GE Ventures and Stanford Health Care Partner On Digital Health Testing Lab

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GE Ventures has partnered with Stanford Health Care (CA) to launch a new, independent business called Evidation Health. The company, backed with a $6.2 million Series A led by GE Ventures, is going to build a platform, initially at Stanford Health Care, where digital health products can be piloted and where both outcomes improvements and return on investment can be accurately measured. The team hopes that by offering this service to the digital health community startups will be able to pilot their products more efficiently, and will be able to walk away with more compelling results.

Like most new businesses spun out of fortune 500 companies, Evidation Health is the byproduct of both acquisitions and mergers. The company’s roots can be traced back to a patient engagement startup called AchieveMint, an early Rock Health graduate. AchieveMint later changed its name to The Activity Exchange, and then merged with Evidation Health after GE Ventures became a majority shareholder. While GE Ventures will bring capital and access to entrepreneurs to the venture, and Stanford Health Care will bring a perpetual pilot site to the venture, The Activity Exchange is brining the technology to measure and quantify outcomes improvements. The company was founded by a data scientist with a background in healthcare and found a niche market consulting for pharmaceutical companies and payers interested in rolling out new digital support tools. To support this effort, and because it was being led by a data scientist, The Activity Exchange ended up building a an analytics platform that accurately measures engagement rates and outcomes improvements for digital health apps as they are deployed out in the field.

The looming unanswered question of course is how Evidation Health will monetize. Presumably, the company will market directly to entrepreneurs. However, startups that are just reaching the point that they are ready to pilot their product tend to be very early stage, typically with just a seed round under their belt, so available funding will be limited. It will be interesting to see if GE Ventures looks to these startups to pay for the pilot program, or if it will take equity instead. While any smart CEO is going to be leery of handing over equity, there are far too many digital health pilots being conducted that end with inconclusive findings. Pilots also tend to take a good deal of effort, between recruiting a site, training the end users, collecting baseline data, and then measuring improvements over time. There could be a real market for a professionally run digital health pilot pipeline that would have a vast array of baseline data available, and could quickly extrapolate any positive improvements measured during the trial.


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