FDA-cleared surgery iPad app company Gauss raises $3.3M

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 24, 2015        

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Gauss Surgical canisterLos Altos, California-based Gauss Surgical has raised $3.3 million, according to a recent SEC filing. The company offers surgeons and their teams FDA-cleared apps that help track blood loss. This latest funding brings the company’s total to about $11 million. It last raised funds at the end of 2014, when Gauss Surgical raised $1.5 million. The company was a participant in the StartX Stanford University incubator in 2012.

Earlier this year Gauss got a new FDA clearance for its Triton iPad app, which can now estimate the surgical blood loss in canisters that hold blood. Surgeons can estimate blood loss in surgical suction containers using the iPad’s camera. The app enables the user to take pictures of the surgical canisters and then send the images up to the cloud for analysis. At that point, an algorithm estimates the hemoglobin content and the blood loss.  Keep reading>>

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Google Flu Trends website shuts down; will send data to Boston Children’s, Columbia, CDC

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 21, 2015        

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flu trendsGoogle Flu Trends, as a website open to the general public, has shut down. The Google Flu Trends team will continue to track flu patterns based on search history, but it will now provide that data directly to public health researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Influenza Division. Google Dengue Trends is also no longer publishing new data.

“Instead of maintaining our own website going forward, we’re now going to empower institutions who specialize in infectious disease research to use the data to build their own models,” the Flu Trends team wrote in a short blog post. “Flu continues to affect millions of people every year, and while it’s still early days for nowcasting and similar tools for understanding the spread of diseases like flu and dengue fever — we’re excited to see what comes next.”

Google confirmed to MobiHealthNews that the change doesn’t reflect any lack of confidence in the accuracy of the data, which was challenged in a widely publicized Science Magazine article last March. In fact, Google took action to address those concerns in October, when it added CDC data to flu trends. Nor was the change related to the restructuring of Google under Alphabet.  Keep reading>>

ZocDoc gets $130 million to go beyond doctor appointment booking

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 21, 2015        

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ZocDocMobile and online appointment booking platform ZocDoc has raised $130 million in the company’s first investment round in two years. Baillie Gifford and Atomico led the round, with additional participation from existing investor Founders Fund.

“Since our inception, we’ve been working to lead the healthcare experience into the digital age, and this funding will help us continue to deliver on our mission to give power to the patient,” ZocDoc founder and CEO Cyrus Massoumi said in a statement. “The fragmented healthcare space has produced too many broken systems that get in the way of good care. We aim to be the digital center of care that delivers the simple, seamless healthcare experience patients expect and deserve.”

Although it was reported last summer that ZocDoc was seeking an additional $150 million in funding, the company hasn’t publicly announced any new investment since it issued a convertible debt note for $55 million in 2013. Its last round was a $75 million one way back in September 2011 from Goldman Sachs and DST Global.

In its statement, ZocDoc says the decision to raise money again now is related to its intention to expand it offering beyond appointment booking.

“The company will more heavily invest in developing products that sit on top of ZocDoc’s core marketplace and extend beyond its hallmark scheduling capability,” the company wrote in a statement. “These products will remain focused on solving patient problems and facilitating even more patient interactions within the healthcare ecosystem.” Keep reading>>

Why Venrock’s Bryan Roberts avoids investing in wearables, pharma-focused startups

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 20, 2015        

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Bryan Roberts

Bryan Roberts

Bryan Roberts, one of Venrock’s healthcare-focused investment partners, has some rules of thumb for investing in digital health — and for what to pass up. Roberts’ portfolio included six successful exits last year, the Wall Street Journal reports, and this year he has invested in Stride Health, Lyra Health, Intarcia Therapeutics, and Grand Rounds.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Roberts said digital health is moving into a period of “constructive tension” which will be marked by big successes, but even bigger failures. Therefore it’s important to look for companies that already have a plan for their next scale up.

“In digital health, people have business plans that show how to go from zero to $10 million or $20 million in revenue,” he said. “But what comes after that? Where is the plan to get to $250 million?” Keep reading>>

Webinar today: Digital health and patient acquisition, member enrollment

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 20, 2015        

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Brian Dolan - MobiHealthNews Editor-in-ChiefThis afternoon — in less than two hours — MobiHealthNews will be hosting its next webinar: Digital Health Strategies for Patient Acquisition and Member Enrollment. We’ll be kicking things off a few seconds after the hour as usual — so be sure to register now and join us for the webinar at 2PM ET. Here’s today’s topic:

Digital health services often aim to help lower the cost of care and improve outcomes, but they also help savvy healthcare organizations acquire new patients, members, or customers. In recent years, text messaging, symptom navigator or appointment booking apps, remote video visit services, and many other digital health offerings have helped health groups acquire new patients or members.

In this MobiHealthNews webinar, we will review the ways in which healthcare providers, health plans, and other organizations can harness digital health technologies to attract new patients. We’ll also take a deeper look at how text messaging in particular is an important acquisition tool for all healthcare stakeholders with a focus on engagement.

Don’t miss out, sign up today!

Grand Rounds raises $55 million to help patients get second opinions online

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 20, 2015        

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Grand-Rounds-Carmen-624x339Grand Rounds, a company that works with consumers and employers to match patients with specialist doctors and helps provide second opinions, has raised $55 million in third round funding from a new, undisclosed global mutual fund investor as well as existing investors Greylock, Venrock, Harrison Metal and David Ebersman.

This round brings Grand Rounds’ total funding to $106 million. The company plans to use the funds to build out its technology, care team and analytics platform in response to increased employer demand.

“Whether and where we receive medical treatment are critical decisions, yet patients lack adequate support in navigating these choices,” Owen Tripp, co-founder and chief executive officer of Grand Rounds, said in a statement. “We provide patients the technology and information they need to make informed health care decisions, and comprehensive support from a physician-led care team. In an era of payer/provider consolidation, consumer-directed health plans and narrow networks, we empower patients and remove barriers to their care.” Keep reading>>