Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blueprint Health Reveals 7th Class of Digital Health Startups

2013-2014 has been a banner year for digital health startups.  Many belong to TechStars’ Global Accelerator Network. Today’s addition of seven companies brings the accelerator’s total to 60 digital health with more than 140 entrepreneurs in Blueprint’s alumni community. Blueprint Health, a NYC based mentor-focused health technology accelerator has revealed its Winter 2015 Accelerator class (seventh class) of seven digital health startups to its portfolio.

Observation indicates the trend will continue as many investors see digital health as the golden goose of startup opportunities.  Today’s addition of seven companies brings the accelerator’s total to 60 digital health with more than 140 entrepreneurs in Blueprint’s alumni community. 

To date, 85% of Blueprint’s companies are still in operation and 85% of those companies are generating revenue.  Blueprint also supports the largest structured mentor network in the digital health space, with almost 200 senior level health executives providing mentorship and support to companies in the portfolio. 
From Signifikance, a data driven company that identifies clinically actionable genetic mutations for cancer to Moving Analytics, a telehealth platform for home-based cardiac rehab, Blueprint Health’s seventh class is focused building problem-solving B2B healthcare solutions.  .
Rock Health, another conglomerate has been in operation for several years. Digital health funding surpassed $4.1B in 2014 according to the recent Digital Health Funding: Year in Review 2014 Report by Rock Health. (Report download here).

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The report found digital health funding in 2014 surpassed $4.1B, nearly the total of all three prior years combined, and representing 124% year over year (YoY) growth. 258 companies received funding with an average deal size of $14.1M, an increase of nearly 40% YoY. 

The New Currency for Health is Data. 

The conversion from conventional volume based reimbursement (fee-for-service) to a system based on good outcomes, fewer readmissions and quality ranking is in the early stage of formation. Nirvana will not appear quickly, as no one as yet has identified what to measure. Proponents are pointing to several metrics to accomplish this transformation using catalytic innovation. The disruptive technology of EHR, HIX, mHealth and wearable monitoring will  fuel this change.  Look for a gradual parallel system of fee-for-service and the new method.

Several additonal steps are necessary, one possibility is  the Accountable Care Organization.  ACOs are experiencing fitful starts with some organizations starting and then abandoning the expensive transition in organizational culture, and the investment in digital technology.  One of these is the federally funded Pioneer ACO.

Once the new metric is established the ACO may be the vehicle for adoption. It is complicated. ACOs are predicted to foster competition in cost and quality of care. Cost is  easy to measure, however no one can say how to measure quality of care. Is it outcomes, fewer complications, shorter stays, consumer satisfaction, and/or accessibility ? Possibly all of the above.

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