KPCB Digital Health Leadership Salon

KPCB Digital Health Leadership Salon

Digital health professionals met in our KPCB San Francisco Office to talk about trends in health technology. Moderated by KPCB’s Beth Seidenberg, the panel of CEOs included Rock Health’s Halle Tecco, MyFitnessPal’s Mike Lee, and Practice Fusion’s Ryan Howard. The night was filled with discussion about future of health wearables, development of mobile & social apps and the challenges of growing a digital startup.

Clip 1:The Barely Tapped Digital Health Market

The venture capital community is still waking up to the vast opportunity in the emerging field called digital health. That was the clear takeaway from a panel discussion hosted by KPCB earlier this year at the firm’s offices in San Francisco. Moderated by general partner Beth Seidenberg, the panel included Halle Tecco, CEO and Co-Founder of Rock Health, a digital health incubator; Ryan Howard, the CEO and Founder of health-care IT company Practice Fusion; and Mike Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of MyFitnessPal.

In setting up the panel Seidenberg noted that venture funding in the digital health space has spiked in the last several years, with $1.9 billion invested in 2013 alone, spread over 195 different deals. But the panels asserted that the opportunity has barely been tapped. “It’s just getting started,” said Lee, the co-founder of a company with his brother that now sports 40 million users tracking their physical fitness. “We’re just getting started on what’s possible.

Howard likewise asserted that “massive opportunity” remains, with no de facto apps or brands in the sector. The playing field, he says, is “wide open.”

Clip 2: What’s So Hard About Digital Health?

So, why is it actually so hard to build a successful digital health business?

That question triggered a lively discussion at a panel discussion hosted by KPCB at the firm’s offices in San Francisco. Moderated by general partner Beth Seidenberg, the panel included Halle Tecco, CEO of Rock Health, a digital health incubator; Ryan Howard, the CEO of health-care IT company Practice Fusion; and Mike Lee, CEO of MyFitnessPal.

Howard asserted that there is “a lot of carnage out there” in the digital health market, with companies that can’t gain critical mass. There are, he says, three core problems: reaching patients; connecting with doctors; and finding the data to drive applications. Lee adds that “getting people to change their behavior is hard,” citing in particular the fact that people smoke despite knowing that it could kill them in the long run. Rock Health’s Tecco notes that her firm has looked at over 2,000 apps so far, and invested in just a handful, while leaning hard on partners like KPCB and Qualcomm to help evaluate their potential.

Clip 3: The Practice Fusion Story – And The Complexities Of Digital Health

Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard says the hardest thing about being a service provider in the digital health sector is the number of parties you need to affect to actually build your business. He notes that the company now connects with over 300 labs, and dozens of imaging centers and billing services.

Clip 4: MyFitnessPal: The Secret To Scaling To 40 Million Users

How has MyFitnessPal managed to build a customer base 40 million strong? CEO and Co-Founder Mike Lee addressed that question during a panel discussion hosted by KPCB at the firm’s offices in San Francisco. Moderated by general partner Beth Seidenberg, the panel also included Halle Tecco, CEO and Co-Founder of Rock Health, a digital health incubator; and Ryan Howard, CEO and Founder of Practice Fusion.

Lee says the company’s secret is not that secret: they focused on building a product that works – a product that is effective for users. He notes that 88% of people who use MyFitnessPal for at least a week actually lose weight. He also notes that the service is sticky, with some users logging in for over 1,000 days in a row.

Clip 5: What’s Next For Digital Health Gizmos?

What will these crazy digital health engineers think of next? How about devices that you swallow. Gulp.

There was an eye-opening discussion of what the future holds at a panel discussion hosted by KPCB earlier this year at the firm’s offices in San Francisco. Moderated by general partner Beth Seidenberg, the panel included Halle Tecco, CEO of Rock Health, a digital health incubator; Ryan Howard, the CEO of health-care IT company Practice Fusion; and Mike Lee, CEO and co-founder of MyFitnessPal.

Among other things, Howard explains why Practice Fusion issues a FitBit to every one of their employees – and why the most powerful digital health device you’ll care in the future is going to be your smartphone.

Clip 6: The Future Of Digital Health

What does the future hold for digital health? How about devices that figure out if you are sick before you know it yourself. Or apps to find a doctor in real-time, or easily make medical and fitness information available in a flash.

The question of exactly where the digital health market goes from here was the heart of a panel discussion hosted by KPCB earlier this year at the firm’s offices in San Francisco. Moderated by general partner Beth Seidenberg, the panel included Halle Tecco, CEO and Co-Founder of Rock Health, a digital health incubator; Ryan Howard, the CEO and Founder of health-care IT company Practice Fusion; and Mike Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of MyFitnessPal.