The evolution of healthtech with the use of digital technologies is unlocking newer avenues for entrepreneurs to innovate and bring positive disruptions for care providers, health plans and patients for convenient and effective healthcare delivery. Increasing deployment of big data, machine learning accompanied by artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality is transforming the healthcare space. We feature some top startups that come with a promising intervention for the insurance companies, hospital chains and also for the patients.
DistilINFO Fast Five:
1. Circulo Health – an insuretech player of tomorrow
Ohio-based AI-driven Circulo Management of Ohio, Inc or Circulo Health is a startup founded in 2020 and targets the Medicaid beneficiaries making insurance experience swifter and easier for Medicaid’s 75 million members. The promoters claim it to be a Medicaid insurance company of the future, providing tech-enabled care to the sickest and poorest populations. It looks to improve the medicaid system for both members and providers. But how do they do it? Circulo Health deploys automated coordination of care, cloud-based nationwide data storage and management making reimbursements – as it claims – “lightning fast”. It is how Circulo Health does things differently. On the tech-front, Circulo Health uses AI unicorn, Olive’s tech platform. With a modest fund-raising of $50 Million (M) from the likes of Drive Capital, General Catalyst, Silicon Valley Bank, Oack HC/Ft, Circulo Health draws its strength from the niche target market of Medicaid-Managed Care population unlike some top insurtech players who focused on individual, group and Medicare Advantage segments.
2. Ribbon Health – helping cost-effective healthcare delivery
For an effective tech intervention in the healthcare space, startups are now looking beyond business-to-consumer (B2C) space and are exploring exciting opportunities in the areas of business-to-business (B2B) segments. New York-based Ribbon Health is one such startup that develops enterprise data platform and API layer for sourcing and accessing accurate data. Ribbon, which recently secured $43.5M Series B funding from Rock Health, General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, BoxGroup, and Sachin Jain, offers workflow tools, and a highly accurate data directory to enable network design, referral management, and decision making for health plans, providers, and digital health companies. In a statement on November 16, Rock Health noted, “With Ribbon, health plans, for example, can design higher-quality, tailored provider networks for their members; providers can make more optimal referrals to specialists; and digital health companies can focus on building solutions—not infrastructure.” The intervention made at the organization level improves the delivery of care in better and cost-effective way.
3. CareAdvisors Inc – moving to ensure health equity
Chicago-based CareAdvisors is a healthtech startup providing value-based social care automation in the health systems and health plans. These automation with the use of technology platforms, live integration of expert assistance connects directly with the hospitals and health plans. And it eventually helps them address the unmet social needs for the most needy and vulnerable section of the society for the government benefits and community services. CareAdvisors is a startup, its CEO Chris Gay claims to be a startup to ensure health equity in the society, especially during the times of a pandemic. CareAdvisors has built one of the largest navigation programs in the US of helping to enroll over one million Illinois residents in social services and gain access to resources. There is a clear shift from a traditional volume-based to a value-based reimbursement structure in healthcare space. But it has been challenging for providers and health plans across the country for many years. The tech-based is seen revolutionizing the space with greater integration between the stakeholders such as care providers, plans and the patients.
4. Onyx Health – a milestone in interoperability space
From its launch in May 2020 by the parent, NewWave Telecom and Technologies, Inc., Onyx Technology LLC (Onyx Health) has made a quick headway into e-health space by setting new milestones in the interoperability space. Recognizing the need of the healthcare market for credible and timely information, Onyx brought to the market SAFHIR, a cloud-first platform enabling secure connections between payers and patients. Onyx has emerged from NewWave’s work with CMS developing country’s first nationwide FHIR-based API, Blue Button 2.0 that provides health information access to 53 million Medicare beneficiaries. The key for informed decision-making lies in the access to timely and credible data and Onyx, with its technological interventions, attempts to change the course of how the healthcare market in the US uses the data. As an endorsement to Onyx’s capabilities in the e-health space, Frost & Sullivan recognized its SAFHIR platform with the 2021 North America Enabling Technology Leadership Award in the analysis of North American healthcare data interoperability market. In the past one year, Maryland-based Onyx has forged strategic partnerships with the likes of CareJourney, a national leader in healthcare data analytics and software giant Microsoft to help the American healthcare system to reduce its administrative burden and costs with seamless data access and sharing.
5. Haven Health – a link that connects senior care
A unique way to address the needs of the senior population of the US is to provide them technology in their hands – using wearables. Instead of visiting a doctor in-person, digital communication interventions would help them seek a doctor’s consultations sitting in the comfort of their homes. Leading a revolution in the elderly care space, Haven Health Inc – launched in 2021 – brings the use of wearable devices, cloud computing and motion/gesture control technology to not only detect the complications but also for the sustained monitoring of the patients. Till recently, the senior care space had failed to gain industry attention. But technological tools such as cloud solutions and remote monitoring are making the space attractive for investments and innovation. Further, COVID-19 has fueled the growth for companies like Haven as modern consulting methods such as telehealth became prudent to prevent in-person doctor visits – considered to be a risky affair amidst COVID-19. Giving an outlook about the market potential, Haven states that on average at least 10,000 people are set to turn 65 every day for the next 20 years in the United States alone. Caring for an increasingly aging population will continue to put a strain on senior care unless we embrace new solutions that account for these demographic shifts, it says.
As the healthtech startup ecosystem evolves, newer areas are emerging for innovation in patient care and ease of operations for the organizations including healthcare providers and the health insurers. Players like Haven Health on one empower the patients/users with their wearable devices making diagnosis and monitoring handy for the elderly, there are players like Onyx, which empowers an entire ecosystem with their interoperability interventions on access to data for insurance players and the beneficiaries. Such positive disruptions in the e-health space unlock newer avenues as well as business prospects for the startups.