SXSW Health: An Overview of the Aetna Healthtech Ecosystem

SXSW1Logo2Today at SXSW’s Social Health Startup Bootcamp a panel of leading healthtech innovators and investors gave an interesting overview of the sector, and the opportunities for startups and investment.

Charles Saunders, CEO of Emerging Businesses for health insurance giant Aetna, introduced Healthagen, the “innovation engine for Aetna”.  Healthagen acquires and builds new healthtech companies, aiming to be “a transformational force for healthcare” focussed on “provider enablement, consumer engagement in accessing and navigating healthcare, and population health technology”.   Some examples of portfolio companies are: iTriage, now the leading US symptoms-tracker and consumer health care app, with some 8 million downloads; ActiveHealth, focussed on “applying clinical experience and advanced analytics to help optimize quality of care, population health and wellness”; Medicity, the leading innovator and largest provider of health information exchange technology; newly launched Practice IQ and recently announced WellMatch. Saunders defined the “hot areas of innovation in healthcare tech” as: accountable care enablement, consumer engagement, population health management and IT, health and wellness low-cost behaviour-change engagement, solutions that focus on the “sickest of the sick”, and big data.

CarePassMartha Wofford, VP & Head of Consumer Platforms at Aetna, summarised the demand and opportunity by reporting that a third of US adults are now using their mobile devices to access health information, and a quarter are using social media to connect over health issues. Wofford introduced the CarePass Developer Portal, which grants access to APIs from Aetna, HHS and other innovators in the health and wellness community to speed up time-to-market and access to patient groups to trial and scale.

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