Dear fellow digital health enthusiasts,

As usual, your dose of digital health on Wednesday.

According to Rock Health, USD 4.2bn was invested in digital health through the first half of 2019, plus 12 M&A cases and 5 IPO announcements. In dynamic times like these, we think that it is very important to stretch out that growth in health care takes time. The industry is not as fast paced as traditional software, but not as slow and research-driven as biotech. Digital health is a separate category on its own. We’ll never know every detail of what happened in organizations, like Theranos or uBiome but one thing seems clear: In the pursuit of growth, they have put the patient second, and suffered as a result. [≈ 5min]

In a recent executive order, the White House pushes insurers, providers and hospitals to better inform patients about the cost of treatment. So far, there’s been a strong pushback from providers and insurers, claiming that transparency would eventually increase costs for patients. On patient-side though, the lack of transparency leads to absurd situations: For instance, the price of the same blood test (!) can vary between USD 11 and USD 952 through the United States (reference link). Catch: As a patient, you only find out where you are on the price spectrum once you receive your bill. The recent executive order is a step in the right direction for patient empowerment; whether it reduces health care costs remains to be seen. [≈ 7min]

We dig the start-up hustle culture. But let’s be honest, we also dig mojitos on the beach. Since vacation plans are already made, here is a short article about the health benefits of vacation. Could be a nice addition to your out-of-office-Reply: «We’re not vacationing, we’re optimizing». [≈ 3min]

As always closing with our quote of the week: «We’re spending 80-90% of our money and time on the 5% of the population that drives 50% of the costs. The number of people with more than three chronic conditions is going to almost triple in the next 15 years. We’ve got to run different plays and [address] social determinants of health.» Steve Nelson, Former CEO of UnitedHealthcare.

Not happy with our selection? Please send us links that you find interesting.

Have a productive week,

Dominik & Min-Sung