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Serious swerving indeed: 23andMe buys Lemonaid Health for $400 million

Fr om genomic testing to telehealth and prescription delivery is quite a swerve. Or a pivot, as they say. 23andMe, the richly financed (via a February SPAC with Virgin Group) and valued ($4.8 billion market cap) DNA tester, originally marketed to trace ancestry and analyze for health information, announced the acquisition of Lemonaid Health. A telehealth company that markets their quick diagnosis of conditions such as mental health, erectile dysfunction, thyroid, and sinus infections with fast delivery of medications, it’s quite a changeup for 23andMe, at least on the surface. But, as this Editor opined as far back as 2018... Continue Reading

Amazon Care confirms five more cities, beefs up DC lobbying–but what’s the real game?

...in the Seattle area. By March, they opened the full service (Video and Mobile Care Medical) to other Washington state companies. At that time, they announced that Video Care will be available nationally to companies and all Amazon employees by the summer–and claimed that in-person services would be rolled out to multiple cities by the summer. That did not happen. In June, at a Wall Street Journal Tech Health event, while being coy about the rollout, Amazon Care VP Babak Parviz said that the service would look like: Clinician chat/video connected within 60 seconds If an in-person visit is required,... Continue Reading

News and deal roundup: Babylon’s $200M raise, Best Buy buys Current Health, Virgin Pulse-Welltok, Devoted Health’s $1bn raise, Withings watch gains FDA ECG clearance

Babylon Health adds $200 million to the accounts–in advance of its SPAC. Babylon’s raise of $200 million (€173M) in a ‘sustainability-linked investment’ came from the strategic capital investment firm, Albacore Capital Group. With the SPAC and PIPE, Babylon will now have access to over $800 million in capital [TTA 7 Oct]. Whew! Mobilhealthnews, Babylon release A score for Edinburgh. Current Health, a biosensor-based monitoring and home care management/remote patient monitoring system based in Edinburgh and Boston, sold itself to US retailer Best Buy. The company recently raised $43 million in an April Series B, which makes its quick sale somewhat... Continue Reading

Theranos, The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 3: Safeway, Walgreens execs testify to deception, frustration with Holmes, failed pilots and labs (updated)

...people I had met in the business that I would actually say are charismatic. She was charismatic, she was very smart, and she was doing one of the hardest things you can do in a business, and that’s to create an enterprise from scratch.” Always decisive, ‘she owned the room’. From that point, and after an unusually high 100 hours of due diligence (updated, ArsTechnica 13 Oct), it was full speed ahead. But the potholes turned up fast after Ms. Holmes had convinced Safeway to invest in the company, claiming that they could run 95% of tests on one cartridge... Continue Reading

Babylon Health’s SPAC closing later this month at $4.2 billion value, buys California medical practices

...After developing its GP in Hand triage service with the NHS starting in 2017, now claiming 102, 000 users, it has weathered controversies from clinical commissioning group (CCG) reservations to gender bias in its chatbot (‘Heart Sister’ Carolyn Thomas) to a litany from @DrMurphy11 to the BBC Two’s Newsnight treatment [TTA 9 Jan 20, 27 Feb 20]. However, Mr. Parsa believes that their value proposition (technically, a written document) is sound and that they are now poised for growth. Newly developed products include Babylon 360, a digital-first value-based care service that includes the option for telehealth visits, and Babylon Cloud... Continue Reading

Is healthcare too much for Big Tech’s Google and Apple? Look at the track record. And David Feinberg’s $34M Cerner package.

With Google scattering Google Health to the four winds of the organization--the heck with what employees recruited for Health think of being reorg’d to, say, Maps or YouTube and falling through the corporate rabbit hole–more detail has leaked of Apple’s struggles. This time, on the scaleback list (a/k/a chopping block) is Health Habit. It’s an app in the Apple Store that connects users with AC Wellness, a doctor’s group in Cupertino, California. The ‘eligible participants’ are restricted to Apple employees. From the app site, they can check weight, nutrition, blood pressure, and schedule wellness checks. It seems to be the... Continue Reading

Home care rocked: Honor Technology acquires home care provider Home Instead

Honor Technology, which provides tech-based management services to home care agencies, has acquired home care provider Home Instead. Home Instead, the world’s largest network and international franchiser of home care services, has 1,200 offices in 14 countries with 100,000 caregivers (and largest in the UK with 13,000). Home Instead will retain its name and operate as a subsidiary of Honor. No financial or management terms were disclosed, but the valuation of the company will top $2.1 billion (£1.5bn). It’s a bit like the guppy swallowing the whale. Honor is only six years old, compared to 25-year-old Home Instead. Honor, which... Continue Reading

News and funding roundup: patient outreachers Relatient, Radix merge; health apps top 350,000; Morgan’s $50M in Vera Health; Communicare247, Doro, TeleAlarm join Scottish Digital Telecare’s list

...risk in a value-based, technology-enabled coordinated care model. Morgan Health adds to Vera’s coffers after the majority sale of the company to CD&R for an undisclosed amount and a valuation at $400 million. JP Morgan sunsetted its unsuccessful three-year joint venture, Haven, in January, but remains interested in health for profit and for employees, who will be given the opportunity to join Vera. Healthcare Dive, Mobihealthnews Communicare247, Doro, and TeleAlarm receive Scottish Digital Telecare nod for digital alarms. Communicare247’s Archangel Care Cloud, Doro’s CareIP Mobile, Eliza 4G, and the icareonline platform, and the TeleAlarm TA74 GSM and TeleAlarm Cloud Services... Continue Reading

Softly, softly: GPDPR comes to screeching halt, indefinitely, to be reworked

...patients choose to opt-out of sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, even if this is after their data has been uploaded [This is a significant feature that is expanded on later in the letter–Ed.] the backlog of opt-outs has been fully cleared a Trusted Research Environment has been developed and implemented in NHS Digital [Security based on OpenSAFELY and the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service best practices–Ed.] patients have been made more aware of the scheme through a campaign of engagement and communication The revised scheme will be created in collaboration with the Royal College of General... Continue Reading

News and deals roundup: Owlet’s $1B SPAC, Carbon Health’s $350M Series D, Series Bs by Woebot Health and b.Well, digital health rakes in $15bn

...million for a total raise since 2016 of $522 million. Valuation is what used to be an eye-blinking $3.3 billion. Carbon’s locations are a bit strange–concentrated in California and SF area with outposts, many of which are limited service or ‘pop-ups’, in Florida, Arizona, Kansas, and NYC. Unlike the recently covered One Medical, it does not require any kind of annual concierge fee. The model is an interesting one in positing high service and low cost. The founders are also staking out becoming the largest US primary care provider, which Village Medical or UnitedHealth Group would not be delighted about.... Continue Reading