate biomedical research. It is unclear if or how Express Scripts will monetize its efforts to curate digital health startups, which it refers to as a “digital health formulary.”

Both initiatives could help spur innovation. Penn Medicine’s initiative could be a test bed for advanced analytics startups looking for curated patient medical information or to simply leverage the platform to build new solutions. The new digital formulary from Express Scripts – which is positioned as a service to health insurance companies, much like traditional pharmaceutical formulary services – could potentially ease the pathways to client acquisition and revenues for startups that are struggling to stay afloat. This could also reverse the current trend of venture capital shifting away from early-stage companies by VC’s who have been leaning towards larger rounds for late-stage capital raising by fewer companies.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

Building Digital-Ready Culture in Traditional Organizations

Digital transformation doesn’t have to mean becoming a different company. This piece from MIT Sloan Review talks about four key values of digital culture and playing to your strengths.

Improving Health Care by Gamifying It

The rising importance of gamification and behavioral economics in experience design highlights the need for an interdisciplinary approach to health and wellness management.

Health Concerns May Slow Rollout of Super-Fast 5G Mobile Networks, Analyst Warns

Concerns about the health risks of radio frequencies from 5G networks could slow down digital deployments in health systems.

Using Data to Provide Better Health Care to New York’s Homeless

Using digital tools for social and community impact is just as important as transforming a business. Great case study of NYC hospitals helping the homeless.

Amazon reportedly developing emotion-sensing wearable device

Amazon gets into voice analysis for mental health.

Patterns in capital concentration among digital health startups

The skinny on digital health funding; fewer early-stage companies are getting funded, and most of the funding is going to a handful of late-stage companies.

CEO Power Panel: Patient access is the next frontier for health systems

The biggest focus area for healthcare digital transformation is access. Interesting findings in this report from Modern Healthcare.

Penn Medicine debuts free machine learning platform

Penn Medicine opens up its M/L algorithms for biomedical research.

Express Script prepares to launch stand-alone digital health formulary in 2020

A big PBM/ payer takes on the task of curating tech startups and solutions.

The latest from Damo Consulting

LetsVenture to invest in early-stage healthcare startups

Damo Consulting CEO Paddy Padmanabhan joins as a healthcare advisor to this Angel Fund.

The WITCH Monthly Monitor: Monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare

IT consulting firms post mixed results for their healthcare segment in the March quarter.

Podcast – Episode #14: With John M. Kravitz, Chief Information Officer, Geisinger Health

Healthcare IT podcast: “We are standardizing our platforms to be more efficient and cost-effective.”

The WITCH Report: 2018 Annual Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology firms in healthcare.


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