THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

Your weekly newsletter on health IT and digital health

Paddy Padmanabhan

Go on. Take the money and run.

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Monday, August 2, 2021

Issue 124

Digital health companies are going through a steady consolidation. Startups are merging with other startups. Bigger tech firms are acquiring smaller ones. PE firms are swooping in, not wanting to miss out on all the action. The bottom line seems to be this: the incredible valuations for digital health today are too good an opportunity to pass up if you’re on the sell side of the transaction. The Steve Miller Band has provided me with the perfect tagline for this week’s newsletter.

This past week, Amwell announced it will pay $320 million in cash and stock to acquire Conversa and Silver Cloud, two companies with combined revenues of less than $15 million. The transaction looks small relative to the multi-billion dollar transactions such as Grand Rounds-Doctor on Demand, Teladoc-Livongo or Microsoft-Nuance. However, the pace of M&A and the valuations implied for the purchases of these firms are raising questions among healthcare organizations. Vendor governance has become significantly more challenging for digital health executives in health systems trying to make long-term bets. Many wonder who is going to pay for these inflated prices for startup acquisitions. Is it eventually going to be patients, and are the costs of care going to go up? Or is it all just a bubble? Jessica Kim Cohen of Modern Healthcare interviewed me for this piece on the dizzying rate of M&A in digital health.

Speaking of governance, the success of large-scale digital transformation programs depends on it more than anything else. This article by Nathan Eddy in Healthcare IT News speaks about how Geisinger Health made governance a key to digital transformation. In my upcoming featured session at HIMSS21, I will be presenting along with Karen Murphy, Chief Innovation Officer at Geisinger Health, on their multi-year transformation journey underway.

An emerging trend is healthcare organizations spinning off internally developed capabilities into standalone businesses. Providence Health has led this trend with spinouts of Xealth and Dexcom (I expect more on the way). The latest is Avera Health spinning off their telehealth capability into a carve-out acquisition for a PE firm. Highmark in Pennsylvania has even launched a digital transformation consulting firm to commercialize its internal capabilities with implementing automation. I guess a rising tide lifts all boats.

Have a great week.
Paddy

Podcast of the Week

In this episode, McKinsey partners Oleg Bestsennyy and Jenny Rost discuss the findings of their recently published report – ‘Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollarpost-Covid-19 Reality?’

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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.

Digital health M&A has already set a record this year

Digital health M&A activity is rising quarter-over-quarter, with 73 deals in the second quarter. I share my thoughts on the consolidation underway in this article that discusses findings by research firm Mercom. Modern Healthcare

Epic’s AI algorithms, shielded from scrutiny by a corporate firewall, are delivering inaccurate information on seriously ill patients

The challenge with AI algorithms in healthcare in general – putting patient lives at risk. STAT News

Highmark Health launches digital transformation consultancy

Many healthcare organizations are realising the value of their experience with internal digital transformation and are building businesses out of it. Interesting trend. Modern Healthcare

Avera Health sells eCare telehealth business to PE firm

In an emerging trend of healthcare organizations spinning off internally developed capabilities, Avera Health is selling its clinician-to-clinician telehealth business Avera eCare to a private-equity firm. Modern Healthcare

How Geisinger made governance a key to its digital transformation

At HIMSS21, I will be presenting along with Karen Murphy, Chief Innovation Officer, on how Geisinger’s Digital Transformation Office provided centralized governance and smoothed the way for more effective enterprise-wide technology decisions. Healthcare IT News

Most Americans Want to Share and Access More Digital Health Data

Survey can inform federal policies to expand use of electronic health records, protect patient privacy. The Pew Trusts

What are the most concerning trends in health IT? 10 execs weigh in

Cybersecurity weighs heavily on the minds of healthcare IT leaders. They are also concerned about the wild valuations for digital health startups. Becker’s Hospital Review Note: Some of the articles linked in this newsletter may be behind paywalls that need a subscription.

Events

Enterprise Digital Transformation: The Geisinger Experience

Our CEO Paddy Padmanabhan and Geisinger EVP and CIO Karen Murphy to present best practices and learnings from how a large integrated health system is driving a multi-year digital transformation roadmap at HIMSS21 on August 10, 2021 | 1:00PM – 2:00 PM PDT in Room Alliance 315, The Caesars.

Mark your calendar! Event

What Did Pharma Learn From The COVID-19 Pandemic

In this session at HIMSS21, Paddy Padmanabhan will discuss lessons learned by pharma during the pandemic and the role of digital health, interoperability, and real-world evidence will play in reshaping clinical trials and accelerating drug development. on August10, 2021 | 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM PDT | Wynn, Mearsault. Mark your calendar! Event

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

A booming digital health market, and an elusive trifecta
Health system CIOs are reducing their tech footprint and consolidating their IT systems for agility and efficiency. For digital health startups to succeed in this space, they must get three factors right: cost, scale and quality. Blog

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

Corporate Announcements

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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THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

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

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

THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

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