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VentureHealth Launches New Crowdfunding Platform for Healthcare

Posted on May 24, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was recently sent the press release (embedded below) about a new healthcare crowdfunding platform called VentureHealth. I’ve long thought that healthcare is one of the areas that could benefit from Crowdfunding the most. Largely because many patients (the crowd) have an interest in solving big problems in healthcare. So, the crowd could come together to help fund solutions to the world’s most deadly and pernicious diseases.

However, VentureHealth takes a bit of a different approach to Crowdfunding in Healthcare. Instead of focusing on patients funding healthcare entrepreneurs (which isn’t really possible yet because of crowdfunding laws), they are focused on enabling accredited investors who want to invest in healthcare startups. This is a smart idea because many doctors likely fit into the accredited investor category.

Unfortunately, having accredited investors is the only way to do crowdfunding today. However, I think this could be a good step for healthcare. If you can get a crowd of doctors backing innovation in healthcare, then you’re more likely to see success.

We’ll see how VentureHealth does over time, but it’s cool that they also announced in the press release below that the helped Channel Medsystems raise part of a series B round of funding. They also have a couple exits listed on their portfolio page including the popular BodyMedia. I’ll be interested to see how Venture Health does over time.

VentureHealth Launches New Model for Funding Healthcare Innovations 

Individual Investors Can Now Tap Into Previously Inaccessible Life Sciences Deals 

San Jose, Calif. – May 17, 2013 – VentureHealth, an online healthcare investment portal for accredited investors, today announced a new model for equity crowdfunding.  Focused on innovations that dramatically improve clinical outcomes, VentureHealth is the first equity crowdfunding portal founded by professional investors.  The investment platform offers qualified investors access to life sciences deals that traditionally were reserved for venture capitalists.

VentureHealth is led by a seasoned team with extensive success in the healthcare industry.  Mir Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director, is a prolific medical innovator who has founded more than 20 life sciences companies and holds more than 200 patents.  Mir is also the founder of InCube Labs, a multi-disciplinary research lab that develops breakthrough medical technologies, and InCube Ventures, a life sciences venture fund.  Andrew Farquharson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureHealth, is an investor and entrepreneur with two decades of experience building, restructuring and acquiring companies in life sciences.  A Harvard MBA, Andrew is also a founding member of InCube Ventures and an advisor to InCube Labs.  Talat Imran, the third Co-Founder and Managing Director, is an accomplished entrepreneur in the world of digital media.

“Venture capital for early stage life sciences companies has dried up in the last few years, and promising companies are always looking for investors.  VentureHealth has the potential to change how healthcare innovations are funded, which is a win for both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Mir Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director.

“We founded VentureHealth so that physicians and other accredited investors can invest in the most compelling biomedical innovations,” said Andrew Farquharson, Co-Founder and Managing Director. “This model gives individuals access to high-quality deals, investing on terms offered to professional VCs.  It’s a paradigm shift and, if we’re successful, this could change the landscape for biomedical financing.”

VentureHealth is also announcing today that it raised $875,000 as part of a Series B round for Channel Medsystems, a start-up developing next generation cryoablation technologies.

“We love this new approach,” said Dan Burnett, Founder of Channel Medsystems. “VentureHealth is very attractive for companies like ours because it creates new financing options, and makes the whole funding ecosystem less VC dependent. That is a very big deal to entrepreneurs.”

In launching the online portal, VentureHealth is able to expand the community of investors while offering a limited number of carefully selected investment opportunities at any given time.

Astro Tellerserial entrepreneur and scientist who oversees Google[x]Google’s audacious ideas lab and “moonshot factory,” is not affiliated with VentureHealth but sees the potential of the model.  “Democratizing access to private markets is a powerful concept, and VentureHealth gets us a step closer to this vision.  It’s opening doors for individual investors, giving them access to deals they wouldn’t be able to participate in otherwise.  Even more interesting, it’s giving these investors a forum to interact and engage with the community.  There’s no doubt that 100 qualified people evaluating a deal make a better decision than one individual investor.”

Registered potential investors can log into www.venturehealth.com to see the most current offerings and to sign up to receive notifications when new investments become available. Those seeking life science investment opportunities must understand the risks associated with equity investments and are encouraged to consider investment diversification.

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About VentureHealth

VentureHealth is an online venture fund platform for accredited investors who want access to breakthrough opportunities in the $2.5 trillion US healthcare sector.  Based in Silicon Valley, the firm was founded by professional investors with strong track records, who are passionate about improving healthcare. The team vets investments based on its deep experience in company building, and is incentivized by the quality of deals, not quantity. The time has come for offline fundraising to move online. For more information please visit www.VentureHealth.com.

Could Patent Conflicts Choke mHealth Growth?

Posted on November 2, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

This week I caught a very interesting piece in MobiHealthNews which took a look at the possibility that the mHealth world is ripe for patent clashes.

Orion Armon, an attorney with Cooley LLP’s IP litigation practice, notes that companies in medical device, computer, networking and communications markets are busily patenting mHealth innovations, and that sooner or later, these patents will overlap.  The result: nasty turf battles which cost everyone involved boatloads of time and money.

While the number of patent lawsuits currently being filed in these industries is nowhere near the levels seen in say, the smartphone and computer  business, a few significant cases have emerged, Armon reports:

  • CardioNet filed lawsuits against MedNet Healthcare, MedTel 24, Rhythm Watch, AMI Cardiac Monitoring, ScottCare, and Ambucore Health Solutions;
  • Robert Bosch Healthcare filed lawsuits against ExpressMD, MedApps, Waldo Health, and Cardiocom; and
  • BodyMedia filed a lawsuit against Basis Science.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the patent ambitions of Airstrip, a tech vendor offering a mobile patient monitoring platform. The company’s President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Cameron Powell, told MobiHealthNews that his company’s patents cover “taking any type of physiologic data—whether that’s from a sensor in the shoe, a home monitor, a blood pressure cuff, or a monitor in the hospital—and then re-rendering it on a native or HTML5 application on a mobile device.”  (My jaw dropped when I read that one.)

Since that interview, Airstrip has filed a lawsuit against mVisum Inc. alleging that four of the other vendor’s products infringe its patent.  It’s asking the court for an injunction barring future infringement, treble damages and attorneys’ fees.  These are standard provisions in a patent lawsuit, but from where I sit they’re pretty intimidating, and if the injunction is ordered mVisum has a heck of a battle on its hands.

As provider interest in mHealth applications continues to expand, I can only imagine that the patent battles are going to get uglier and more widespread.  It’s only logical, given the explosion of innovation we’re seeing in this space. But I do hope that patent wars don’t slow the introduction of new products too much at such a critical time in the mHealth industry’s growth.

Dictation and EMRs, Pocket Health, and the Mirage of Health: This Week at HealthCare Scene

Posted on June 3, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Here’s the weekly roundup of articles throughout HealthCare Scene. Many of these sites have other great articles not highlighted here, so be sure to check those out as well. 
EHR, EMR, & HIPAA

Will Growth in Mobile Use Compromise HIPAA Compliance?

Being able to access data through a mobile device is very valuable for doctors. However, questions about security have been raised, and if certain guidelines aren’t followed, some mobile devices may not be in line with HIPAA standards. Problems are discussed with mobile data security, and the HIPAA standards are explained in this post by Katherine Rourke.

Happy EMR Doctor

Guest Post: Do EMRs Cause a Mirage of Health?

With increased patient access to medical records, there is increased power given to the patient over their health care. However, is it possible that too much access may give false security, or, in some cases, cause someone to worry about something they may not have control over? Ken Harrington, Practice Manager at the Washington Endocrine Clinic, discussed the “mirage of health” that may be created with patient access to EMRs and other medical technology. In this guest post, the questions “is it possible to have ultimate control over one’s health” and “will access to a patient’s medical chart cause them to make better choices — or any choice — to improve their health?” are discussed.

Smart Phone Health Care

PocketHealth Raise the Bar for mPHRs

Personal health records can be very helpful, especially when one has more than one physician. The creation of mobile personal health records (mPHR) has made it even easier to have this information available at anytime. PocketHealth, the latest mPHR to be released, is untethered, was built following the CCD standards, and has raised the bar for other mPHRs.

EHR and EMR Videos

Dr. Frank Davis’ EHR Story from the 2012 HIMSS Conference

At the 2012 HIMSS Conference, Dr. Frank Davis, CMIO and trauma/critical care surgeon at Memorial University Medical Center in Georgia, discussed his experience with EHR at the hospital he works at. In this video, he also gives advice to those starting in EHR Incentive Programs, and the benefits of EHRs and meaningful care.

EMR Thoughts

Meddik, BodyMedia Announce Recent Fundings

This past week, companies Meddik and BodyMedia both announced the large sums of money raised during recent rounds of funding. Meddik raised $750k in seed funding, while BodyMedia raised $12 million. Both companies are dedicated to creating medical and health technology.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Dictation and EMRs: A Bad Marriage? 

A study conducted by researchers with Partners Healthcare in Boston recently examined records on a large number of patients to primary care doctors that are in the Partner’s system. The researchers wanted to see if, and how, the way a physician documents visits affected overall care for patients. Results found that when doctors solely used EMR, they generally provided better care for the patients.

Meddik, BodyMedia Announce Recent Fundings

Posted on June 1, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Meddik, a startup still in its beginning stages, announced on May 24th that it has raised $750K in seed funding. Meddik is basically a system where people can easily search for health information and receive support. Consumers can asks questions and get answers from others. Meddick believes that “we’re all connected by our health experiences — when we get sick, when we’re injured, or when we care for a loved one.” This startup allows users to share these experiences to help others, as well as find help themselves.

There was quite a few contributors to the $750K that was raised. The people and companies that donated money included: Chris Dixon, Nat Turner, Zach Weinberg, Bob Stern, Vivek Garipalli, Collaborative Fund, Founder Collective, Great Oaks, and Silicon Badia.

According to Co-founder Tim Soo, Meddik originally was supposed to be a Google Search engine for health. However, Soo, and fellow Co-founder Ben Shyong, decided that their “scope was too wide” and scaled it down. The launch is set for later this summer.

Wearable body sensors are becoming more popular, thus, the number of companies developing and releasing them is increasing. BodyMedia is one of these companies and recently raised a $12 million funding round that was led by Comcast Ventures. This is a new investment for Comcast Ventures. Draper Fisher, Jurvetson, ePlanet, Draper Triangle Ventures, Ascension Health Ventures, and InCube Ventures were among other investors from this round.

BodyMedia has a variety of products, the most recent being BodyMedia FIT, which is an on-body monitoring system. It tracks the users’ activity level, but as a result of this funding, the company plans to expand its functions and other products to help with chronic diseases, remote elder care, and sleep disorders. Christine Robins, CEO of the company, said concerning the development of these new products:

The emerging convergence of healthcare, technology and consumerism provides an ideal launching pad for us to build on that heritage by introducing new body monitoring solutions tailored to managing a much broader range of health issues.

The company launched in 1999. Before this $12 million funding round, BodyMedia had raised $37 million over the years. BodyMedia also received federal funding because of the company’s work on diabetes prevention. Altogether, $49 million has been raised by the company.

How to Track Your Health – Jump on the Self-Logging Bandwagon

Posted on February 6, 2012 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now enjoys writing about healthcare, science and technology.

Last week, I wrote about Margalit Gur-Arie’s idea for a national health data repository. Commenters, including Gur-Arie, had some great comments. And one of the things that came out of that post was that if there is ever a community run national database, I would happily log my health data into it, and maybe do it for my parents and kids as well. But I don’t really have a great track record of health-logging. I’m not a Quantified Self afficionado, I don’t even check my weight on a regular enough basis. Having my husband photograph me and gauging my weight by the relative puffiness of my cheeks is what constitutes a weight check in my universe. So what are the odds of me going through piles of paper records and typing it all up for a UHR? Slim to none, but a girl can still dream.

Wired published an article late last month on How to Use Tech to Track Your Health, just for people like me. Don’t worry, assures the article, self-logging ain’t that hard, it’s probably so easy even a cavewoman can do it.

Now, just because the article is on Wired doesn’t mean it comes with awesome pedigree and stellar writing. People, it’s 2012, not 1992. If I hear about one more app that sends you text reminders about getting your annuals done, I’m going to barf. Ditto for those tired ovulation trackers. I don’t know who I blame more. the tech companies that come up with these novel solutions after every iPhone developer and their mother has already created a dozen apps and websites around the idea, or the Wired writer who thought it was newsworthy enough to include in her round-up of the most happening ideas. Either way, I don’t care. I don’t want to know about any more reminder and calendar apps, not unless this magical app connects me directly to someone like Simon Cowell or Idris Elba (ok, I have a thing or two for Brit accents). See, there’s a business idea for you – have celebrities become our health coaches and cheerleaders. Some of us might be ready to pay for the privilege.

There are the usual sleep-pattern analyzer apps and personal sleep coaches that help you get a good night’s worth.

Kvetching aside, not everything in the Wired article sounded like it was floated circa the 1900s. I quite liked reading about the BodyMedia biometric patch that apparently works like one of those ciggie patches, and logs your sleep, heart rate etc for upto a week. It is intended to be used a week prior to your appointments, presumably so you can bombard your doctor with the aforesaid minutiae. I also liked the Moodscope idea – you can go to the Moodscope website and play a game, and your reponses to the game are used to gauge your mood. I can imagine how useful that could be to people who might be prone to depression or who want to chart what external stresses produce what reactions in them.

I haven’t used any of the apps or gadgets mentioned in the article, so I’m just reacting at a very surface level to the idea behind the product/service. And your mileage may, of course, vary.

Check it out here.