Verily’s CEO Under Fire… Again: Last week, Stat News reported on Andrew Conrad, the divisive CEO at Verily Life Sciences, Google’s healthcare “moonshot.” This week, Conrad is under fire once again for awarding a research contract to a luxury health clinic which he cofounded and in which he owns a majority stake. Research done at the clinic would be part of Verily’s Baseline study, which “aims to collect genetic, molecular, clinical, and other data on 10,000 patients over the next five years.” In addition to the potential conflicts of interest posed by Conrad’s relationship to the clinic, critics are also raising questions about Verily’s alleged plans to sell the health data of study participants to pharmaceutical companies.
Digital Health Funding Stronger Than Ever: Rock Health reports that digital health funding reached $981.3M in Q1 2016, the highest Q1 total since they began tracking deals in 2011. The largest deals of the quarter include Flatiron Health, Jawbone, HealthLine, Health Catalyst, and Higi, and investors continue to favor wearables and data aggregation/analysis. Despite a market correction in tech market at large, Rock Health is optimistic about the future of digital health funding moving into Q2.
TechStars Inaugural Digital Health Accelerator: Techstars and Cedars Sinai in L.A. announced the 11 startups participating in their first digital health accelerator class. This years class includes AppliedVR, a digital therapeutics platform that leverages virtual reality to help patients manage acute pain and anxiety, and Deep6 Analytics, a healthcare analytics software that uncovers data patterns in fragmented EHR data.
What Tampons Can Teach Us About The State of Women’s-Health-Tech: According to a study out of Babson College, 90% of partners in VC firms are male. So when Harvard engineer Ridhi Tariyal approached investors with a patented method of capturing menstrual flow for home diagnostics, she was not received with enthusiasm. In this article, author Pagan Kennedy discusses how one woman’s struggle to innovate the tampon is indicative of systemic issues in the women’s-health-tech space.
ICYMI Mad*Pow’s HxR Conference: It was an exciting week on the Boston waterfront at HxR! Amy Cueva announced Mad*Pow’s new Center for Health Experience Design, Susannah Fox discussed the need for culture change in the health tech sector, and speakers, including Matthew Keener of Blackbird Health, discussed the “innovation gap” in mental healthcare.
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