Direct primary care. EMR opinions. Apple acquisitions.
An Apple A Day…
One of the primary care shifts I talked about in my consumerization of healthcare briefing was the rise of direct primary care (DPC) models. For those that don’t know, these are primary care clinics that charge a yearly or monthly retainer/subscription fee.
Recently, one of the more well-funded DPC companies, Qliance, shut down. Earlier this year, another DPC company called Turntable Health also shut down, while Forward received nearly $30M in funding from Khosla Ventures and others. Below is a snapshot from our platform of some players in the space.
These shutdowns have brought into question the viability of some of these business models and how well they can scale. The DPC business model inherently CAN’T scale if the pitch is providing better care to fewer patients.
So is there a VC-scale outcome here and how long is that going to take? One Medical Group raised its first round of funding 10 years ago. Maybe DPC doesn’t need venture money, but has to charge much more to actually cover costs. Like, $40K and up. The irony of good care costing an arm and a leg.
But maybe someone could make direct primary care work. Maybe someone that could use health services as a loss leader for other products, had success in retail experiences, and knew how to brand premium products…
What’s Tim Cooking?
Another WWDC, and no major announcement from Apple about their moves into healthcare. We know they’ve made relevant acquisitions (see the analysis) and we know they have different healthcare patents (see this search).
So…where’s the stuff?
It’s exciting to think about Apple jumping into the space because their obsessive focus on consumer experience and product could force other healthcare and medical device players to compete along those lines, something they previously haven’t really needed to.
While we wait for Apple, other tech giants are making their moves both in healthcare and digital health. In fact, Apple has made the fewest private market plays in this area, with companies like Google and GE leading in activity. See our full analysis on our blog, including where they’re investing and some of the large deals.