Will The New Generation Of Slick And Savvy Health-Tech Startups Live Up To The Hype?
A handful of initial public offerings are expected to be a litmus test as more companies consider going public. In other news from the intersection of health care and technology, the VA to spend billions to maintain its current EHR system through a transition to Cerner, a medicine company plans a comeback, the questionable motives at the heart of a hospital's offer from free screenings, and more.
5 Burning Questions About Digital Health IPOs — And Some Answers
Silicon Valley venture capital investors and Wall Street investment firms got in early on a new generation of slick and savvy health-tech startups. Now, anyone with an internet connection will be able to bet on them, too. The question is whether the sector can live up to its hype. Two leading companies in the sector — diabetes coaching startup Livongo and hospital data cruncher Health Catalyst — went public on the Nasdaq on Thursday. (Robbins, 7/25)
VA To Spend $4.9B Maintaining EHR During Cerner Transition
It will cost the Veterans Affairs Department at least $4.89 billion to maintain its current electronic health record system during its Cerner transition, a VA official told lawmakers Thursday. The VA currently uses a homegrown EHR called VistA, which agency programmers and clinicians developed in the 1970s. Now, under a $10 billion contract that the VA inked with Cerner last year, the agency plans to transition to a Cerner EHR, bringing its first sites live on the new system in 2020. (Cohen, 7/25)
After Shutdown, Telemedicine Company Call9's Founder Plans A Comeback
New York City healthcare startups raised nearly $1.9 billion in investments last year as investors searched for the next big tech company. Of course, not all bets pay off. Investors in telemedicine startup Call9, which had raised $40 million in equity and debt financing since its founding in 2015, learned that the hard way last month, when the company announced it would shut down and lay off its remaining 100 workers after peaking with a staff of about 200. (LaMantia, 7/25)
Amedisys Inks Deal With Tech Company To Coordinate Patient Care
Baton Rouge-based home health care company Amedisys signed an agreement with ClearCare to connect the local company's home health centers to personal care agencies. Amedisys already has 322 home health agencies across 34 states whereas ClearCare's technology software is used by more than 4,000 personal care businesses across the country with more than 600,000 caregivers working there. (Mosbrucker, 7/25)
Kaiser Health News:
Robotic Surgical Tool, Not Medical Evidence, Drives Free Hernia Screenings
Some hospitals are trying a curious new tactic to attract patients: free hernia screenings. One Illinois hospital raffled off tickets for a smart speaker to entice people to get their abdomens checked by a surgeon, while an Indiana hospital offered a chance to win dinner at a chophouse. Announcements for screening events in Colorado and Maryland warned about “life-threatening” complications that could arise if hernias are left untreated. And hospitals in Georgia and California included a chance to “test-drive” a surgical robot. (Jaklevic, 7/26)
A Second Opinion:
Rethinking American Health Care With Sen. Bill Frist, M.D.: Aneesh Chopra
Aneesh Chopra is best known as our nation’s first U.S. Chief Technology Officer. During his time in the White House, President Obama said “Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records." Today he serves as President of CareJourney, which harnesses open data, methodologies, and APIs to provide market intelligence and actionable insights to help payers and providers. (7/22)