Healthcare incumbents are making the same mistakes that newspapers made when their future was uncertain and a multitude of new competitive threats emerged. They spent too much time looking in the rear-view mirror when they should have been looking through the windshield. Unfortunately, they are doing the equivalent of studying Sears to try to get a handle on the future of retailing. 

The number one success factor for my last startup (Avado, acquired by WebMD 2 years ago) before moving to the VC side of the industry was our focus on studying the next generation healthcare payment and delivery models. Sadly, the vast majority of digital health startups are zombies because they followed bad investor advice and focused on getting their technology deployed in 'Sears' when they should have focused on 'Amazon'.  It was clear to us that there would be a growing understanding that the catastrophic misalignment of health resources towards a "5-alarm" sick care system created the horribly under-performing status quo. Time proved that we made the right bet on the shift to value-based care model. 

Over the last several years, I've become friends and fans of the leaders of the next generation healthcare delivery organizations that are wildly out-performing the status quo. It's no surprise that next generation organizations  have garnered over $1.2 billion of investment to rapidly scale their models (this is just in primary care). Who knew that a proper investment in health benefits could lead to outstanding health outcomes for a challenging population (medically speaking) while simultaneously lowering crime by 67% and more than doubling high school graduation rates to nearly 100%. Working with these kinds of organizations is what makes our focus so enjoyable -- the real human impact is tangible.

Healthcare Industry Taxonomy for the New Health Ecosystem (click & view slides 4-8 for complete taxonomy)

Healthcare Industry Taxonomy for the New Health Ecosystem (click & view slides 4-8 for complete taxonomy)

Having spent the last 7 years studying the next generation healthcare payment and delivery models has given me a useful perspective on the industry. However, it's impossible for one individual (or even one organization) to possibly understand all of the nooks and crannies of healthcare. Not only are there many different segments of healthcare, local market conditions vary wildly and impact which markets will develop the fastest. This was the core reason I broke my self-imposed rule to say "No" to every advisory/board opportunity that came to me during the Avado/WebMD phase. Healthfundr built the most compelling healthcare expert network/platform that I had seen which is why I initially joined their advisory board. 

Following my WebMD departure, Healthfundr followed a similar path to AngelList where it went from simply rounding up investors to having a dedicated seed stage venture fund which I'm now leading. The primary reason the Hf Quad Aim Fund investors were attracted to join our fund was the deep investment made in understanding how the $1 trillion shift from the status quo to new business models and organizations is working. As a complement to the fund, we've developed a market insights platform to enable both incumbents and new entrants a clearer view on how the new health ecosystem is developing. It sheds more light on what's behind the next generation of how healthcare is purchased and the set of guiding principles for how to succeed in the changed landscape. We're fortunate to have many of the most forward-looking individuals in the industry in the expert network (see a subset of them by clicking on the guiding principles links).

I've outlined below how we described the market insights platform to our investors when they were introduced to the Quad Aim Fund. It's great to work with investors who are as bullish as we are that it's entirely possible to dramatically improve the care team and patient experience while improving outcomes and lowering costs. That is exactly what the next generation health ecosystem leaders are doing everyday. 

Market Insights Platform for next generation health ecosystem


We can help your organization build significant competitive advantages by providing insight and access into the innovative business models, technologies, and companies that will drive value creation, better care, and success in value-based healthcare models.

Common starting point

The best place to start is a specific project or area to create value in a specific high priority area for your organization. Typically, there is an initial engagement where we scour the world and bring together best practices, companies, etc from particular facets of health and healthcare. As organizations take on the totality of health and are responsible for the total cost of care, there are two key themes to where an organization must focus.

  1. Focus on the high cost areas where there is the greatest opportunity to achieve the quadruple aim. Examples include Rx management, uncommon but predictable gargantuan claims (dialysis, neurology, organ transplants, oncology), out-of-network claims and more. Proven approaches to tackling those items frees up money to invest upstream leading into the other theme...
  2. As the new industry taxonomy suggests, the sick care system only addresses 10-20% of health outcomes. To be a true population health manager, an organization must focus beyond the less than 1% of an individual's life when they are inside a clinic/hospital. Unsurprisingly, the other 99+% of their life matters and there are proven approaches to helping people achieve full health.

The problem we address

  1. The shift to value-based care requires providers and payers to adopt a wide range of innovative business and care delivery models, best practices, and technology necessary to thrive in this emerging world. 
  2. This innovation will come from a wide variety of places, sources, and people, making it extremely difficult to make well-informed decisions and adopt best practices without significant trial and error.

Value proposition

  1. We can help your organization build significant competitive advantages by providing insight and access into the innovative business models, technologies, and companies that will drive value creation, better care, and success in value-based healthcare models.
  2. We create visibility into the disruptive forces reshaping healthcare. We bring the healthcare innovation market to your fingertips so that you can make better, more informed decisions as you transition to value-based care models.

Solution - How we do it

  1. We track the entire health innovation ecosystem for our partners, curate the most promising opportunities, and provide access to expert resources.
  2. We do this by pairing technology with large networks of industry experts. This lets us identify and curate the most promising technologies, business models, and companies.
    1. Reaching broadly across the market - We'll leverage the reach of thousands of experts, hundreds of data/dealflow sources, and many more data points. We use technology to supercharge this reach to see everything.
    2. Signal development - Once we reach everything, we systematically pull signal from the noise 
      1. Technology curation - We pull data from various sources to pull signal from noise
      2. Expert curation - We leverage groups of experts across categories and geographies to help surface signal and provide critical judgment.
    3. Expert insight and selection support - This is the final step that lets us help partners identify, select, and implement, solutions tailored to their needs.


Subscribe to The Future Health Ecosystem Today or follow on Twitter

Contact via Healthfundr for expertise requests or speaking engagements 

Upcoming travel/speaking schedule present opportunities to get on Dave's speaking calendar:

  • Week of July 4: Toronto
  • Week of July 25: Montana
  • Week of September 8: Pittsburgh
  • Week of September 19: Northern Europe
  • Week of October 24: New York
  • Week of November 14: Chicago