Your weekly newsletter on health IT and digital health

Paddy Padmanabhan

The next wave of digital health companies

Monday, June 21, 2021

Issue 119

With the CMS final rule having gone into effect and information blocking now no longer (hopefully) an issue, a new wave of innovation is getting underway. Last week, I wrote about Apple and the new health-related tools they are launching, many of which are based on information from EHR systems that consumers are granting access to.

This past week, a new startup launched by Jonathan Bush (who co-founded Athena Health) aims to take that to the next level by aggregating information shared by consumers into a data platform and developing application templates that startups can leverage for building new and innovative digital health services. The company, named Zus, is being positioned as a “Lego kit” for healthcare developers.

Companies like Apple, who have been investing in building health apps based on gaining access to EHR data through direct partnerships with hospitals and health systems till date, have struggled to make a significant impact. A well-researched piece in WSJ breaks down the progress of Apple’s health initiatives to date. Digital health companies that rode the IPO and the stock market wave in 2020 might see a decline in their valuations, according to a recent survey by VC firm Venrock.

Regardless of the struggles faced by individual companies, health systems are continuing to invest in technology to transform their operations and improve patient experiences with technology. Read about UPMC’s portal consolidation effort and health systems executives discuss their vision for the hospital of the future.

Finally, a thought-provoking article in Wired magazine by a practicing physician asks the question: in an era of virtual care and remote patient monitoring, what are the downsides of having doctors watching remotely, but never there with the patient physically?

Have a great week.

Podcast of the Week

In this episode, Dr. David McSwain, Chief Medical Information Officer at The Medical University of South Carolina discusses the lessons learned in integrating technology into clinical care and its impact on the workflow of physicians, care team members, and patients.

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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.

Apple Struggles in Push to Make Healthcare Its Greatest Legacy
A comprehensive breakdown of Apple’s efforts in the health space. The Wall Street Journal

‘A Lego kit for health care builders’: Jonathan Bush launches Zus with medical records in mind
Jonathan Bush is back for another act. Last week, the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of medical IT giant Athena Health launched a new startup called Zus. STAT News

Bloom is off the health tech IPO rose, as valuations expected to fall
In Venrock’s annual survey of healthcare leaders, respondents expected most digital health startups that went public during the pandemic to see their valuations fall by the end of the year. MedCity News

UPMC shows how to overhaul, unify and personalize multiple healthcare websites
The expertise gained through now having only one content management system has helped staff stand up a COVID-19 information hub in a matter of days. Healthcare IT News

The unlikely force shaping Amazon’s health plans: A veteran, doctor, and TV persona with big ideas for tech
In the past year and a half, Vin Gupta, CMO of pandemic response at Amazon, has taken on a far broader portfolio than he or Amazon could have imagined. He was recruited, pre-pandemic, to help steer Amazon Care, the company’s virtual-first health care program. STAT News

The hospital room of the future: 5 innovation execs outline what to expect in next 5 years
In this article, five hospital executives share predictions for what they think the hospital room of the future will look like in the next five years. Becker’s Hospital Review

CVS Health database leak left 1B user records exposed online
More than 1 billion search records belonging to CVS Health were accidentally posted online and accessible to the public earlier this year. Fierce Healthcare

What If Doctors Are Always Watching, but Never There?
Remote technology could save lives by monitoring health from home or outside the hospital. It could also push patients and health care providers further apart. Wired

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

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

The Digital Health Solution Selection Process
When health systems look for solution partners to execute their digital priorities, the decision process typically looks like this. Infographic

AI-enabled physicians: rethinking care delivery
While traditionally deeply skeptical of artificial intelligence in clinical settings, in today’s fast-changing care delivery landscape many physicians are thinking more proactively about how how AI can improve quality and patient experience. Blog

AI in healthcare: The tech is here, the users are not
The biggest challenges for AI-enabled care are delivering real-time insights into the clinical workflow and gaining acceptance from caregivers as well as patients. Innovative solutions continue to emerge. Blog

Corporate Announcements

Damo Consulting announced the addition of Marc Probst, former CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system based in Salt Lake City, Utah as an advisory board member. Press Release
Damo Consulting offers branding solutions for technology firms looking to gain visibility and access to healthcare executives and CXOs. Contact us now!
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Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.