News 3/21/14


Former US Government CTO Aneesh Chopra is going to be working with Box on some of Box’s healthcare initiatives. Box has been pushing heavily into healthcare for almost a year, offering file sharing services with a business associate agreement (BAA); I’m hesitant to call it "compliant" file sharing services, but Box definitely does sign BAAs. Since leaving his post as US CTO, he’s also worked at The Advisory Board Company as a senior advisor.


Congrats to Gravie on closing $10.5 million in funding. The round was led by Aberdare. Gravie is a comparison site for individuals and business looking for insurance. This space is getting very busy, very fast. I was on a panel with Gravie co-founder Abir Sen a couple of weeks ago. The topic was fundraising in the Midwest and Abir discussed his preference in raising money on the coasts instead of the middle of the country. Gravie hadn’t announced this funding round at that time.

Kaiser Southern Cal is using simple images collected from patients and PCPs to do teledermatology. I’ve long been a fan of telederm. My wife is adding it to her practice and I like the Direct Dermatology approach a lot. According to the article, 800 patients per month are using telederm and the images are getting attached to the medical record. That’s an impressive amount of usage. I remember being a Kaiser patient, not in Southern Cal. I never saw an MD dermatologist; that was before my wife was a dermatologist and I had good, free access to an MD dermatologist. At Kaiser I always saw a PA or even a surgical nurse for procedures. The telederm program seems like a great way to extend the reach of Kaiser dermatologist to patients and PCPs.


After closing a $27 million C round last fall, PatientSafe Solutions raises another $3 million from Telus Ventures. Telus is a telcom in Canada and this investment gives Telus the exclusive license to sell PatientSafe in Canada. PatientSafe makes a mobile, iOS-based solution to improve in-facility clinical collaboration and access to data. I think it’s mainly geared towards nurse users in hospitals.


The new TechStars / Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator in Kansas City announces its first class of 10 health startups. All of the companies get $120,000 in funding. The release includes a list of companies.


Has everybody been following the Castlight Health IPO? It seems to come up in almost every conversation I have with people in the health tech industry. I’m struggling to wrap my mind around the Castlight valuation of $3.4 billion. The company made $13 million in revenue last year, translating to a current valuation of 265 times its 2013 revenue. Apparently Castlight has another $100 million in revenue booked but, even with that, this valuation seems absurd. Is anybody confused by what’s going on?

Employee onsite health services company QuadMed partners with Stat Doctors to extend employer health offerings with telehealth services from Stat. QuadMed also made an investment in Stat as part of the deal. QuadMed provides care through onsite clinics, working directly with employers.


It feels like AmericanWell is breaking away from the pack when it comes to telehealth services. I was impressed to learn that it hit 100,000 mobile users within three months of launching its mobile app.

Sometimes I love academic medicine. A new study published last week finds that at-risk teens would be interested in receiving text messages about violence prevention. That’s it. No text messages were sent. It was a survey and the study participants said that text messages would be a good tool for them.

The VA budget for 2015 includes $23 million more for telehealth than the previous year budget. The total allocation for telehealth at the VA will be $567 million in 2015.


More funding boosts for telehealth, this time in New Mexico. The state is adding $1.1 million specifically for telehealth services in the state. $500,000 of the $1.1 million will go to Project ECHO, a decade-old program that has been used as a model for telehealth.

IT Service Providers continue to struggle to meet compliance requirements, according to this article. The Omnibus Rule that went into effect last fall expanded the scope of HIPAA to include "subcontractors", which are essentially business associates of business associates.


Travis Good is an MD/MBA and co-founder of Catalyze. More about me.

  • Steven Davidson

    The PSS communication application is offered and runs on any iOS device and while few customers have picked it up for use by other than nursing staff (where it lives on the PatientTouch device) the communication application offers the functionality of secure texting, workflow integration and team communication.

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