The healthcare startup landscape has transformed substantially in the past 10 years, fueled by robust investment, technology advances from immunotherapy to machine learning, changes in CMS reimbursement, and support from providers, payers, pharma, medtech and big tech.
The startup journey is a core part of MedCity News coverage and our pitch contest Pitch Perfect is a major draw for our annual INVEST conference. Once again we’re looking for applicants for the Pitch Perfect contest as we gear up for a return to in-person conferences with the INVEST conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago, March 28-30. The conference will feature four tracks including:
As digital transformation is happening across the board, Big Pharma is looking to go beyond the pill. Startups in this category are using digital tools to help every aspect of the pharmaceutical industry, be it drug development, clinical trials, manufacturing, digital therapeutics, patient engagement and more.
Convenience is the name of the game especially after the pandemic when it comes to the world of diagnostics. Startups in this category are developing either at-home tests (be it kits with results immediately available or kits that can be used to test at home and mailed out easily) or point-of-care tests with results available soon after.
Remote Patient Monitoring and Smart Devices
The medical devices world is getting digitized to help patients and physicians manage their diseases better, with even implantable devices having connectivity via Bluetooth and wifi. Startups in this category are developing smart devices — whether wearable or permanently implantable — with connectivity to apps and disease management platforms.
Care Coordination and VBC
Health systems and payers are increasingly interested in improving outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing costs. Startups in this category use digital tools to address care delivery and coordination and clinical decision support with a goal to advance the ultimate move to value-based care.
To apply to pitch at INVEST Pitch Perfect 2022, click here.
Many of the startups that make up our Pitch Perfect finalist alumni have enjoyed success. Here’s a look at some of these companies
PhysIQ, (INVEST Pitch Perfect 2015) recently announced a multi-year collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, to license its wearable biosensor platform, accelerateIQ. Janssen will scale the use of biosensors, supporting initiatives across both R&D and commercial strategies to develop patient insights.
“Continuous real-world sensor data and digital biomarkers are the new frontier of clinical development and pharma commercialization,” said Chris Economos, Chief Commercial Officer of physIQ in the announcement. “We have built a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of a rapidly-evolving regulated digital medicine landscape — any sensor, any data type, and any algorithm. We could not be more pleased to work with Janssen as we transform real-world data into real-world insight to deliver solutions for patients, providers, and payers.”
Luma Health (INVEST Pitch Perfect 2020) raised a whopping $130 million as part of a Series C funding round last month. Its patient engagement platform, which centralizes and automates scheduling and communication with patients, is used by more than 550 health systems, hospitals, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and clinic networks nationwide. Luma Health’s platform also integrates with more than 80 electronic health records and health IT vendors. The six-year old company has raised $160 million to date.
Biofourmis, (INVEST Pitch Perfect 2017) founded by CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput, develops digital therapeutics. Last year the company closed a $100 million Series C round. Earlier this year its heart failure digital therapeutic, to help patients manage their condition, received a Breakthrough Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It also expanded from its focus in cardiology to oncology through its acquisition of Gaido Health from Takeda Digital Ventures. Although founded in Singapore, Biofourmis moved its headquarters to Boston in 2019. Its collaboration partners include pharma companies such as Novartis and AstraZeneca as well as Accountable Care Organizations such as Integra Community Care Network, which is part of Care New England. Last year it added a big pharma veteran to its C Suite — COO Jaydev Thakkar, who served as director of digital health and innovation at Amgen.
Cricket Health (INVEST Pitch Perfect 2017) developed software to help providers and payers better manage chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney disease patients. For providers and payers, its platform uses a machine learning model and predictive glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to risk stratify a patient population across each stage of kidney disease with 96 percent accuracy for people with stage 3b and beyond. For patients, its provides access to educational resources, peer support, and a multidisciplinary care team that can be seen in person, or by telephone, and through virtual health. Earlier this year it closed a $83.5 million Series B round ked by Valtruis, and with participation from existing investors Oak HC/FT and Cigna Ventures, as well as K2 HealthVentures and a strategic investment from Blue Shield of California. The company has helped payers reduce their costs and improve patient outcomes.
“In our partnership with Cricket, we’ve been able to bring even more affordability, predictability and simplicity to our customers with kidney disease,” said Tom Richards, Senior Vice President and Global Lead, Strategy and Business Development at Cigna said in the Cricket Health Series B funding press release. “Since May 2020, we’ve seen more than a 50 percent reduction in hospitalizations and an increase in patient autonomy in a customer’s transition to dialysis, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to help improve our customers’ experience and their health.”
NeuroFlow (INVEST Pitch Perfect 2019) has developed a significant customer base for its behavioral health tools. Payers such as Capital Blue Cross Blue Shield, Prudential Group Insurance, Magellan Health, as well as the U.S. Air Force have integrated its software. EHR vendor Epic also added NeuroFlow to its app marketplace.
To apply to pitch at INVEST Pitch Perfect 2022, click here.
Photo: phive2015, Getty Images