FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
House Rx | March 15, 2022
House Rx, a health technology platform focused on improving affordability and patient access to specialty medications, announced it has secured $25 million in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $30 million.
House Rx's technology platform and pharmacy service enable specialty practices to offer medically-integrated dispensing, which means patients can receive both their physician and pharmacy care from one team, collaborating on a unified technology platform. Since it launched in March 2021, House Rx has partnered with four medical specialty practices and 30 prescribers in California and Washington.
"We have a simple idea: partner with specialty clinics all over the country to enable medically integrated dispensing where the physician, pharmacist, nurses and techs can work together as one team, under one proverbial roof, to improve patient care. Our vision for the future of specialty pharmacy is a more local, more collaborative, and ultimately a more affordable system that leads to much better outcomes for patients."
Ogi Kavazovic, CEO and a co-founder
Specialty medications, which include treatments for cancers, rheumatic diseases and other chronic and acute conditions, are some of the most expensive drugs available. Unlike infused therapies which are administered in the clinics, the burden of specialty medication access and adherence often falls on patients, who typically need to battle several large bureaucracies to gain access to their medications. These often lead to multi-week delays in treatment and much lower adherence rates compared to medications administered in clinics.
Currently, specialty medications are mainly dispensed via mail by a patient's insurance company, not their doctor or a pharmacy a patient chooses. A growing body of research demonstrates that when patients obtain timely access to cancer treatments directly from their care team, they have better outcomes, including improved quality of life and increased survivability.
House Rx currently has over 30 employees, who are mostly software engineers and pharmacy operations. In addition to Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Character.vc, and 1984.vc participated in the Series A funding. First Round Capital led the seed round as the initial investor alongside Khosla Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and 1984.vc. The funding from this latest round will go towards continued investments in House Rx's technology platform and scaling pharmacy operations.
"The specialty pharmacy market is in much need of a new approach - the current system severely lacks in patient choice and innovation, and we think House Rx's vision for a more modern, more decentralized approach will have incredible impact," said Steve Kraus, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. "Bessemer is proud to back a company with a mission to ultimately make it easier and more cost effective for patients to get the treatment they need."
In addition to Kavazovic, the health technology start-up was co-founded by Tesh Khullar, who serves as the company's President. Kavazovic and Khullar are former Flatiron Health executives, where they gained experience working closely with hundreds of oncology clinics. The company's Chief Pharmacy & Operating Officer is Denali Cahoon, PharmD, who is a former executive at Trellis Rx.
"The antiquated pharmacy systems developed decades ago inhibit coordinated patient care and increase costs. The current system also prevents patients from choosing where they can get their medically prescribed life-sustaining therapies," said Tesh Khullar, President and a co-founder. "We started House Rx to make the medically integrated dispensing model the new normal in specialty pharmacy. With the right technology, and the right distribution partners, we can re-establish the partnership between physicians and pharmacists that brings a new level of transparency and patient care."
House Rx's technology platform helps prescribers and pharmacists collaborate more effectively via one integrated system. Built based on in-depth feedback from pharmacists and physicians, the platform is designed specifically for the management of specialty medication, and includes built-in analytics to enable continuous improvement in operational efficiency and quality of care.
The specialty medical practices that have already partnered with House Rx include Care Oncology Center, California; Sarcoma Oncology, California; Arthritis Northwest Washington; and Northwest Medical Specialties, Washington.
About House Rx
House Rx is a technology-enabled service company focused on making specialty medication more accessible and affordable. We do so by helping clinics dispense specialty medications to their patients in a medically-integrated way using pharmacist expertise and modern technology. By helping physicians and pharmacists collaborate on patient care, we're able to improve patient outcomes, lower the cost of care, and create a better experience for patients and their caregivers.
Lark Health | March 17, 2022
Lark Health today announced the development of a novel AI-driven program for the prevention and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics. The program, named Lark Heart Health, is an AI-driven virtual care solution that provides personalized health coaching anytime, anywhere. The new Heart Health program is planned to launch later this year.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, and nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have some form of CVD. It's also one of the most expensive chronic conditions, with heart disease and stroke costing the U.S. healthcare system roughly $214 billion annually. Yet, provider shortages and siloed care teams leave patients with limited care options, gaps in care, and insufficient education and empowerment to self-manage their heart health. Additionally, high treatment costs and resource constraints often limit care to those with the highest acuity conditions.
Built using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy framework and designed in accordance with guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), Lark Heart Health will provide a cost-effective, scalable solution for continuous, person-centric remote heart health coaching intended to help users improve their healthy lifestyle behaviors, reduce stress levels, and ultimately decrease risk factors for heart disease. Through an evidence-based educational curriculum and real-time personalized coaching, Lark will provide users with the tools they need to make meaningful lifestyle changes that can help them better prevent and manage ASCVD and CAD.
Earlier this year, Lark announced it had joined the AHA's Network at American Heart Association Center of Health Technology & Innovation, which is focused on building and fostering health technology relationships to develop innovative and scalable solutions.
"Lark Heart Health will help those at high risk prevent and actively manage cardiovascular disease through personalized digital coaching. By leveraging our AI technology, we can deliver meaningful and engaging care at an unprecedented scale, and this collaboration with Roche Diagnostics will support the expansion of our proven tech platform into one of the costliest chronic disease markets."
Julia Hu, co-founder and CEO of Lark
About Lark Health
Lark is a healthcare technology company aimed at delivering infinitely scalable, virtual chronic and preventative healthcare through conversational AI. To date, Lark has provided nearly 2 million people with unlimited, 24/7 personalized care delivered through an easy-to-use, text message-like interface that integrates remote patient monitoring tools and is built on a cognitive behavioral therapy framework. Lark's platform seamlessly integrates with health plans' and employers' existing healthcare infrastructure to help them scale their chronic disease prevention and management programs, boost engagement, and improve health outcomes. Lark currently works with many of the largest health plans and across four programs: Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, Diabetes Care, and Hypertension Care. Lark's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is the fastest growing and lowest cost DPP, has received the highest level of clinical recognition—Full Recognition—from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company has received numerous accolades, including having been named as one of CB Insights Digital Health 150 (2019), a finalist for the UCSF Digital Health Awards one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies and one of Fierce Healthcare's Fierce 15.
FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
TRC Healthcare | March 16, 2022
TRC Healthcare a trusted leader in continuing education, has acquired QURE Healthcare, a recognized innovator in clinical measurement and quality improvement. QURE's provider-focused solutions lead to better patient outcomes and lower costs for healthcare systems and coverage and reimbursement for life-science clients. TRC's acquisition paves the way for QURE to scale its innovative Clinical Performance and Value (CPV®) patient simulation software solutions.
"Through the acquisition, TRC Healthcare intends to augment its already robust suite of products by focusing on improving patient outcomes with evidence-based training, education and continuing education/continuing medical education for physicians and other providers" TRC Healthcare's CEO,Wes Crews, announced.
"QURE is excited to join a company that is so aligned with our mission to raise the quality of healthcare, standardize practice and lower costs by changing clinician behavior. Measuring and reducing care variation using CPV®vignettes is QURE's core business. We have demonstrated in the peer-review literature that we can do this from the ambulatory to the intensive care setting and for diseases ranging from angina to zoonoses, all with the goal to eliminate unwarranted variation, raise quality for patients and lower costs for payers."
Dr.John Peabody, the founder and president of QURE
TRC Healthcare regards QURE as another key addition to its recent acquisition of NetCE, an industry leading continuing education platform that educates nurses, physicians, and mental health professionals. Together, QURE and NetCE fortify the evidence-based healthcare solutions TRC offers, "The addition of QURE increases our link between strong education and better patient outcomes," remarkedWes Crews.
Dr. Peabody will continue to serve as QURE's President and will take on the additional role of Chief Medical Officer at TRC Healthcare. Dr. Peabody is a renowned international health care figure in clinical care quality and a professor at theUniversity of California, San FranciscoandLos Angeles. In 2012, John started QURE Healthcare. The QURE platform – CPV® vignettes – has grown and become a widely adopted standard for measuring clinical practice. QURE CPVs are used by organizations looking to engage their providers in clinical variation reduction efforts, including large health care systems, independent practice associations, public and private payers, governments, non-governmental associations, and intergovernmental organizations. Dr. Peabody has contributed more than 200 articles, books, and abstracts to the peer-review literature, served on blue ribbon committees, testified before congress and advised heads of state on a wide variety of subjects notably quality improvement and the economic benefits of standardizing practice in healthcare systems.
"QURE is an extraordinary company, with a validated product and team and an incredibly passionate community of users," saidWes Crews. "Together we can transform the way we engage providers and change patient care."
About TRC Healthcare
TRC Healthcare (TRC) is a premier source of lifelong learning solutions for healthcare professionals. TRC is most recognized for their education and CE offerings within the highly-regarded Pharmacist's Letter, Prescriber's Letter, and Pharmacy Technician's Letter. TRC also offers Pharmacy Technicians University, the leading online training program for pharmacy technicians. The Natural Medicines database makes it easy for subscribers to find unbiased, evidenced-based research about alternative drug therapies.
Through the acquisition of CriticalPoint, NetCE and Bula TRC Healthcare has been expanding its offerings. CriticalPoint increases patient safety through a variety of educational compounding offerings concentrating on USP 797, 800, and 795. NetCE is an industry-leading, continuing- education platform supporting multiple professions including nurses, physicians, and mental health. And Bula provides legal and regulatory advice to retail pharmacies. These additions give TRC Healthcare the industry's largest catalog of continuing education and advisory services, with thousands of courses trusted by healthcare professionals to provide accredited training that meets continuing education and licensing requirements.
QURE Healthcare is a provider engagement company committed to improving the quality of clinical care. using its proprietary technology, CPV®(Clinical Performance and Value) vignettes. CPV®vignettes
Mednow Inc. | March 08, 2022
Mednow Inc. Canada’s on-demand virtual pharmacy, is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a share purchase agreement on March 4, 2021 with Mednow East Inc.and the shareholders of Mednow East, pursuant to which the Company shall acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Mednow East, in consideration for an aggregate cash payment of approximately C$65,578 and the Company’s agreement to convert approximately C$1,374,422 owed by Mednow East to the Company pursuant to a pharmacy agreement dated September 15, 2020, as amended October 30, 2020 into a non-interest bearing on-demand convertible promissory note.
Mednow East is an Ontario company that operates an online pharmacy, delivering prescriptions in the Province of Ontario. Mednow East has its business headquarters in Toronto and employs Mednow’s marketing and technology platform for lead generation, prescription fulfillment and customer services pursuant to the Pharmacy Agreement.
Strategically, Mednow is focused on building out a national pharmacy footprint and the acquisition of Mednow East, with their presence in Ontario, helps to accelerate these goals. Prior to this acquisition, Mednow entered into the Pharmacy Agreement with Mednow East, but post-acquisition, Mednow will own 100% of a pharmacy located in Ontario, which will allow Mednow to provide free same-day pharmaceutical delivery services in the GTA and surrounding areas, and free next-day delivery in the rest of Ontario.
Upon closing of the Share Purchase Agreement, Mednow East’s revenue and expenses will be consolidated with those of Mednow and the Pharmacy Agreement between the two parties will be terminated. The debt of approximately C$1,374,422 extended to Mednow East by the Company was used to fund Mednow East’s working capital and provide support for its operations.
As Amir Ali Reyhany-Bozorg and Felipe Campusano are directors of the Company and Karim Nassar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and each are also shareholders of Mednow East, the transaction contemplated under the Share Purchase Agreement is a related party transaction under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 –Protection of Minority Securityholders in Special Transactions. The Company is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements imposed by MI 61-101 pursuant to the exemptions in section 5.5(a) and 5.7(a) of MI 61-101, as neither the fair market value of the Shares, nor the consideration paid therefor, exceeds 25% of the Company's market capitalization.
The Transaction is subject to corporate and regulatory approvals, including TSX Venture Exchange approval.
About Mednow Inc.
Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with a high-standard of care. Designed with accessibility and quality of care in mind, Mednow.ca provides virtual pharmacy and telemedicine services as well as doctor home visits through an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that is focused on the patient experience. Mednow’s services include free at-home delivery of medications, a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer, and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions and vitamins by date and time, and doctor consultations.