Troutman Pepper Co-Hosts Health Care IT Forum
On June 8, Troutman Pepper co-hosted the Health Care IT Forum Investor Panel and Showcase with PACT Philadelphia. The event included an investor panel that discussed the strategic and investing environment of health care IT (HCIT) in 2021, a company showcase featuring six innovative HCIT companies, and a virtual networking reception.
After Dean Miller of PACT kicked off the program, Troutman Pepper Partner Thomas Dwyer, who specializes in corporate, M&A, emerging growth/venture capital, and technology law, welcomed guests and commented on the HCIT space. He noted in his remarks that growth in the HCIT space sees no evidence of slowing down. For example, Dwyer highlighted that in the first half of this year, Google acquired Fitbit, Privia Health raised $450 million in an IPO, PatientPing had a $1.5 billion exit, and Cue Health raised $235 million in venture funding. He mentioned that general trend lines follow these notable deals when he said, “Venture funding in the health care IT space doubled in 2020 compared to 2019, and there has really been no sign of a slow-down.”
Dwyer started the event’s investor panel portion by introducing panelists: Managing Partner Glen R. Bressner, Activate Venture Partners; Director of Investments for Health & Digital Health Jennifer Hartt, Ben Franklin Technology Partners; and Managing Director Corporate Development & Strategic Investing Tom Olenzak, IBX. Next, Dwyer asked each panelist to speak about the goals of their respective funds.
Bressner spoke first about Activate Venture Partners’ history of early-stage investing in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and metro area of New York since 1985. Activate Venture seeks to develop a relationship with entrepreneurs as a committed and constructive partner.
Hartt spoke next about how Ben Franklin Technology Partners both invests in companies and conducts independent due diligence to work through challenges those companies may face.
Olenzak spoke about his role in the venture capital arm of IBX. He noted that its investments are targeted to companies that have a strategic connection to their parent company Independence Blue Cross, which allows IBX to leverage the connections and resources provided by its parent company.
The panelists then discussed how last year’s coronavirus pandemic affected how they conducted business and how it will have lasting effects on the investment landscape going forward.
Bressner noted that it was a challenge to get to know entrepreneurs when restrictions prevented face-to-face interactions. With the pandemic restrictions thawing, he expects the pace of investing to accelerate. “There is a lot of capital available for entrepreneurs who are looking for early-stage to expansion-stage investment,” he said.
Hartt commented on opportunities provided by virtual environments to get a more comprehensive look at a company. For example, she said that a video call allows investors to meet more individuals on a start-up team than just the founder of a company. “I do like digging in on the fundamentals with more of the team if possible,” she said. She pointed out that video calls makes it even more important for companies to have data and financial models available for screen-sharing when on the phone with investors.
Olenzak mentioned that the challenge of not being able to meet with entrepreneurs in person can skew fundraisings to entrepreneurs who have an established track record or a prior relationship with an investor. He said that entrepreneurs must make an extra effort to make a holistic impression to an investor through a video call that would have otherwise been easy to convey in person. He also noted that companies need to think about how they will implement an effective sales plan when they may still be restricted from traveling to conferences and events, where they would normally market their products and services.
Dwyer concluded the panel by asking the panelists how health care and health care delivery are changing. He asked the panelists if they anticipate any changes in their investment strategies due to the changes.
Bressner said that the coronavirus pandemic accelerated existing trends in the health care sector. He explained that the trends of the consumerization of health care and the shift to value-based medicine have provided the opportunity for investors to participate in partnerships with innovators at a much faster pace.
Hartt talked about how digital health care products are continually learning how to use digital health data more efficiently. She noted that there is a lot of investor interest in platforms that use AI as an information management tool.
Olenzak noted that health care is shifting to “whole person health.” This model looks at physical, mental, and social determinants of health, and these changes are driving IBX’s strategic investment strategy.
After the investor panel, Dwyer introduced the company showcase, which featured six interesting and diverse companies:
- Medecision brings over 30 years of business success and provides integrated health management solutions. Its software and services are used by leading health plans and care delivery organizations to support the health and care of its members and patients.
- BioT Medical provides an easy-to-integrate, cloud-based platform for medical device manufacturers and pharma companies that is designed to instantly connect patients with caregivers to ensure a seamless continuum of care.
- BioStream Technologies creates novel adjunctive therapies and assessments, using eye-tracking technology delivered in an immersive gaming experience. Its product empowers the diagnosis of neurological disorders, specifically autism.
- Rymedi provides a cloud-based disease testing and treatment workflow management solution that is patient centered and user friendly. Its connected health platform prioritizes a simple patient experience.
- ReferWell provides a unique blend of an EMR-agnostic technology platform and operational support to solve health care’s “last mile” challenge — scheduling patients, encouraging follow-through appointments, and helping specialists verify the appointments occurred.
- AMRA Medical is a digital health care company that offers analytics from MRI scans by adding only minutes to the patient’s scan time. AMRA provides a cloud-based service that provides a muscle assessment score with individualized context for patients being assessed for sarcopenia.
The event concluded with a virtual networking session, where attendees could meet representatives from the presenting companies and the investor panelists.
You can watch the full panel on the PACT YouTube Channel
For more information on the SEED Program, visit seed.troutman.com
About Troutman Pepper
Troutman Pepper is a national law firm with more than 1,200 attorneys strategically located in 23 U.S. cities. The firm’s litigation, transactional, and regulatory practices advise a diverse client base, from start-ups to multinational enterprises. The firm provides sophisticated legal solutions to clients’ most pressing business challenges, with depth across industry sectors, including health sciences, energy, real estate, insurance, finance, private equity, construction, and technology, among others. Learn more at troutman.com.
Nick Dowdle is a 2021 summer associate with Troutman Pepper and not admitted to practice law.