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Funding of life science companies are going through drastic changes!
Written by Anne DeGheest // 09 February 2012 // Angel funding, Entrepreneur, healthtech, mobile health, НealthTech Capital, digital health, HIT

Today, I was on a funding panel organized by Singularity University during their FutureMed program. Traditional medical devices and biotech companies are facing a significant funding gap from the shrinking venture industry. This is due to the lack of clarity of the FDA approval process and the challenges in getting reimbursement for new products. As a result funding in traditional life science companies has decreased significantly especially for the earlier rounds. However a new sector is emerging under different names: digital health, mobile health, HIT or HealthTech. The direct to consumer applications have seen a surge of new startups in the last 12 months, followed by Angels or technology venture capitalist. There are two areas that are emerging with significant opportunities:

· Improving the productivity of the existing healthcare providers in the existing fee for services payment system and under the upcoming patient population driven by the healthcare reforms.

· Engaging the patient to take responsibility to manage their health or chronic disease conditions.

These two sectors will require new approaches in building businesses. Starting with a small amount of initial capital, these young companies need to be heavily mentored to understand the pain points of all the stakeholders in the healthcare systems, engage consumer to change behavior, leverage the new mobility and social platform.. Without requiring significant capital investment!

These are the time of defining pain points, quick prototyping, customer feedback, product iteration to understand user adoptions.....and the revenue model!

Too many entrepreneurs are developing cool apps... Without spending enough time on the business issues. Since there may be low IP protection, what are the barriers of entry on the business side? How will your acquire the customers..at an acceptable cost? How will you retain them? Who will pay..and why? What will you have to do to convince them? Do you have to interface with the existing medical information system? How scalable is you backend operation? These are questions that you first investors will ask.. If you don't have these answers you will need a clear roadmap on how to get them!

Sculley: Domain expertise just as critical as technology in healthcare
Written by Anne DeGheest // 23 January 2012 // Entrepreneur, НealthTech Capital, mobile health, digital health

As Sculey pointed out " Domain expertise just as critical as technology in healthcare".

In order to succeed in the new digital health space, entrepreneurs need three sets of expertise: healthcare, technology and consumer engagement.

Most entrepreneurs are coming from the technology side with little understanding of the complexity of the healthcare workflow and regulatory oversights. It is critical for entrepreneurs to understand the pain points of all the different stakeholders and design of value proposition for their products that meets the needs of all the healthcare players ...and the consumers.

This is why I founded HealthTech capital, an ecosystem of Angel investors that brings those three sets of expertise to the entrepreneurs we invest in and mentor.

The Dartmouth Staff inteview about HealthTech Capital $400K investment in Pharmasecure
Written by Anne DeGheest // 31 October 2011 // Angel funding, НealthTech Capital

PharmaSecure - an international company founded by two Dartmouth alumni in 2007 that prints unique barcodes on consumer drugs to verify their authenticity - received additional funding this week, bringing its total awarded amount to $3.9 million over the past two months, co-founder and CEO Nathan Sigworth '07 said in an interview with The Dartmouth. PharmaSecure, which is based in Lebanon, N.H., and operates exclusively in India, received the funding through a joint investment from HealthTech Capital, Gray Ghost Ventures, TEEC Angel Fund and Innovation Endeavors, which is run by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, according to a PharmaSecure press release.

The company installs specialized printers that print unique barcodes and serial numbers on drug labels in pharmaceutical factories, Sigworth said. When a consumer purchases a drug, he or she can text the code on the label to PharmaSecure, which then sends a response message notifying the consumer of the drug's authenticity, he said.

There is no charge for consumers to use PharmaSecure's service, Sigworth said. The company profits from the drug manufacturers that purchase and use the printers, he said.

PharmaSecure, which was co-founded by Taylor Thompson '08, plans to use the funding to expand its team and develop new ways to use the data it collects regarding where drugs are used and who purchases them, Sigworth said. He said he hopes this information will allow people to receive better health care in the future.

Anne DeGheest, managing director of HealthTech Capital, said HealthTech was attracted to PharmaSecure because it fit with the fund's aim of investing in companies that use business models to improve health care delivery.

"PharmaSecure really hit our sweet spot," she said. "They found a low-cost and effective way to reach out to the patient so that he could confirm that the drug he had in his hands is correct."

HealthTech invested over $400,000 in PharmaSecure and also encouraged Innovation Endeavors to give a donation to the company, DeGheest said.

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