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Brainstorm Health: Health Care Inflection Point, Sangamo Stock, Digital Health Venture Funding

Hello and happy Tuesday, readers!

As our fourth annual Brainstorm Health conference gets underway, Arianna Huffington—founder and CEO of wellness outfit Thrive Global and one of our very own conference co-chairs—has a new piece up on Fortune asserting that our collective way of thinking about health is at an inflection point.

Why? Because, for businesses, the evidence has become increasingly clear that their workers are burned out, bummed out, and generally stressed out of their minds.

“A survey by Harvard Medical School found that 96% of senior leaders reported feeling burned out. And stress is costing the U.S. economy $300 billion annually in sick time, disability, and job turnover,” writes Huffington.

But there’s good news thanks to both transformative technology and, more importantly, a shift in outlook. “The workplace is in a state of profound transition right now. It’s not just about A.I. and automation but about rethinking how we work and the fundamental relationship between companies and their employees. More and more businesses are realizing that what is missing in the narrow and flawed definition of success is people and the very experiences that shape their lives—both at work and at home,” she writes.

Huffington will be moderating several fascinating panels over the next two days of Brainstorm Health centered on this very transformation and what it could mean for workplace culture, productivity, and employees’ wellbeing, especially when it comes to mental and overall health. I encourage you to follow her sessions—and, really, all of our must-watch panels—via Fortune‘s livestream of the event. And, once again, if you’re around here in San Diego for the event, feel free to drop me a line.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Here comes the digital health IPO market. Funding for digital health companies fell sharply in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year—in fact, it was cut in half to $986 million, according to a new report from Rock Health. Now, there’s some nuance to that number. 2018 was a record-breaking year for digital health investment with $8.1 billion flowing into companies that year; this year’s figures are much more in line with historical trends. And Rock Health finds that the digital health IPO market is starting to heat up, with at least four rumored public offerings in the space this year (including Livongo and Peloton). Stay tuned. (Rock Health)


Sangamo stock soars on hemophilia gene therapy data. Shares of biotech Sangamo Therapeutics soared 27% in Tuesday trading as promising results for a gene therapy to treat the blood disorder hemophilia A silenced the skeptics (well, at least for now). Patients receiving the SB-525 treatment saw significantly increased levels of a critical blood clotting protein six weeks after receiving an infusion. (Bloomberg)


What would actually happen if Obamacare falls? As a controversial court case that will determine whether or not the entirety of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional makes its way through the judiciary, it’s worth asking—what would actually happen if it is found unconstitutional? Well, it would probably be an unholy mess, according to analyses from groups like the Urban Institute and the Congressional Budget Office. The ACA contains far more than just the individual insurance marketplaces and Medicaid expansion (think, allowing people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26, protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, the pathway for approval of biosimilar drugs, patient-centered “medical homes,” and a host of other provisions). (Fortune)


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Produced by Sy Mukherjee
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