Digital Health: Investments

How Digital Health Companies Can Stand Out

Moderator: Yizhen Dong, MBA, Partner, Global Founders Capital
Hamzeh Abdul-Hadi, Principal, Hikma Ventures
Gary Gershony, MD, General Partner, Baymed Venture Partners
Joseph Mocanu, PhD, Managing Partner, Verge HealthTech Fund
Julianne Roseman, Senior Associate, Plug and Play Ventures 

Digital health applications providers have been locked into a legacy of disjointed, broken, incompatible, high-cost systems for years. The unstructured baseline data infrastructure has been a challenge to evolve and streamline across all the constituent corners of the digital health marketplace. AI heralds the advent of a new “digital transformation” that is now finally within reach, thanks to a focus on normalizing disparate data, enabling optimization of healthcare workflows, improving dynamic patient access and offering lower-cost distribution models. The digital health investors are showing a strong interest in AI applications that are improving medical practitioner efficiency, upgrading the hospital and clinic workflows in the evolving regulatory environment.

Panelist Bios

Hamzeh Abdul-Hadi, Principal, Hikma Ventures
Hamzeh joined Hikma Ventures as an Associate in August 2016 and worked on closing 10 Digital Health deals in North America, acting as an observer on 4 of these companies. Prior to that, Hamzeh was part of the Corporate Treasury team at Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK). He also held various finance roles at Phillips Morris International and Capital Investments. After graduating from the George Washington University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance, Hamzeh helped organize TedxDeadSea in Jordan. He was also the founder of a social networking platform based in Madrid, Spain.

Yizhen Dong, Partner, Global Founders Capital (Moderator)
Yizhen started his career interfacing between biopharma and providers to collect and analyze real-world evidence data on how cancer patients are treated, used these insights to formulate commercial strategy of therapeutics, and supported the launch of a cancer drug in two indications at Roche/Genentech. Since then, Yizhen became an early-stage digital health and computational biology investor. His first investment was into a digital health company that brings mental health telemedicine to existing primary care provider sites to provide holistic treatment for patients with chronic disease. Yizhen subsequently invested in and was on the board of Hinge Health, a digital intervention for musculoskeletal pain startup, selling to self-insured employers and payors to reduce the cost of surgery. He has also invested in consumer-facing, payor-reimbursed diagnostics companies. Yizhen currently is a Partner at Global Founders Capital, and was recently involved in an investment into an exercise/cardiac rehab digital health company for Medicare Advantage patients. Through these experiences, Yizhen has worked with providers, payors, biopharma, and patients and seen myriads of digital health startups succeed and fail. Yizhen works extensively and closely with digital health entrepreneurs in formulating strategy across multiple healthcare stakeholders, tracking and achieving meaningful KPIs, and fundraising in our constantly evolving healthcare systems.

Gary Gershony, MD, General Partner, Baymed Venture Partners
Dr. Gershony grew up in Toronto, Canada and attended the University of Toronto where he graduated from medical school at age 23. He continued his training in internal medicine and general cardiology at the University of Toronto where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Gershony continued his training in interventional cardiology, serving a fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta under the auspices of Dr. Andreas Grüntzig, the inventor of coronary and peripheral angioplasty. From 1993-1997, Dr. Gershony was Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Interventional Cardiology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. For the past 20 years he has practiced interventional cardiology at John Muir Cardiovascular Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is currently the Director of Cardiovascular Research, Education and Technology, and has established a successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program. Dr. Gershony’s research interests include novel devices for complex coronary and peripheral angioplasty, percutaneous valve therapies and local drug-delivery to prevent restenosis. He has participated in numerous multi-center clinical trials as a Principal Investigator. Dr. Gershony is board certified in general cardiology and interventional cardiology and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Royal College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Dr. Gershony has authored over 100 manuscripts and abstracts in the field of cardiology and is a regularly invited faculty lecturer to the preeminent U.S. and international interventional cardiology meetings. Dr. Gershony was the Founder of Vascular Solutions, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN), which had a successful IPO in 2000, and for which he served as Chief Medical Officer and a member of the Board of Directors from 1996-2002. Dr. Gershony was the principal inventor of the Duett™ Vascular Sealing Device manufactured by Vascular Solutions. Dr. Gershony was also the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AngioScore, Inc. (Fremont, CA), a medical device company devoted to developing unique angioplasty scoring balloon catheters to address a variety of important clinical needs during coronary and peripheral interventional procedures. He was a member of the senior management team from 2003 until AngioScore’s successful acquisition in 2014. Dr. Gershony has served on the adjunct faculty of the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Program. He also completed an Executive Program in finance and accounting (FANFE) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2007. Dr. Gershony is the author of 10 issued medical device patents. He has been a member of the scientific advisory board or a consultant to numerous medical device companies and venture capitalists in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Dr. Gershony is an active early stage MedTech company investor and mentor, a member of Life Science Angels Medical Device and Digital Health Committee, and a member of the Band of Angels.

Joseph Mocanu, PhD, Managing Partner, Verge HealthTech Fund
Joseph is the Managing Partner of Verge HealthTech Fund focusing on early-stage healthcare technology companies relevant to emerging markets. Prior to this, Joseph was a scientist researching new cancer therapies, a medical device entrepreneur, and a management consultant for Oliver Wyman where he led life sciences and digital health across Asia. He has 19 scientific publications, 3 patents, and has made investments in 18 healthcare technology companies to date. Joseph has a PhD from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Julianne Roseman, Senior Associate, Plug and Play Ventures
Julianne currently leads healthcare investing at Plug and Play where she focuses on digital solutions for patients, provides, and pharma. Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that includes venture capital, accelerator programs, and corporate innovation. In 2019, Pitchbook named Plug and Play the 2nd most active investor in the US and the 5th most active investor in healthcare services and systems. Julianne is particularly interested in mental health, femtech, and digital therapeutics as well as impact investing. Her recent investments include Helium Health, healthcare software solutions for emerging markets, and Rapicare, a healthcare supply chain solution in Brazil. Earlier in her career, Julianne worked on therapeutics investing.