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Paddy Padmanabhan

Appetite for Disruption, anyone?

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Issue 106

This past week saw several new announcements that could redefine healthcare as we know it. Amazon Care declared that it would offer virtual primary care and home care in all 50 states starting May. Read my piece in Healthcare IT News where I describe why this is a big deal.

The Livongo team, fresh from the successful sale of their company to industry leader Teladoc in late 2020, has started a new venture named Transcarent that offers transparency and choice in healthcare services to employers. Here’s the kicker – Transcarent will get paid based only on outcomes. Forbes magazine calls it “concierge medicine on steroids.”

General Catalyst, the VC firm behind Livongo and Transcarent, is spreading its bets. It has teamed up with healthcare provider Jefferson Health to launch Tendo, a software company that provides a digital patient engagement platform. 

What will other digital health companies do to respond to the threat of deep-pocketed disruptors entering the market? Consolidate, of course. We saw at least one merger – Grand Rounds and Doctor on Demand – that seems to be a response to intensifying competition. Others want to just take the money and run. There is a convenient option available for them – it’s called a SPAC. Casey Ross of STAT writes about the “perfect storm” for investors in SPACs in the digital health space.

Separately, a thoughtful piece in HBR by the CEO of The Commonwealth Fund points to pandemic-fueled consolidations and a deeper concern around acquisitions by health insurers that could increase prices for consumers. Coincidentally, the AHA voiced its opposition this week to the proposed $8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare by United Health group’s Optum unit citing concerns about the concentration of healthcare data with a dominant market player.

I am excited about my upcoming webinar this week with guest Sara Vaezy, Chief Digital Strategy officer of Providence Health. I will be sharing insights from our new research with CHIME on digital maturity in health systems. If you are a CHIME member you can register here. Look forward to seeing you.

In my latest podcast episode, I interview Dr. Rich Parker, Chief Medical Officer at Arcadia and Jennifer Polello, Senior Director of Quality and Population Health at Community Health Plan of Washington. Take a listen.

Have a great week. 


Podcast of the Week

In this episode, Dr. Rich Parker and Jennifer Polello discuss their vaccination distribution program, challenges around vaccine hesitancy, and how they have overcome this. 

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This Week in Digital Health Markets

We are selectively featuring guest posts in our newsletter from senior leaders in healthcare and technology. Reach out to us if you would like to contribute a blog to one of our upcoming newsletters

Amazon Care is a big deal – here’s why

With its promise of virtual care in all 50 states, this is the first time a big tech firm will be directly in the healthcare services business. Will it be another failed experiment, or the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for? Healthcare IT News

‘Concierge Medicine On Steroids’ Startup Raised $40 Million To Disrupt Employer-Sponsored Care

The Livongo team aims to repeat its spectacular success with a radically new approach to employer-based care. Forbes

Grand Rounds strikes merger with Doctor on Demand

Consolidation or shakeout? Digital health providers are starting to come together. Right now.MedCity News

Jefferson Health, General Catalyst partner to launch digital health engagement platform

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health and General Catalyst teamed up with healthcare software company Tendo to launch a new digital engagement platform that connects patients, clinicians and caregivers. Becker’s Hospital Review 

The Pandemic Will Fuel Consolidation in U.S. Health Care

Concentration in the U.S. healthcare sector has been on the rise over the past two decades. The authors point to the potential downsides for consumers and the erosion of competition.Harvard Business Review

AHA Urges DOJ to investigate Optum’s acquisition of Change Healthcare

The argument centers around the concentration of patient data in the hands of Optum. AHA

How the wave of telehealth SPACs during the pandemic could create a ‘perfect storm’ for investors

Take the money and runHarvard Business Review 

AI Should Augment Human Intelligence, Not Replace It

A new perspective on AI by a Chess Grandmaster. Harvard Business Review 

ONC chief Micky Tripathi talks public health data systems and ‘health equity by design’

Speaking at Sirona Strategies’ Health IT Leadership Roundtable, newly-minted National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi offered an overview of ONC’s strategic priorities for the near future, and described how the agency is doing tactical work on wider Biden administration policy goals.Healthcare IT News 

Apple next tech company to add Vacine Finder tool

Apple users will now be able to use Maps and Siri to search available vaccine locationsMobiHealth News

Note: Some of the articles linked in this newsletter may be behind paywalls that need a subscription.


Digital Maturity in Health Systems – The DigiM Framework and How to Use it

In this webinar, Paddy Padmanabhan and Sara Vaezy, Chief Digital Strategy and Business Development Officer of Providence Health will discuss a roadmap for digital transformation leaders looking to take an objective view of their progress and prioritize their investments to meet their enterprise goals.

Event details: March 24 | 02:00 pm ET 

Register hereUpcoming event 

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

NEW RESEARCH: Digital Transformation Priorities for health systems in a Post COVID-19 Era

Our annual survey on the current state of digital transformation, in collaboration with CHIME, reveals interesting insights on how health systems are prioritizing and funding digital initiatives in a post-COVID-19 era. DamoIntelTM Research 

Assessing Digital Maturity: The DigiMTM Digital Maturity Model for Health Systems

Damo Consulting’s DigiMTM model is a framework that describes the different stages of digital maturity in the specific context of health systems. The framework is supported by an automated online evaluation tool that scores the digital programs of individual health systems and provides benchmarks to drive incremental investments and roadmap execution priorities.White Paper 

How to win physician confidence in remote patient monitoring programs

CIOs need to look beyond just EHRs and explore stand-alone platforms to enhance care delivery – keeping focused on reliable patient data and streamlined clinical workflows.Blog 

Corporate Announcements

Damo Consulting releases annual survey of the state of digital transformation, points to access as the primary focus area for digital health and digital transformation. Virtual visits, automated communications for scheduling and reminders, and patient self-service tools are all high-focus areas.

Read more

Damo Consulting offers branding solutions for technology firms looking to gain visibility and access to healthcare executives and CXOs. 

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Sign me up for the latest news, trends, and insights from Damo.


Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.