Xconomy Health Tech

Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News

John Halamka, Livongo Health & AI Progress at X·CON on Oct. 22

The consumerization of healthcare is accelerating. Within five years, a “significant percentage” of healthcare services will be run through mobile apps and other digital tools, predicts John Halamka, a Boston-based doctor and prominent digital health expert.

Halamka shared his prognostication in a recent conversation, but we’ll dive more deeply into his vision for healthcare’s tech-enabled future during a fireside chat on Oct. 22 at X·CON 2019, Xconomy’s second annual Boston summit gathering an elite group from across sectors. This year’s theme is “Digital Health Gets Real,” a nod to healthtech’s progress, driven by technological advances, federal policy changes, and... Read more »

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 01:00

WI Watchlist: Epic, Frontdesk, Shine, StartingBlock Madison & More

With summer coming to a close, it’s time to catch up on recent happenings in Wisconsin’s innovation clusters. Read on for details.

—Epic Systems, the electronic medical records giant, unveiled several new products at its annual Users Group Meeting held at its headquarters near Madison. Per a report by the Wisconsin State Journal, the additions include software called Cosmos that can crunch anonymous patient data across different healthcare organizations to spot trends and study how treatments are faring; software technologies to make clinical operations more efficient; and speech recognition software to make it easier for doctors to capture important information during... Read more »

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 22:01

Boston Tech Watch: DraftKings Drives, The Engine Revs, NuTonomy Swaps

Welcome to August’s automotive-themed tech news round-up. This week’s batch of news features a dose of updates that range from self-driving cars to funds or new ventures that sound close enough to being automotive-related (but aren’t) that I just couldn’t pass up making a point about it. Read on for the details.

—DraftKings says it has launched a sports tech investment fund and athlete-entrepreneur network both under the brand DRIVE. The venture is “partially owned” by DraftKings and has funding from General Catalyst, Accomplice, and Boston Seed. Janet Holian, a sports tech veteran and DraftKing’s former marketing head, is co-founding... Read more »

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 02:55

Healthcare’s Future is Telemedicine & AI, But Will Everyone Benefit?

John Halamka thinks the digital health industry is still “emerging.” But it has come a long way and is starting to deliver after years of hype.

Halamka, a Boston-based physician and healthcare technology expert, says that’s thanks to several coalescing factors: improved technology, more favorable financial incentives for using digital products in healthcare, and growing demand from patients accustomed to tech-enabled convenience in other areas of their lives.

“In 2019, the tech is better, but also the alignment of incentives is better,” says Halamka, who leads innovation at Beth Israel Lahey Health system and is a Harvard Medical School professor.

Over... Read more »

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 21:01

Boston Tech Watch: Buoy Health, Cambridge Crops, Polarity & More

This week, we’re tracking venture capital deals in digital health, augmented reality for the enterprise, wellness, and food tech. Read on for details.

—Buoy Health said it snagged $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures, which was joined in the investment by Humana (NYSE: HUM), F-Prime Capital Partners, and Optum Ventures. Boston-based Buoy developed a chatbot that provides users with information about health symptoms they’re experiencing, and can guide them through next steps, such as visiting a nearby pharmacy or calling their doctor.

Buoy previously raised at least $9.2 million from investors.... Read more »

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 21:01

After Drought, Digital Health’s Summer of IPOs Brings Validation

After a nearly three-year period in which not a single digital health company held an initial public stock offering, the dry spell has ended.

In recent weeks, four healthcare software and technology businesses—Change Healthcare, Health Catalyst, Livongo Health, and Phreesia—held IPOs. Taken as a whole, these public market debuts were mostly successful, and could persuade digital health companies that have been in business for years but remain private to consider an IPO, according to people who monitor investments in the industry.

“It’s very good news for the sector,” says Michael Greeley, general partner at Flare Capital Partners, a Boston-based venture capital... Read more »

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 12:48

WI Watchlist: AmFam, Venture Investors, Understory, Gener8tor & More

It’s time to catch up on some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation clusters:

—Venture Investors and American Family Ventures are making progress on raising new venture funds. Madison-based Venture Investors has closed on $73.1 million for its latest fund, and it could grow the fund to $100 million, according to an SEC filing.

Meanwhile, American Family Ventures, the venture capital arm of American Family Insurance, has raised $162.5 million for its third fund, which could reach $200 million, according to an SEC filing.

—Primorigen Biosciences, a Madison-based life sciences research and recombinant protein manufacturing company, was acquired... Read more »

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 03:00

AIQ Solutions Hits On $3.2M to Pinpoint Drug-Resistant Tumors

Many companies developing artificial intelligence software for healthcare are trying to improve doctors’ ability to diagnose disease. Fewer emerging healthcare AI businesses are focused on what happens after a diagnosis, aiming to figure out how treatments are working.

One of them, AIQ Solutions, has developed software that analyzes medical imaging data to identify all of a cancer patient’s lesions—areas of abnormal tissue—and quantify how they have changed after treatment. CEO Eric Horler claims his company’s technology, focused initially on metastatic bone disease caused by prostate or breast cancer, can provide such insights faster and at a more granular level than competing... Read more »

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 10:05

Digital Health Gets Real: Hear From Pear, Nuance & More at X·CON

At times in recent years, it seemed like digital technologies would never live up to the hype in healthcare. In many cases, they still haven’t. But some have turned a corner and are starting to have a real impact.

Devices with health-minded features, such as home-monitoring systems and smart watches, are helping patients and doctors monitor daily health. The first prescription mobile apps have been cleared by the FDA and are rolling out. Machine learning and other artificial intelligence tools are enhancing treatment plans, improving drug discovery, and augmenting clinicians’ skills in tasks such as reading medical scans and diagnosing disease.... Read more »

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 05:52

Exact Sciences Buying Genomic Health in $2.8B Cancer Diagnostics Deal

With ambitious sales goals and its stock trading at an all-time high this year, cancer diagnostics firm Exact Sciences decided to go shopping. The result is a deal announced Monday to acquire Genomic Health for $2.8 billion in cash and stock, a combination that Exact CEO Kevin Conroy argues will create a global leader in the sector.

“Together we have a stronger financial profile than on our own, allowing us to continue to invest in growth opportunities,” Conroy said on a conference call Monday with financial analysts. “We’re bringing together complementary capabilities to create a leading cancer diagnostics company.”

In pre-market... Read more »

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 05:54

Livongo Upsizes IPO to $355M in Bid to Become Netflix of Health

Livongo, a digital health company developing devices and software to help patients manage treatment for diabetes and other chronic conditions, said it expects to net $355.2 million in an initial public offering.

Mountain View, CA-based Livongo late Wednesday priced its offering of approximately 12.7 million shares of its common stock at $28 per share. That would give the company a market capitalization of about $2.5 billion. Strong investor interest enabled Livongo to offer more shares than it planned, and for a higher price. When the company set IPO terms last week, it targeted the sale of 10.7 million shares for... Read more »

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 19:48

Healthtech Investor Flare Capital Raises $255M for Second Fund

Flare Capital Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm investing in healthcare technology, has raised $255 million for its second fund.

Co-founder and general partner Michael Greeley says his focus had been to keep the new fund in the mid-sized range, large enough to make follow-on investments into companies’ later rounds, but not too large.

“As early-stage investors, we want to have a sense of being on the margin and being constrained” about investment decisions, Greeley tells Xconomy. “We are big adherents to this more mid-sized venture fund.”

Flare Capital closed its inaugural fund in April 2015 with $200 million and... Read more »

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 05:55

Boston Tech Watch: Medumo, Zilla, Armored Things, Fortify & More

The week in Boston tech news hit on all the highlights: health technology, 3D printing, crypto, blockchain, CEO moves, fintech, and plenty of venture cash. Read on for the details:

—Healthcare technology startup Medumo has been acquired by Netherlands-based Philips (NYSE: PHG). The company’s patient navigation technology provides instructions and patient resources through text message and web apps, for instance, leading up to appointments or scheduled surgeries. Boston-based Medumo says its technology reduces late-canceled appointments and no shows and improves patient preparedness. Founded in 2013, the company later graduated from popular Silicon Valley tech accelerator Y Combinator. It raised $2... Read more »

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 03:10

Artemis Fund, TechStars Impact, Robin Autopilot, & More TX Tech

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news in Texas.

Mark Cuban and Serena Williams are among investors to fund maternal health startup Mahmee. The Los Angeles-based startup announced Monday it has raised $3 million from the Dallas Mavericks owner and the tennis star (through her firm Serena Ventures) in a round led by ArlanWasHere Investments, according to a press release. Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Fund also participated. Mahmee has developed a HIPAA-secure online platform that links a mother’s and her baby’s health history. It also offers data services that monitors and engages patients with maternity coaches.... Read more »

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 05:01

WI Startup Funding Hit Record in 2018 as VCs Cut Bigger Checks

A record $300 million was invested in Wisconsin ventures last year, as maturing businesses pulled in larger funding rounds. But a continued decrease in the number of firms raising their first outside capital could signal trouble for the state’s pipeline of budding startups.

Those are some of the key takeaways from the latest Wisconsin Portfolio, an annual report produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The publication, which was released this month, tends to provide a more comprehensive analysis of yearly Badger State venture capital activity than some national reports, although it’s not... Read more »

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 14:30

New Funds for Procyrion, Remedy, OncoNano, Vyopta & More TX Tech

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news in Texas.

—Austin startup Vyopta, which makes a video conference system dashboard for businesses, raised $7.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Elsewhere Partners, according to a press release. The investment will be used for additional technology development and sales and marketing. The startup’s customers include companies and institutions such as AIG, AstraZeneca, Stanford University, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

—ABB Robotics will open a new facility at the Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute in October, according to a press release. Switzerland-based ABB will work with TMC... Read more »

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 06:00

Microsoft, Providence Tie-up Focuses on Cloud Tech in Healthcare

Microsoft and Providence St. Joseph Health on Monday announced a partnership aimed at developing software products and services that might improve outcomes for patients and lower costs.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is known for its Windows operating system has long been a force in the world of enterprise software, is making inroads in the healthcare industry through efforts like its collaboration with Renton, WA-based Providence.

The tie-up will draw on Microsoft’s chops in AI and cloud technologies—in particular, the company’s Azure software suite—as well as the experience and expertise of clinicians and other staff at Providence.

Providence’s network of hospitals... Read more »

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 15:17

Why Bob Metcalfe Is an Optimist About the Internet

[Editor’s note: This is part of a series examining the internet’s first 50 years and predicting the next half century. Join Xconomy and World Frontiers Forum on July 16 for Net@50, an event exploring the internet’s past and future.]

Right alongside Moore’s Law, which describes the exponential growth in computing power since the 1960s, there’s Metcalfe’s Law, which describes what we’ve done with all that power: namely, use it to connect the world.

The law proposes that the value of a network increases in proportion to the square of the number of endpoints—an idea that turns out to... Read more »

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 02:00

Healthtech Startups: Connect with HHS Officials in Detroit on July 15

Are you a healthcare technology startup based in Southeast Michigan or Southwest Ontario? If so, you’re invited to attend a one-day-only meeting to connect with representatives from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, who will be at TechTown Detroit, 440 Burroughs St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 15.

MedHealth Startup Day will include speeches on topics such as innovating through a federal lens; partnering with the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; the KidneyX Challenge; and MaRs Opioid Data Challenge... Read more »

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:27

Q&A: Providence Exec on Bluetree Acquisition, Trends in Health Tech

Providence St. Joseph Health, a Renton, WA-based organization that operates 51 hospitals and 829 clinics across five US states, announced its latest strategic, IT-focused acquisition last week. The company Providence has agreed to purchase—financial terms aren’t being disclosed—is Bluetree Network, a Madison, WI-based consultancy that works with healthcare providers to install and optimize electronic health records software.

Mike Butler is Providence’s president of strategy and operations, and has worked at the organization for over two decades. He says he expects Bluetree to work alongside other Providence subsidiaries as the hospital network, and others across the globe, make changes to... Read more »

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 12:39

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