TTA’s May Flowers 3: Venrock’s health biz predictions; Boots for sale; Oracle Health’s struggles; acquisitions by Samsung, Legrand; TytoCare, Owlet, Humana, more!

 

 

A TON of news this week breaking before the US Memorial Day and UK’s bank holiday. Boots up for sale breaking up Alliance. Oracle Health will be struggling for the next two years. Cue Health sinking. Legrand is acquiring Enovation, Samsung Sonio ultrasound, and LG jumps into home health. And big VC Venrock issues its predictions for the health tech year.

Short takes 2: Humana’s CEO changeover; Owlet Dream Sock CE Mark, UK approval; TytoCare goes to school; LG enters home health with Primefocus; Samsung $92M buys Sonio (FR); raises by Blackwell in health cybersec, Watershed Health
News roundup: GE Healthcare warns on ultrasound vulnerabilities, Geisinger leverages Best Buy/Geek Squad for RPM, telehealth aids NYC shelter homeless, Fay raises $25M, ClearDATA’s AWS distinction, Validic’s MedTech award
A ‘healthcare prognosis’–from an investor POV (Venrock and ‘smart friends’)
Short takes: Legrand acquires Enovation, FDA nixes Cue Health’s Covid tests, Ascension confirms ransomware attack–who did it? (updated), beware of ‘vishing’ courtesy of ChatGPT
Is Oracle Health’s Big Vision smacking into the wall of Healthcare Reality? Their business says so. (Always be wary of Transformation Promises)
Separation or sale? WBA putting Boots out for bids; Walgreens pharmacists end month-long HQ protest. (End of Pessina’s Big Vision?)

Earnings and endings dominated this week, along with Transcarent’s Series D, $2.2 billion valuation, and ‘not for sale’ sign. Even NeueHealth and Oscar had a good Q1, but Amwell and Steward didn’t. Telehealth flexibilities got an important ‘go’ in the House. Cigna + Oscar called it a day as did many at 98point6. And cyberattacks continued, this time at Ascension and DocGo.

Short takes: Medicare telehealth flexibilities may extend; ‘no interest’ in Transcarent sale; NeueHealth ekes out positive net income; Cigna and Oscar break up; DocGo, Ascension cyberattacked
News roundup: Transcarent raises $126M; 98point6 lays off; Oscar notches first profit; Steward Health’s Ch. 11; Amazon Clinic GM leaves; Amwell’s down but hopeful Q1; Hims founder gets political

Surprises and shockers abounded this week. If Walmart can’t make it in providing basic health services, what hope does a retail model really have? Optum and Walmart exit telehealth, while Teladoc grows–firmly in the red. Change Healthcare’s troubles led to UHG’s CEO grilling on both sides of Congress and humiliation on MFA. MobileHelp PERS up for sale, Owlet’s new partner, fundings, partnerships. And a shrinking Oracle goes to Music City!

News roundup: UHG CEO’s Bad Day at Capitol Hill; Kaiser’s 13.4M data breach; Walgreens’ stock beatup; Cigna writes off VillageMD; Oracle Cerner shrinks 50%; Owlet BabySat gets Wheel; fundings for Midi, Trovo, Alaffia, Klineo (A rough week for some)
Teladoc’s Q1: increased revenue, increased net loss, dealing with slowing growth–as is CVS Health (Teladoc in existential crisis?)
Midweek news roundup: Optum exiting telehealth, laying off; Advocate Health selling MobileHelp; VA notifying 15M veterans re Change PHI breach, Oracle moving to Nashville–maybe? (updated) (A lot of jettisoning)
Walmart Health shutters health centers, Walmart Virtual Care, in sudden move (updated–why?) (If Walmart can’t make it…)

Returning to the Cyberattack That Changed Everything, wondering how much and to whom UnitedHealth paid ransom–now that they’ve finally admitted it. Also returning to those Merger Guidelines and how they may change the face of healthcare M&A. VA and DOD hard at work on their EHRs and systems, Lumeris gains a luminous funding, but Optum staff are seeing pink slips.

Two studies: Telehealth underutilized, underbilled, even during pandemic–and accounted for only modest increases in costs, and quality (Perhaps undercaptured?)
Short takes: VA seeks vendor to support EHR testing; Defense Health seeks ‘digital front door’ vendor; GAO recommendations to Oracle; Nonin partners with Finland’s Medixine; Lumeris gains $100M equity funding 
What the DOJ and FTC Merger Guidelines mean for healthcare M&A–a Epstein Becker Green podcast (Legal department torture)
Breaking: UnitedHealth admits to paying ransomwareistes on Change stolen patient data (updated) (For what and how much?)
Who really has the 4TB of Change Healthcare data 4 sale? And in great timing, Optum lays off a rumored 20K–say wot? (UHG has some ‘splainin’)

Another packed week, with a few baffling events. Leading in bafflement is NeueHealth’s additional $30M from NEA, which now owns 60%. UHG battling on multiple fronts between the Change hacking and the House, Walgreens lays off more to cut costs, VillageMD sued on ad trackers, and Cerebral’s comeuppance costs $7.1M. VA may restart Oracle Cerner implementation, Epic and Particle Health feud. But restoring faith in health tech benefiting a neglected group is TandemStride. 

TandemStride launches platform to assist survivors of traumatic injury; a personal look (A real care gap)
News roundup: Congress hammers absent UHG on Change cyberattack–and more; 10% unhinged at Hinge Health; Steward Health nears insolvency; Two Chairs $72M Series C (UHG’s troubles cover the waterfront)
ISfTeH student contest and award 2024–deadline 26 April! (Move fast!)
Mid-week short takes: UnitedHealth’s $1.2B Q1 loss from Change attack, another Walgreens layoff, Dexcom-MD Revolution partner, Kontakt.io $47.5 raise, GeBBS Healthcare may sell for $1B (Walgreens still downsizing–what’s next)
News roundup: VillageMD sued on Meta Pixel trackers; Cerebral pays $7.1M FTC fine on data sharing, cancellation policy; VA may resume Oracle Cerner implementation during FY2025; Epic-Particle Health dispute on PHI sharing (Cerebral still in trouble)
The New Reality, Bizarro World version: NeueHealth gets $30M loan increase from NEA, now majority owner (Baffling)

This packed week was about righting listing ships. Teladoc’s CEO suddenly departs, Amwell at risk of a NYSE delisting–we look at What Happened and what needs to be done. VillageMD gets new COO to manage the shrinkage. And Change Healthcare data on sale from disgruntled ALPHV affiliate. Digital health funding continues to limp along. Clover looks at another delisting, Walmart Health applies the brakes. And we highlight innovations from Novosound, Biolinq, Eko, Universal Brain. 

Digital health’s Q1 according to Rock Health: the New Reality is a flat spin back to 2019 (Limping, but alive)
VillageMD names new president and COO as it shrinks to 620 locations (Ex Centene, Humana exec comes out of short retirement to clean up)
News roundup: Now Clover Health faces delisting; BlackCat/ALPHV affiliate with 4TB of data puts it up for sale; $58M for Biolinq’s ‘smallest blood glucose biosensor’ (Will UHG pay more ransom?)
Opinion: Further thoughts on Teladoc, Amwell, and the future of telehealth–what happens next? (A hard look at the follies, mistakes, and saving ships)
News roundup: Amwell faces NYSE delisting; Walmart Health slows Health Centers, except Texas; Novosound’s ultrasound patent; Eko’s Low EF AI; Universal Brain; Elizabeth Holmes in ‘Dropout’ + update
Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic steps down immediately in shock announcement (Now what?)


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News roundup: GE Healthcare warns on ultrasound vulnerabilities, Geisinger leverages Best Buy/Geek Squad for RPM, telehealth aids NYC shelter homeless, Fay raises $25M, ClearDATA’s AWS distinction, Validic’s MedTech award

GE Healthcare warns hospitals and clinics on cybersecurity vulnerabilities in ultrasound devices. On their Product Security Portal, GE Healthcare issued three Coordinated Security Vulnerability Disclosures affecting:

  • a software application implementation called kiosk mode vulnerable to local breakouts
  • the Common Service Desktop (CSD) component vulnerable to command injection and path traversal
  • EchoPAC Software Only (SWO), EchoPAC TurnKey, and ImageVault products, vulnerable to unencrypted communication, unencrypted database and hardcoded, unencrypted credentials

These primarily affect the Vivid line of ultrasound devices. Cybersec firm Nozomi Networks Labs found vulnerabilities in the system that could be exploited to gain administrative privileges and recommended that ultrasound devices 1) not be left unattended and 2) block incoming connections to workstations that have the clinical software installed and are connected to unprotected networks. Healthcare Dive

Geisinger partners on patient monitoring with healthcare devices delivered by Best Buy/Geek Squad. For the past two years, Geisinger Health, now part of Risant Health, has been using Geek Squad to deliver and activate remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices such as blood-pressure cuffs, weight scales, thermometers, and glucose meters for those in active care management. The results of early pilots are: 50% faster time to activation of devices, 19% higher rate of patient adherence to using a wearable device, and an 18% reduction in technical issues reported. The ConnectedCare 365 program is now being used by 14 clinical programs for patients in acute care episodes, those in pre-surgical or post-acute transition, and those receiving low to complex management of their chronic conditions. 27,000 Geisinger patients have used remote technology since 2010, including 3,000 using the Best Buy—formerly Current Health—platform. An interesting but logical linkup of healthcare and retail services. JAMA Network

NYC’s homeless shelter telehealth program. Since 2020, NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) have worked together to bring HHC’s Virtual ExpressCare to homeless shelters. In the past year (January 2023 to April 2024), over 5,000 shelter residents across all 600+ shelters have used the program. The shelters use telephones, tablets, and computers provided by DSS to connect residents with Virtual ExpressCare physicians. DSS and other agencies share responsibility for all technical needs, including ensuring WiFi access and equipment cleaning. The program is also extended to shelter staff. Of the primarily (70%) black and Latino residents using the service, nearly half were uninsured, with an additional 5 percent were covered through the NYC Care program. mHealth Intelligence

Nutritional health startup Fay raises $25 million.  The Series A round was led by Forerunner Ventures with participation from General Catalyst and 1984. The virtual network of registered dietician nutritionists emerging from stealth is additionally backed by founders at Grow Therapy and Maven Clinic. Fay’s network of nutritionists are available nationwide and work with insurance plans to provide consumers with nutritional plans covering 30 specialties/conditions, such as eating disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, weight management, gut health, general preventative care, and others. Currently, they work with United Healthcare, CVS Aetna, Blue Cross, Anthem, Cigna, Optum, and Humana. The advantage for dieticians is to build their private practice with Fay’s “business in a box”.   Release

On the cybersecurity front, ClearDATA has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Level 1 Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) Competency. This required meeting operational and technical AWS quality standards for managed security services. They are one of only 62 firms to be so designated and the only one in healthcare. ClearDATA is a comprehensive provider of cloud, compliance, and security services and software for providers, payers, biopharma, and healthcare solutions. Release 

Validic was selected as “Best Remote Patient Monitoring Solution” in the 8th annual MedTech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by MedTech Breakthrough. Validic was one of the earliest companies (2010) in the RPM/IoT area with data integrated into EHRs for personalized care at scale. Since 2010, it has served 400,000 enrolled patients and 7,000 referring providers. Release