Insurers Certainly Like Consumer/Business Healthcare Apps: Subsidiary of Blue Cross Rolls & Couple Others Out $20 Additional Mil
Posted Aug 28 2013 4:28pm
What’s not to like about getting more data to sell? I took a look at the Audax Health page and it looks like yet one more of those websites that wasn’t to educate people on how to get healthier. Don’t we have enough of those yet…guess not when it comes to collecting and selling data and profiles. Why do you think so many of these keep appearing. Look at who backed the company from the start, Cigna and Cardinal Health, they sell data and run analytics up the ying yang. Navigy, the company leading the funding is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross of Florida and the board of Navigy is interesting with former CEO of Aetna on board as well as the VP of partnerships of Facebook.
We need more mobile apps to collect more data? I just read today to where around 65% of the mobile apps are dead so hey let’s get some more out there, and granted the “dead” numbers included all kinds of apps. They have some of the usual data selling device companies as partners here, screenshot below. I looked around but could not find one of those complex “privacy statements” so I guess the ones from the devices apply? I don’t know, you tell me. We have the same pitch on how unhealthy citizens are costing us money and it does but let up on it and keep it in focus and stop the constant pounding on projecting how many dollars will be saved as there will be savings but again stop the investors for trying to bank on these numbers, as they will find too they could be screwed eventually too if they suck it all in.
You have to look at the every day life of a person and how much time do consumers have or want to devote to apps like this? We know that Intuit and Quicken Health went away due to that fact. They are not fun as all the sites say and require some work so it’s up to the individual and this is where the “quantified self” movement fails as the folks writing and developing as well as selling their good forget about this and some think that everyone who doesn’t use their product is not worth much. What I like to find once in a while too are the executives and company employees that don’t use their own stuff…yeah that’s out there…do what I say and not what I do (grin). I’ll give Microsoft credit as they have had this old saying of “eat your own dog food” and they require their employees to use their own software but again for small algorithmic web processes like this who knows.
Not too long ago Blue Cross admitted (their words not mine) that they are buying up your Visa and MasterCard records to see if their members are starting to buy clothes a size larger (grin)..that’s what they said but anyone who has worked with data knows that once they have this data in house off it goes to the hundred of quants they have on the payrolls to figure out how do query it with other data and do something else to create some new analytics or maybe more data to sell..here’s the link on the data purchasing here and it says United does it too.
Not too long after the Credit card purchase story was out we had this to follow up with more purchasing data with wanting to track what junk food you buy, so I said…hmm…are we back to those credit card data bases? Jawbone did their thing with a new platform too to get more data.
So is it not interesting to see insurers funding so many companies like this? I would really like to see some hard numbers on how many get sucked in here or are maybe through their employers encouraged to sign up as self insured employers are taking names and keeping track too as many of these types of programs are targeted for employers to roll out.
You do wonder how many claims this $20 million could have paid, right? Maybe it’s just me that thinks this way:) If you wonder why insurance premiums keep going up, well here’s one example of why as where does the money come to fund more algorithms to mine data? If you happen to participate and develop healthier habits, well that’s the side effect of the first focus I seem to think. Do I get excited about these types of products, nope. We really do need to start licensing and excise taxing the data sellers to create an avenue of regulation which does not exist today with an IT Infrastructure, as we have way too many companies out there “flipping algorithms” for profit and it’s not balanced with producing tangibles in the US. Our biggest fear too as consumers is the fact that data may be used “out of context” against us and anyone who has worked with data can tell you how that could and does work.
We need both but right now it’s the wild west with selling data and this is also one of the reasons that the amount of flawed data is on the rise, nobody monitors any algorithms or math models that get marketed so we have some sheep in wolves' clothing out there if you will.
At the Medical Quack I started some new links called “Posts Worth Reading” to where I chat about some of the intangible processes that you may not be aware of that run on servers 24/7 behind the scenes to help educate all and to encourage you to ask questions when something doesn’t look right. This is a big deal today as data selling has reached an epidemic stage and is actually beginning to affect the economy with models that change risk in some areas. Look for this image on the link bar for more. BD
Audax Health, a digital health startup backed by former Apple CEO John Sculley and other technology and health executives, has raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding. The round was led by Navigy Holdings, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida’s largest health insurer, and included current board member Jack Rowe, former CEO and chairman of Aetna, Dan Rose, VP of partnerships at Facebook and others.
The round follows more than $35 million previously raised from corporate partners Cigna and Cardinal Health, venture capital firm New Leaf Ventures and members of the startups’ board.
With the new funding, the company said it plans to invest in product development, build out the company’s mobile and engineering teams and expand partnerships with insurers and providers.