October 29, 2014
Founders' Note

This week marked StartUp Health’s 11th quarterly Healthcare Transformer Summit! We brought our army of entrepreneurs to Cleveland to meet with hundreds of industry leaders at the annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit. It was an extraordinary week spending time with legendary CEOs like GE’s Jeff Immelt and Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Toby Cosgrove and connecting with passionate people across the globe who are reimagining healthcare. Over the past several days, it’s become increasingly clear that clinicians, patients, entrepreneurs and established players are joining forces in unprecedented ways. And this inspiring momentum is just the beginning.

-- Steven Krein & Unity Stoakes, StartUp Health Co-founders


StartUp Health partnered with Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit for the second year in a row to showcase a broad spectrum of early-stage healthcare innovation. 44 StartUp Health entrepreneurs presented their solutions at the StartUp Health Showcase to hundreds of healthcare stakeholders including payors, providers and investors. To kick off the Showcase, Dr. Toby Cosgrove joined StartUp Health's Steven Krein for a fireside chat. He reminded entrepreneurs to remain focused on the needs of the patient and to tackle big problems with new ways of thinking. (Video available later this week on StartUp Health NOW.)

Underserved communities need health innovation. Supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we're building an online resource to help startup founders address the needs of people in vulnerable communities. In a special episode of StartUp Health NOW, Stan Berkow of StartUp Health company Sense Health and Rachel Davis of the Center for Health Care Strategies share commercialization insights for startups tackling this important area. Take a look!


Google’s latest moonshot is a nano pill to detect cancer. The Google X Research Lab is developing tiny magnetic particles that could be ingested as a pill and then used to detect cancer and other disease in the human body. Google is also working on an accompanying wearable device that would serve as a monitoring tool. Wall Street Journal

Top VC says startup valuations are “running a little warm.” Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz is evaluating whether the increased amount of VC funding for startups at higher valuations is resulting in more “home run companies.” Venture funding tends to produce about 15 companies a year with annual revenues of $100M and valuations of $1B+. But the expansion of technology into new areas, like healthcare, could raise that number, he said. On the other hand, the investing environment could be the result of “hubris.” Wall Street Journal

Insurers’ consumer data won’t be ready for health exchange enrollees. This week, the Obama administration told insurance companies they would delay the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s transparency requirements. That means Americans shopping for 2015 health plans on the insurance marketplaces won’t have access to claims data that could help them make spending decisions. New York Times

HHS CTO: connected EHRs could be an early warning system for the next Ebola. Bryan Sivak, the Dept. of Health and Human Services CTO, said protecting the country against the next public health crisis is the “perfect use case” for an interconnected system of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). But even though a threat against the country’s health should be the catalyst for interoperability, experts say it’s more likely that new reimbursement models will spur change. VentureBeat

Fitbit adds three devices to its family of fitness wearables. Like earlier Fitbit wristbands Flex and Force, the Charge, Charge HR and Surge track steps taken, calories burned, sleep and more. The Surge marks the company’s first foray into smartwatch territory. Fast Company


Josh Stein, CEO and co-founder of smart pill bottle startup AdhereTech, is one of New York City’s “gadget gurus.” As the “Internet of things” economy expands, AdhereTech is using hardware to monitor whether patients patients who have been prescribed high-cost medicine are taking the drugs as instructed. Crain’s New York Business

2014 is going to be a landmark year for digital health investments. According to our latest StartUp Health Insights report, startups in the sector received $5 billion in funding in the first nine months of the year. Healthcare reform, rising costs, an aging population, the proliferation of technology and new talent are driving the growth. Techonomy

StartUp Health Academy

For entrepreneurs who are transforming healthcare, StartUp Health Academy is a global, long-term coaching program and trusted peer network focused on increasing the equity value of its startups.


Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine
Nov. 9-12, San Diego, CA
Genomics pioneer Craig Venter, futurist Ray Kurzweil, X PRIZE Foundation leader Peter Diamandis and StartUp Health’s Steven Krein are just a few of the healthcare innovators speaking at the three-day event on the future of health. Use our partner code STARTUPHEALTH to get the StartUp Health Insider discount of $750 off a regular ticket and $1,000 off VIP access.

NYeC Digital Health Conference
Nov. 17-18, New York, NY
With talks from leading digital health thinker and cardiologist Eric Topol and other leading healthcare innovators, the two-day conference (now in its fourth year) explores how new technology is changing patient experiences and driving clinical outcomes. Our partner code SUH will save you 20% off registration.  

For more digital health events, visit our website.


So far, digital health companies have raised $6.45B in 2014, according to StartUp Health Insights. Here are a few of the most recent deals:

Mobile glucose testing app Telcare secured $32.5M from Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia, Qualcomm and others to enhance its diabetes monitoring services. The FDA-approved device already provides data analysis and patient reminders based on blood sugar readings as well as live tracking information for physicians. MedCity News

One-stop prescription stop MedAvail closed a $30M Series C round. MedAvail’s automated medication dispenser virtually connects users with pharmacists and also releases the prescribed drugs. Backed by Walgreens and others, the Canadian company is looking to bring its kiosks into pharmacies around the globe. Wall Street Journal

Phreesia, a check-in tablet for doctors’ offices, raised $30M in a round led by private equity firm LLR to accelerate product development and increase users. The durable Phreesia hardware is solely used for its software, which additionally manages practice workflows including payment processing, with a built-in credit card machine and consent signing. MobiHealthNews  

100 customers strong, Seattle-based Limeade brought in $25M this week. The employee wellness platform uses gamification to provide incentives for workers who engage in healthy behaviors while tracking fitness analytics for employers. Limeade plans to use the new funds from OakHC/FT and others to double its team size and add new features to its interactive platform. Seattle Times

Consumer health record company CareSync raised $4.25M from Tullis Health Investors, Clearwell Group and others to continue its goal of empowering patients through their data. With 10,000 (mostly paying) users, CareSync allows patients to share their medical past with caregivers and others for better health management. The startup plans to use the new funds to support a national sales and marketing campaign. MedCity News

Mental health coaching startup Lantern landed $4M from Mayfield Fund and others. The virtual subscription service connects patients with coaches who use a survey to develop tailored exercises to help manage a variety of mental health problems, ranging from anxiety to low self esteem. The startup recently received $4M in grant funding from the NIH to study the prevention of eating disorders on college campuses. Reuters

Fitness tracker Moov added $3M to its Series A round from Banyan Capital and others. The device company, which secured $1M earlier this year through crowdfunding, was developed by a former Apple engineer and uses advanced sensor technology to track complicated physical activities, including swimming. The new cash will help Moov grow its team and expand its software to track more activities. TechCrunch

Digital Health Funding Rankings Q3 2014

Per the latest StartUp Health Insights report, 2014 is shaping up to be another record year for digital health, with $5B invested in the first three quarters of the year. Funding in the sector is on track to nearly double year-over-year.

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