Xconomy Health Tech

Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News

TraceLink Bags $93M, Plans A.I. & Blockchain Tools for Drug Tracking

Step one for TraceLink, a maker of software that helps track the supply chain of pharmaceuticals, was recruiting hundreds of thousands of companies and organizations to its digital platform.

Now, much like the playbooks of social media companies and other tech firms, step two will be to develop “new applications on top of that infrastructure”—thereby taking advantage of “the information and the network that we’ve built to drive even greater value for our customers” says TraceLink CEO Shabbir Dahod.

A new cash infusion might help the company in that endeavor. On Tuesday, the North Reading, MA-based firm announced it closed a... Read more »

6 hours 22 min ago

Best Buy Acquires GTCR’s GreatCall for $800M, Eyeing Aging Boomers

Best Buy is paying $800 million in cash for GreatCall, a San Diego-based healthtech company which private equity firm GTCR bought early last year.

GreatCall operates a virtual mobile telecommunications network for a customers base of more than 900,000 elderly consumers. The company also sells gadgets, such as mobile devices with large screens and big buttons, wearables that can work with those devices, and emergency alert products. The company operates call centers that help elderly customers use the GreatCall’s technology, can dispatch emergency personnel, and can connect the customer to family caregivers, among other services.

Minnesota-based Best Buy (NYSE: BBY... Read more »

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 16:05

Fifth Eye Scores $2.3M for Software to Detect Patient Warning Signs

Jen Baird, a serial entrepreneur who has led several Michigan-based healthcare technology startups, is back at it with Fifth Eye, an Ann Arbor, MI-based company developing software that performs analytics on patient data. Investors so far like what they see in the young venture: Fifth Eye has just raised $2.3 million in seed funding from Invest Michigan, the Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center at Western Michigan University, and 33 angel investors.

Fifth Eye’s software is designed to act as an early warning system capable of detecting when a patient might be in serious trouble, based on their electrocardiogram... Read more »

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 05:56

Boston Tech Watch: Drizly, Skyworks, Polaris, Akili, Kebotix & More

Time to catch up on some of the latest deals and developments in the Boston-area tech sector:

—Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS), the Woburn, MA-based chipmaker, said it inked a deal to acquire Avnera, a Beaverton, OR-based maker of semiconductors designed to minimize power consumption and enable voice-controlled devices and software. Skyworks will pay $405 million in cash, plus up to $20 million more if certain performance milestones are exceeded during the 12 months following the deal’s closure. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month, according to a press release.

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 21:01

CVS, Teladoc Offering $59 Virtual Health Visits for Minor Conditions

CVS Health on Wednesday introduced a new telemedicine service for people with minor illnesses and injuries, which the Rhode Island-based pharmacy giant says will allow patients in nine U.S. states and Washington, D.C., to pay $59 for an online videoconference with a licensed healthcare professional.

CVS (NYSE: CVS), which bestrides the healthcare and retail industries, has recently been ramping up the technology-enabled services it offers. Earlier this year, the company introduced a program in partnership with Boston-based software startup Buoy Health that allows patients to provide information online about their symptoms and health history before getting checked out at one... Read more »

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:54

HealthMyne, Developer of Health Records Analytics Software, Adds $15M

HealthMyne, a Madison, WI-based startup developing software that integrates medical imaging data and information from patients’ electronic health records, says it has raised $15 million in new funding.

Ascension Ventures, an investment arm of the St. Louis-based healthcare provider Ascension, led the Series B funding round, HealthMyne says. Other participants included two Madison-based VC Funds (Venture Investors and 4490 Ventures) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which manages patents and the licensing of intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

HealthMyne says its software can help radiologists, oncologists, and other users track changes in a tumor or nodule’s... Read more »

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 14:09

Alector Snags $133M to Activate Immune Cells Against Neurodegeneration

Pharmaceutical companies have been working for years to find a drug that could break up the toxic clusters of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Many of those companies have suffered disappointing failures by targeting those clusters head-on. Now a Bay Area biotechnology company, Alector, is ready to try tackling the problem from a different angle— energizing immune system cells, the body’s natural clean-up crew, to clear away the debris.

South San Francisco-based Alector announced today that it raised $133 million in a Series E fundraising round, and unveiled the first three immune system-modulating antibodies in its... Read more »

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 04:00

Empatica, Kyruus, Pear & More: Digital Trailblazer Award Finalists

Healthcare is seeing an explosion in the use of data analytics, machine learning tools, wearable devices, mobile apps, and other digital technologies. Software products are not only augmenting the capabilities of doctors—in some cases, the digital product is itself being prescribed as a treatment. In recognition of the growing impact of such technologies in healthcare, this year’s Xconomy Awards includes a new Digital Trailblazer category. Here’s more on the finalists.

—Akili Interactive Labs

Video games as treatments for medical conditions sounds far-fetched, but Akili Interactive Labs might be on the cusp of turning the concept into accepted medical practice. Created by... Read more »

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 05:21

Epic Systems Pauses HQ Construction After 15 Years of Constant Growth

The cranes are gone from Epic Systems’ corporate campus in Verona, WI. After more than a decade of near-perpetual expansion, the fast-growing healthcare software company is taking a break from new building construction, Xconomy has learned.

Epic’s employee count has more than tripled in the past decade, from a reported 3,000 workers in 2008 to nearly 10,000 today.

Epic has consequently been racing to erect office buildings at its state-of-the-art headquarters. But for the first time since 2003, construction cranes rising hundreds of feet from the earth are not visible to those approaching or traversing Epic’s campus. The company... Read more »

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 05:55

Automation Anywhere Scores $250M To Globalize Bot Workforce

Automation Anywhere, which supplies customers with armies of software robots to take over manual tasks such as insurance claims processing, announced today it raised $250 million in a first funding round that set its post-money valuation at $1.8 billion.

The San Jose, CA-based company, begun in 2003 by four co-founders who bootstrapped its funding, has built a customer base of 1,100 firms including Google, GM, Siemens, Cisco Systems, LinkedIn, Comcast, and Juniper Networks.

CEO and co-founder Mihir Shukla says Automation Anywhere started generating revenue early on, and has racked up profits in the past, but it raised the big Series... Read more »

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 16:46

American Well Raises $290M+ to Go Bigger in Telehealth

American Well appears to be raising a massive venture capital investment. The Boston-based telehealth company disclosed in a new SEC filing that it has pulled in $290.6 million in a new funding round that could reach almost $315 million.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

Regardless of how large the latest investment in American Well ends up being, it’s already one of the biggest venture capital deals in Boston in recent memory, and the biggest funding round of the year for a local software company. In May, Fuze, a business communications software company, bagged $150 million and Circle Internet Financial,... Read more »

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:52

Virtual Physical Therapy Firms Reflexion and MindMaze Probe Markets

For most patients—and for many drug developers—healthcare reimbursement policies can present a daunting maze of restrictions and uncertainties.

But for some tech companies, those policies can be accelerants that boost the chances that new products will be adopted. That’s the case for Reflexion Health, which benefits from U.S. insurance coverage regulations that create openings for the use of its “virtual physical therapy” system for patients trying to recover a full range of movement after surgery, says CEO Joseph Smith.

Insurers are now holding surgeons accountable for the success of the recovery period, Smith says, so payments for operations are bundled... Read more »

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 05:45

Xconomy Mourns the Loss of San Diego Editor Bruce Bigelow

It is with profound sadness that we at Xconomy say goodbye to our longtime friend and editor of Xconomy San Diego, Bruce Bigelow. An outstanding journalist, colleague, and friend, and a fixture of the San Diego innovation scene, Bruce passed away today at age 63 after a brief illness.

We are in shock at this awful turn of events. We are a close-knit team despite being spread out around the country, and just two weeks ago several of us had the rare pleasure of catching up with Bruce in person at an Xconomy event in California. He was his usual charming... Read more »

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 20:08

Boston Tech Watch: NuTonomy, Crypto Fund, Shyft, Renoviso & More

Lots of news to catch up on in the Boston-area tech sector. This week, we’re tracking an acquisition in healthcare data, the expansion of autonomous vehicle testing in the city, a stealthy cryptocurrency venture fund, and several venture investments. Read on for details.

—Shyft Analytics agreed to be acquired by New York-based Medidata (NASDAQ: MDSO) in a deal valued at $195 million, which includes Medidata’s existing 6 percent ownership stake in Shyft. Waltham, MA-based Shyft provides cloud data management and analytics services for the life sciences industry, while Medidata sells software and services for clinical research. Shyft raised at least... Read more »

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 08:44

30Ventures Seeks $15M to Fund Startups in Healthcare, Water Tech

30Ventures, one of the newest additions to Wisconsin’s venture capital scene, quietly revealed plans this week to raise up to $15 million for its debut fund, which will back healthcare and water and chemistry-related technologies in the Midwest.

The Madison, WI-based firm disclosed fundraising details in a document filed with federal securities regulators on Thursday.

30Ventures was formed in 2017. It concentrates on “early-stage medical diagnostics, biotechnology tools, medical device, and industrial water and chemistry opportunities in the Midwest,” according to the LinkedIn profile of its managing director, George Arida. It will invest in deals at the Series A and... Read more »

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:37

Last Chance to Save on June 21’s ‘New York Biotech: Bringing Back the Expats’

Summer is quickly approaching, and Xconomy has one last biotech event lined up to kick it off. On Thursday, June 21, we’re presenting “New York Biotech: Bringing Back the Expats.” Register today with our procrastinator’s special and save $75!

The New York life sciences sector faces myriad challenges catching up to places such as Boston and San Francisco. Lack of affordable real estate space and available early stage funding are some frequently cited concerns, but there is much promise as well (learn more in an analysis from experts in our event preview “NY ‘Expats’ Talk Big Apple’s Biotech Future”).... Read more »

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 05:00

Boston Tech Watch: Devo, Circle, IBM, 10% Happier, Cuseum & More

Time to catch up on recent Boston tech news, including several venture capital investments, an acquisition in cybersecurity, and a White House tour app developed by a Boston startup in partnership with Amazon. Read on for details.

—Devo (no, not that Devo) said it raised $25 million in a Series C funding round led by Insight Venture Partners. The Boston-based data analytics software company was previously known as Logtrust. Kibo Ventures also invested in Devo’s Series C round.

—Circle Internet Financial, the Boston-based blockchain and cryptocurrency startup that recently raised a $110 million funding round, is planning to apply... Read more »

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:01

Ahead of June 21 Xconomy Event, NY “Expats” Talk Big Apple’s Biotech Future

Momentum has been building for New York biotech for several years now. But the life sciences sector still remains more of an afterthought in a city better known for its financial might. While several ingredients are already in place in New York—a dense, mixed population; several high-profile research and academic centers; and plenty of cash—it will take years, if not decades, for biotech to be the city’s calling card.

In anticipation of Xconomy’s latest New York biotech event, “Bringing Back the Expats” on Thursday, June 21, we asked a few experts and featured speakers their thoughts on the state of the... Read more »

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 09:44

Therapy.Live’s PrepareU Offers Proactive Tools to Halt Teen Suicide

Americans are living through interesting times. Our politics have rarely been more polarized, income inequality continues to grow, gun violence is rampant, life expectancy has been in decline for several years, and deaths of despair—those resulting from things like suicide or drug overdose—continue to rise. What’s a thinking, feeling person to do?

If you’re Ryan Beale, co-founder and CEO of Therapy.Live, you turn a family tragedy into the seeds of a new mental health startup. Farmington, MI-based Therapy.Live, Beale says, is an encrypted, HIPPA-compliant online platform designed to connect therapists with patients who don’t have easy or affordable... Read more »

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 01:33

Pulse@MassChallenge Startups Score More Deals in Program’s 2nd Year

MassChallenge’s experiment in digital health is picking up steam.

Pulse@MassChallenge, the healthtech accelerator launched by Boston-based nonprofit organization MassChallenge in 2016, wrapped up its second annual session Tuesday night. The event, held in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center during the 2018 BIO International Convention, showcased the approximately 30 startups that participated in Pulse’s latest program, which ran from mid-January through the end of May. Six of the companies went home Tuesday with a total of $230,000 in cash prizes. (More on the winners below.)

Pulse has an interesting model that is different from the typical short-term startup accelerator... Read more »

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 22:13