Why NYC will be home to the next big wave of digital health

April 27, 2017

Healthtech companies like Oscar, Flatiron Health and Zocdoc are household names in New York. The city is also second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to venture capital investment in digital health. With healthtech on the rise, we caught up with some of the industry’s more recent entrants to find out where they see the industry going, and how they plan on being part of that future.

 

Capsule is rebuilding the pharmacy experience by providing an on-demand service for prescriptions. The platform works similarly to ordering an Uber ride or Seamless meal, in that the company will deliver prescriptions straight to customers’ homes or offices via a HIPPA-certified courier within a two-hour window, for free. We caught up with Capsule’s Founder and CEO Eric Kinariwala to learn more.

What is the problem you're solving?

Capsule is eliminating the familiar frustrations of pharmacies by reconnecting medication to the healthcare system in order to deliver better outcomes for all.

How is your team uniquely equipped to solve this problem?

Capsule is built on the strength of our pharmaceutical and technology experts. The entire team is diverse in both background and skillset, featuring some of the best in the tech and healthcare space working together to develop the platform and provide the care that everyone deserves from their pharmacy. My personal background before founding Capsule included investing in global healthcare, technology and retail companies. Sonia Patel, our Chief Pharmacist, started the company with me and was previously with Walmart troubleshooting underperforming pharmacies across the country.

How has being based in New York helped your team grow as you work toward your mission?

Capsule places a focus on convenience without sacrificing quality, something that all New Yorkers can appreciate. The fast-paced environment acts as instant-feedback mechanism for our platform. We’re thrilled to be building our company in New York — we’ve been humbled by the depth of talent and mission-inspired nature of New Yorkers looking to make a difference in people’s lives every day.

What is your team focusing on over the next year?

At Capsule, we believe that everyone deserves a better pharmacy experience. While we’re focused on providing New Yorkers with the best care possible, we’re always evolving and innovating as a company and look forward to sharing more in the coming months about our plans to holistically fix the fragmented pharmacy system from the inside out.

What are your goals over the next 10 years?

Our ultimate goal is to make a difference in people’s lives by providing better healthcare outcomes. That is accomplished by building trust and providing peace of mind for the people and physicians who use Capsule. We’ll never lose sight of the fact that behind all of the complexity of healthcare, we’re just people looking after other people.

 

Blink Health was founded in 2014 by Matthew and Geoffrey Chaiken with a mission to make prescription medication more affordable. The company now works with over 57,000 pharmacies nationwide to make this happen, using a free app and website that allows users to purchase their medications online and pick them up at their local retailer for up to 90 percent off the average retail price. We spoke with Blink Health co-founder and CEO Geoffrey Chaiken to discuss how New York City has helped the company grow. 

What problem is Blink Health solving?

Blink Health is dedicated to making prescription medications affordable for everyone in America.

How is your team uniquely equipped to solve this problem?

Blink Health has put together a team of leaders in healthcare, e-commerce, and big data that have successfully brought the last major area of commerce online — prescription medications.

Blink is the first to allow patients to purchase their prescription medications online and pick them up at local pharmacies providing consumers with price transparency, lower prices and intelligent experiences previously not possible.

How has being based in New York helped your team grow as you work toward your mission?

Blink has an incredibly diverse and growing team. There’s something for everyone in New York and we aim for the best and the brightest. New York is a great attraction which has allowed us to recruit talent from all corners of the world ranging from San Francisco to South Africa. We’re very proud of the engineering and marketing organizations we’re building.

What is your team focusing on over the next year?

70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication and we believe most are overpaying. We want to ensure every American knows what the fair, Blink Price is over the next year. Our main focus is to make sure no one overpays for their medications.

What are your goals over the next 10 years?

Our mission is to use technology to make healthcare better, and it is the glue that holds the company together. It’s the reason we work tirelessly every day and we won’t stop until every patient gets access to the medications they need at a price they can afford.


Quartet's platform takes historical patient records and allows doctors to analyze the data to see if a patient’s physiological symptoms are associated with, and being exacerbated by, a mental health condition. We spoke with Quartet’s CEO Arun Gupta to learn more about what the team is focusing on as they continue to grow in New York.

What problem is Quartet solving?

Quartet is transforming the way mental healthcare is delivered by making it more accessible and integrated into primary care.

How is your team uniquely equipped to solve this problem?

We’re a mission-driven team of engineers, data scientists, and clinicians finding solutions for a broken healthcare system — many of us with personal connections to mental health conditions.

How has being based in New York helped your team grow as you work towards your mission?

Based in NYC, we’re fortunate to have access to incredible talent with such diversity in backgrounds and experiences. We’re also part of the constantly expanding NYC tech scene that provides opportunities to exchange learnings and network with other companies as we tackle the complexities of our health system.

What is your team focusing on over the next year?

We’ve had exponential growth over the past year, launching in 4 markets across the country. For the next year we’re planning to expand in 8-10 new cities with major health systems and plans. It’s difficult to drive change in healthcare, but we’re at the point where large provider systems, plans and patients are unhappy with the current system. There’s a cultural shift that needs to take place in how healthcare providers are treating mental health, so we’re driving a lot of this change through community engagement with primary care physicians and mental health providers.

What are your goals over the next 10 years?

We’d like to see high-level impact in fixing our health system nationally, with growing understanding of the value of integrated care for mental and physical health. As health systems continue to see patients with mental illnesses that are likely to overutilize resources get help and improve, we can continue to show the economic tie back to Quartet’s work and motivate interest in new approaches to care.

 

TalkSpace offers access to anonymous therapy with licensed professionals anywhere and whenever you want. That means you can now talk to a therapist through an app or on your computer. New users can take a free assessment and work with Talkspace to get matched to the right provider, starting a long-term mental health journey on the right foot. We caught up with Michael Kuznetsov, VP of Marketing at Talkspace to learn more.

In one sentence, what is the problem you are is solving? 

Talkspace is making therapy more affordable, accessible and convenient for the way we live today. 
 
How is your team uniquely equipped to solve this problem? 
 
Talkspace has developed a platform that connects people with licensed therapists, allowing them to communicate 24/7 via text messaging, live video calls or asynchronous audio and video messaging. Our therapist network consists of more than 1,000 licensed counselors in the U.S. who are specialized in dealing with mental health issues that range from anxiety to depression, stress, relationships, sexuality, PTSD and more. 
 
We've also partnered with researchers at NYU, Columbia and Duke to establish the efficacy of messaging therapy. Our board of advisors also include known experts in behavioral health, health care management, CBT and technology. 
 
How has being based in New York helped your team grow as you work towards your mission? 
 
New York stands at the intersection of some of the biggest industries in the world — finance, media, advertising, fashion and technology — and is a talent magnet and innovation hub. Talkspace, which give people 24/7 access to a therapist via text messaging, was a natural fit for busy  New Yorkers and has allowed us to build a great foundation for growth. 
 
What is your team focusing on over the next year? 
 
We're focused on continuing our mission of making therapy available for everyone by reducing the barriers that often prevent people from seeking the help that they need. A big part of our movement is to normalize therapy in such a way that a mental health check-up is just as important as your annual physical. 
 
We're also excited to continue growing Talkspace for Businesses and working with companies to offer mental health care as part of their benefits programs.
 
What is your long-term goal(s) over the next ten years? 
 
Ensuring that everyone in the U.S. has access to affordable mental health care, and perhaps bringing Talkspace to the rest of the world. 
 

Images via featured companies, Facebook and Shutterstock. 

Know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.

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