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THCB Reader -- May 15, 2021


THCB Reader

May 15 · Issue #113 · View online

Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

Well after a lot of fuss and buildup, the Catalyst @ Health 2.0/ Wipfli State of Digital Health Survey was published this week with both a video presentation of the results with a panel discussion, and a full summary write up on THCB. I was also on Clubhouse twice this week discussing the results and a fuller white paper will be out shortly! Lots to discuss but in the end, my conclusion is that almost all digital health companies–even the smaller unfunded ones–felt that COVID was very good to them! Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions.
Elsewhere this week on THCB Reader, Vince Kuriatis and Seth Joseph interrogate whether virtual care platforms might become health care’s mega-platforms, Adrian Gropper hones in on 10 key design considerations for COVID vaccine credentialing, and Kim Bellard draws parallels between the US military and our health care system. We also have three episodes of #HealthIn2Point00 this week including one in which Jess starts getting bored with consistent $100m+ deals. 
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s episode of THCB Gang, I was joined by regulars: policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); medical historian Mike Magee (@drmikemagee), THCB regular writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard) employer health expert Jennifer Benz (@jenbenz); and WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa). Click here to see it.
And of course to listen any time you can subscribe to #THCBGang and #Healthin2Point00 podcasts with an easy click on Apple or Spotify.

In health care tidbits this week, I’ve been stock trading telehealth. Now I am overall bitter that I wasn’t a true believer and missed the massive rise of Livongo and Teladoc in 2020. Jess DaMassa, who is the stock trader par excellance I know, was in both and bought some Tesla for good measure (no Bitcoin though!).
Since late 2020 I’ve been dipping into and out of Teladoc and Amwell, trying to play their ranges. Usually it’s been working out OK, but this past couple of weeks those stocks took a hell of a tumble. First off the whole market was down, but much worse Amazon found a client (albeit a small one) for its AmazonCares program, and Walmart bought a virtually unknown telehealth company. This was cause for traders to mark down $TDOC, and when $AMWL’s results this week were very underwhelming it plummeted too. $AMWL is at about ¼ of its 52 week high and $TDOC is at about ½ of its price back in February.
But Jess noted that when Bertha Coombs of CNBC asked Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic what he thought, he came out swinging!
Jessica DaMassa on Twitter: "Wow @CNBC #HealthyReturns saw @berthacoombs put @TeladocHealth CEO @jasongorevic on the spot...and he didn’t disappoint!" @AmazonCare “Over-rated” @CVSHealth “Great partner” @Amwell “Too narrow & that’s why I like our position” $TDOC #telehealth #virtualcare…"
Follow me on Twitter @boltyboy and THCB at @thcbstaff for more similar insights/nonsense (and even the occasional sensible idea)! Enjoy! – Matthew Holt
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May 14, Vince Kuriatis and Seth Joseph
Vince and Seth believe the potential for virtual care platforms to become health care’s mega-platforms is strong. They describe and assess parallels between the evolution of the duopoly smartphone operating system market and the emerging virtual care platform market. 
May 10, Adrian Gropper
As COVID-19 vaccines become widely, if not fairly, available in different regions, both the public and private sector are working to develop vaccine credentials and associated surveillance systems. How can we design strategies to ensure that IT solutions aren’t oppressive, discriminatory and counter-productive? Adrian presents a list of ten separable concerns in efforts to maximize scientific benefit while enhancing social trust.
May 12, Kim Bellard
Those of us of a certain age remember the Timex slogan that bragged about its watches’ durability: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” A recent article about our military made Kim wish we had a health care system that prized that kind of durability. Innovation is necessary, new technologies are exciting, but let’s not forget the importance of simply being able to take a licking and keep on ticking. Especially in health care. 
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
Hope you enjoyed the newsletter. As ever let me know if you have any comments or want to sponsor/advertise–this newsletter doesn’t write itself but about 17,000 people get it and 80-100K visit the blog every month!
Matthew Holt
Matthew Holt
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