News/deals roundup: Amazon’s health accelerator, digital health library opens, Ziegler’s ‘Hospital at Home’ paper, SEHTA announces MedTech event; $670M in funding for Talkspace, Pear, DrChrono, NuvoAir

First, the news….

Another Amazon angle on healthcare. This time, it’s the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Accelerator for healthcare startups. It’s designed as a virtual four-week technical, business, and mentorship for 10 select companies. Naturally, it’s targeted to cloud-based operations for companies with ‘demonstrated commercial traction’ in remote patient monitoring, voice technology, analytics, patient engagement, and virtual care technologies and systems. Applications opened on 21 June and proposals are due 23 July. It’s limited to US-based healthcare startups or international startups with existing US operations. This round is in collaboration with KidsX, the world’s largest pediatrics digital health accelerator formed by a consortium of over 50 children’s hospitals from North America, Europe, and Australia. AWS blog announcement, FierceHealthcare

A crowdsourced library exclusively for digital health resources and research now open. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Center for Health + Technology (CHeT) at the University of Rochester have created a crowdsourced library for the digital health community. It’s hosted by the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe); the link to the library is here. “Resources” are defined as specific pieces of specific regulations, guidances, policy, or literature that are relevant and useful “as-is”. 

Another free resource is investment bank Ziegler’s white paper on ‘Hospital at Home’. The paper addresses the leading Hospital at Home models, providers, and the reimbursement dynamics for this growing tech-enabled option serving acute patients requiring higher medical care. A worthwhile read (24 pages)-see if your tech can fit into these models.

In the UK, SEHTA (South East Health Technology Alliance) announced their 2021 International MedTech conference on 8 October in a hybrid live and virtual event format. The live portion will be at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel. They’ve also added a new director, Sven Bunn, Life Sciences Programme Director at Barts NHS Health Trust & Queen Mary University of London. SEHTA news page

A lightning roundup of $670 million in deals that aren’t taking the summer off….

Talkspace finally executing its SPAC with Hudson Executive Investment Corp., with a deal expected to give the company $250 million in capital. It was originally announced in mid-January [TTA 14 Jan]. Talkspace is a consumer mental health app that helps a user assess their concerns, then matches them with a therapist. Shares are listed at $8.90 on Nasdaq with approximately 152 million shares outstanding for a valuation of $1.4 billion. Mobihealthnews

Pear Therapeutics is planning a hefty SPAC towards the end of this year with Thimble Point Acquisition Corp., backed by Pritzker family interests. It’s estimated that it will round up about $400 million giving it a valuation of $1.6 billion. The new Pear Holdings will trade on Nasdaq as “PEAR”. Pear develops end-to-end platforms for prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) for serious diseases as stand-alone software treatments or jointly with pharmaceuticals. Pear releaseFierceBiotech

Mobile-friendly EHR DrChrono now has a friendly $12 million in growth funding from ORIX Growth Capital. DrChrono also handles practice billing and management. This is on top of their January funding of $20 million, also by ORIX. Mobihealthnews (exclusive)

Stockholm-based digital respiratory care management system NuvoAir also raised $12 million (€10 million) to expand its chronic disease management and clinical trial platforms. It combines an app with data from a spirometer and sensors that attaches to asthma and COPD inhalers plus NuvoAir Cough, which assesses changes in nighttime coughing. The Series A was led by AlbionVC. Mobihealthnews, TechCrunch

New Year’s Deal and Event Roundup: Optum-Change Healthcare, Walgreens-Amerisource Bergen, December’s deal potpourri, CES and JPM

Mutated COVID virii may be spreading, the UK locked down tight, but the deals with big numbers just keep on coming….

Change Healthcare not sold for pocket change. $13bn from the coffers of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum took it, though word was that it wasn’t for sale. Change will be part of OptumInsight to reinforce data analytics, technology-enabled services, and revenue cycle management. The deal pays common stock shareholders $25.75 per share in cash plus assumption of Change’s debt. Closing is slated for second half 2021. Neil de Crescenzo, Change’s CEO, will be CEO of OptumInsight which will integrate Change into its structure.

Change houses a dizzying group of diverse businesses including radiology, imaging, revenue cycle and payment management, consumer experience, clinical decision support, workflow integration, communication and payment solutions, network optimization, value-based care enablement….and that is about half of the list. The release emphasized RCM, provider payment, claims transaction analysis, and clinical decision support. It will be interesting what Optum chooses to retain and discard.  Press release, Fierce Healthcare, Forbes. Credit Suisse has also published a lengthy financial analysis (PDF) of the deal which opines that it’s likely to not run afoul of Federal anti-trust interest or significant conflicts of interest (Optum currently serves many payers other than UHC). There may be Federal concern about a concentration of data and transaction information as Change alone serves 19 of 20 major US payers and is a leader in network services and payments.

Walgreens Boots Alliance sells the majority of their Alliance Healthcare pharmaceutical wholesale businesses to AmerisourceBergen, a leading US drug wholesale company, for about $6.5 billion in cash and stock ($6.275 billion in cash and 2 million shares of AmerisourceBergen common stock). Interestingly, Walgreens is the single largest shareholder of Amerisource Bergen at 30 percent of common shares. Both Walgreens and Amerisource Bergen will continue their US distribution agreement until 2029 and Alliance UK with Boots until 2031. One way of interpreting this is fattening their ‘war chest’ for expansion, including their major bet with Village Medical. Perhaps a payer or a health tech company? Press release

December’s potpourri of Big Deals was rounded up by FierceHealthcare:

  • Alphabet’s Verily closed out 2020 with a massive $700 million funding round primarily from Alphabet to fund its commercial work
  • 23andMe got a lifeline of $82.5 million in Series F funding from an offering of $85 million in total equity shares. TTA analyzed why the bloom had faded from the genetic testing rose, so hot only a few years ago, last August and February. Bloomberg
  • New Agey Calm is meditating on $75 million in Series C funding and visualizing a valuation of $2 bn.
  • Pear Therapeutics, developer of prescription apps to treat addiction and insomnia, counted $80 million in Series D sheep. 
  • Provider CityBlock Health raised $160 million to support care for marginalized populations with complex needs and now has an estimated value of $2 bn.
  • On the payer side, Oscar Health raised $140 million in a venture round as we reported before Christmas.
  • And we reported on Everlywell’s digital home testing/telehealth consult Series D of $179 million in early December.

And the Big January Events Roll On, Virtually.  CES 2021 and the JP Morgan Healthcare conference for their clients will be held next week as usual, along with the usual constellation of independent conferences. These are usually a major venue for deals and deal announcements, and even in the virtual space, will likely be no different. One wonders if Haven’s closure [TTA 5 Jan] will be even whispered.

Mo’ money! Over $600 million in funding washes into digital health

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Looney-Tunes-Were-in-the-Money.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]The unicorns may be getting gored, the bloom off the rose in health tech funding, and it’s a ‘hangover’ from 2015, but both January and February wound up being strong months for digital health funding, with over $600 million to companies in various stages. Mobihealthnews racks up the wins, leading with MindMaze (recovery for stroke patients) $100 million in February, Pear Therapeutics (digital tools + pharmaceuticals) with $20 million and Cala Health (hand/wrist tremor treatment) with $18 million. In remote patient monitoring, Vivify Health raised $17 million completing a 2014 round for $23 million and interestingly will use some of this funding to develop an IVR (interactive voice response) solution (Mobihealthnews 25 Feb). They don’t total in insurer Oscar which had a massive raise of $400 million bringing their funding over $765 million, not that far from Unicorn Territory–probably a good idea as they have some dizzying goals like 1 million members in five years from its current 145,000 members in New York and New Jersey, adding Texas and California. The caution on Oscar is that they are heavily dependent on narrow networks and exchange business that may be unsustainable. But if you sign up, you get a Misfit Flash tracker and access to their mobile app! Digital health funding in February reached $197 million (Mobihealthnews)