Category Archives: Health

TraceLink just landed $60 million more to eliminate counterfeit prescription drugs

Just processed by the SEC on this bright Friday afternoon: TraceLink, a software-as-a-service platform for tracking pharmaceuticals and trying to weed out counterfeit prescription drugs in the process, has raised $60 million in Series D funding.

The filing shows that 18 firms participated, including, presumably, Goldman Sachs, whose growth equity arm had led the company’s $51.5 million Series C round roughly 18 months ago. Others of the nine-year-old company’s earlier investors include FirstMark Capital, Volition Capital and F-Prime Capital.

As TC’s Jordan Crook reported at the time of that last round, TraceLink helps pharma companies comply with country-specific track-and-trace requirements through their supply chain, which has grown increasingly important following the passage of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act in 2013. The consumer-protection measure aims to protect consumers from exposure to drugs that could be counterfeit, stolen, contaminated or otherwise harmful.

At the time of its enactment, it also gave the industry one decade before unit-level traceability becomes enforced, meaning the clock is ticking.

Also working in the favor of TraceLink: opioids, whose spread has been rising since the late ’90s, creating ever-growing pressure to isolate vulnerabilities in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Little wonder the company looks to be preparing for life as a publicly traded company, including by releasing quarterly revenue and customer growth numbers. Indeed, according to its “growth highlights,” released just a couple of weeks ago, the company’s first quarter revenue in 2018 was 69 percent higher than it was in the first quarter of 2017.

TraceLink just landed $60 million more to eliminate counterfeit prescription drugs

Just processed by the SEC on this bright Friday afternoon: TraceLink, a software-as-a-service platform for tracking pharmaceuticals and trying to weed out counterfeit prescription drugs in the process, has raised $60 million in Series D funding.

The filing shows that 18 firms participated, including, presumably, Goldman Sachs, whose growth equity arm had led the company’s $51.5 million Series C round roughly 18 months ago. Others of the nine-year-old company’s earlier investors include FirstMark Capital, Volition Capital and F-Prime Capital.

As TC’s Jordan Crook reported at the time of that last round, TraceLink helps pharma companies comply with country-specific track-and-trace requirements through their supply chain, which has grown increasingly important following the passage of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act in 2013. The consumer-protection measure aims to protect consumers from exposure to drugs that could be counterfeit, stolen, contaminated or otherwise harmful.

At the time of its enactment, it also gave the industry one decade before unit-level traceability becomes enforced, meaning the clock is ticking.

Also working in the favor of TraceLink: opioids, whose spread has been rising since the late ’90s, creating ever-growing pressure to isolate vulnerabilities in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Little wonder the company looks to be preparing for life as a publicly traded company, including by releasing quarterly revenue and customer growth numbers. Indeed, according to its “growth highlights,” released just a couple of weeks ago, the company’s first quarter revenue in 2018 was 69 percent higher than it was in the first quarter of 2017.

MyHeritage breach exposes 92M emails and hashed passwords

The genetic analysis and family tree website MyHeritage was breached last year by unknown actors, who exfiltrated the emails and hashed passwords of all 92 million registered users of the site. No credit card info, nor (what would be more disturbing) genetic data appears to have been collected.

The company announced the breach on its blog, explaining that an unnamed security researcher contacted them to warn them of a file he had encountered “on a private server,” tellingly entitled “myheritage.” Inside it were the millions of emails and hashed passwords.

Hashing passwords is a one-way encryption process allowing sensitive data to be stored easily, and although there are theoretically ways to reverse hashing, they involve immense amounts of computing power and quite a bit of luck. So the passwords are probably safe, but MyHeritage has advised all its users to change theirs regardless, and they should.

The emails are not fundamentally revealing data; billions have been exposed over the years through the likes of the Equifax and Yahoo breaches. They’re mainly damaging in connection with other data. For instance, the hackers could put 2 and 2 together by cross-referencing this list of 92 million with a list of emails whose corresponding passwords were known via some other breach. That’s why it’s good to use a password manager and have unique passwords for every site.

MyHeritage’s confidence that other data was not accessed appears to be for a good reason:

Credit card information is not stored on MyHeritage to begin with, but only on trusted third-party billing providers (e.g. BlueSnap, PayPal) utilized by MyHeritage. Other types of sensitive data such as family trees and DNA data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised.

Of course, until recently the company had no reason to believe the other system had been compromised, either. That’s one of those tricky things about cybersecurity. But we can do the company the credit of understanding from this statement that it has looked closely at its more sensitive servers and systems since the breach and found nothing.

Two-factor authentication was already in development, but the team is “expediting” its rollout, so if you’re a user, be sure to set that up as soon as it’s available.

A full report will likely take a while; the company is planning to hire an external security firm to look into the breach, and is working on notifying relevant authorities under U.S. laws and GDPR, among others.

I’ve asked MyHeritage for further comment and clarification on a few things and will update this post if I hear back.

MyHeritage breach exposes 92M emails and hashed passwords

The genetic analysis and family tree website MyHeritage was breached last year by unknown actors, who exfiltrated the emails and hashed passwords of all 92 million registered users of the site. No credit card info, nor (what would be more disturbing) genetic data appears to have been collected.

The company announced the breach on its blog, explaining that an unnamed security researcher contacted them to warn them of a file he had encountered “on a private server,” tellingly entitled “myheritage.” Inside it were the millions of emails and hashed passwords.

Hashing passwords is a one-way encryption process allowing sensitive data to be stored easily, and although there are theoretically ways to reverse hashing, they involve immense amounts of computing power and quite a bit of luck. So the passwords are probably safe, but MyHeritage has advised all its users to change theirs regardless, and they should.

The emails are not fundamentally revealing data; billions have been exposed over the years through the likes of the Equifax and Yahoo breaches. They’re mainly damaging in connection with other data. For instance, the hackers could put 2 and 2 together by cross-referencing this list of 92 million with a list of emails whose corresponding passwords were known via some other breach. That’s why it’s good to use a password manager and have unique passwords for every site.

MyHeritage’s confidence that other data was not accessed appears to be for a good reason:

Credit card information is not stored on MyHeritage to begin with, but only on trusted third-party billing providers (e.g. BlueSnap, PayPal) utilized by MyHeritage. Other types of sensitive data such as family trees and DNA data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised.

Of course, until recently the company had no reason to believe the other system had been compromised, either. That’s one of those tricky things about cybersecurity. But we can do the company the credit of understanding from this statement that it has looked closely at its more sensitive servers and systems since the breach and found nothing.

Two-factor authentication was already in development, but the team is “expediting” its rollout, so if you’re a user, be sure to set that up as soon as it’s available.

A full report will likely take a while; the company is planning to hire an external security firm to look into the breach, and is working on notifying relevant authorities under U.S. laws and GDPR, among others.

I’ve asked MyHeritage for further comment and clarification on a few things and will update this post if I hear back.

Patient reporting tool from CancerAid now integrates with Epic Systems and Apple HealthKit

CancerAid, a self-reporting and symptom monitoring tool for cancer patients, has scored its first major coup in the U.S. healthcare market with its integration into Epic Systems electronic health records at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and an integration with Apple’s HealthKit.

Cedars, an investor in the company through an accelerator program it ran in conjunction with Techstars, marks the first U.S. hospital system to incorporate CancerAid’s self-reporting information into a dashboard system for doctors.

It’s been a long road for company co-founders Raghav Murali-Ganesh and Nikhil Pooviah, who first met eight years ago at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a Sydney, Australia cancer treatment center.

Pooviah was a resident working with Murali-Ganesh in radiation oncology, positions the two men occupied for several years before venturing off on their own to launch the service that would become CancerAid.

The company’s initial inspiration came from years spent checking out the tools that were already in the market for cancer patients — tools like Chemo Calendar that helped with things like scheduling and monitoring appointments.

Instead of studying for some particularly tricky upcoming exams, Pooviah was spending time developing a patient-facing self-reporting symptom tracker and a community portal for cancer patients to discuss, share and monitor their own symptoms.

CancerAid co-founders Drs. Nikhil Pooviah and Raghav Murali-Ganesh and Martin Seneviratne

It was that first tool that won the company acceptance into the Cedars Sinai accelerator and a competitive position in TechCrunch’s inaugural Startup Battlefield competition in Sydney, Australia.

From its initial development, CancerAid now has four primary functions. On the patient side, there’s personalized cancer information for patients after their initial diagnosis. The company also provides a personal journal and symptom journal for patients to report on how they’re feeling, both emotionally and physically, as they progress through their treatment.

A feature the company calls “Champions” was added so that family and friends could keep up with patients and encourage them. And finally, the company added a social networking feature so patients could connect with a broader community of patients and survivors.

Now, the company has added “ClinicianLink,” a clinician-facing dashboard that sits in Epic and integrates with the existing workflows of nurses, oncologists, radiologists and the rest of the hospital administration and operational staff that touches patients as they undergo treatment.

The company expects to lock in six-figure licensing deals for hospital systems to access the entire toolkit and offer it to patients.

For hospitals, there’s some research that suggests simply by reporting their symptoms patients can improve their own outcomes, because doctors have a better sense on more regular intervals of the potential problems their patients face, the company said.

“Patients will be able to use the patient-facing app at home, with a feedback loop back to their care team (physicians, nurses) in the hospital in real-time,” wrote Pooviah in an email. “This feedback loop helps reduce [emergency room] visits and 30 day readmissions (saving $19,000 per patient per year).”

Beyond the Epic integration, CancerAid is also integrating with HealthKit — so that Apple wearables will be able to have the CancerAid functionality, the company said.

The company has 20,000 patients on the app already, and is being used in 80 of the 200 largest U.S. health systems, according to Pooviah.

Backed by $1.9 million in funding from strategic and financial investors, including Cedars-Sinai Health System, Techstars, Australia’s Shark Tank, Slingshot Ventures and Artesian Capital, the company is looking to expand in the U.S. through a dedicated subsidiary as it concentrates on one of the world’s largest healthcare markets.

The Health Sector Needs Tech Giants

medimoney Big companies around the world have made – with varying degrees of success – plays at breaking into the health sector. Google and Apple are prime examples. Today, there are several technology and retail giants moving into health and healthcare that will surely cause disruptions, and push the sector further faster towards healthier populations that are being cared for in… Read More

Screw Those $300 Standing Desks. This Cardboard One Is $25

Oristand Cardboard Standing Desk Is sitting at a computer all day making you fat, but standing desks are too expensive? The Hootsuite CEO’s nifty new side project could save your spine and slim your belly. Oristand is a $25 standing desk made of cardboard. Just unfold the contraption, stick it atop your normal desk, and you can work without hunching. Some employees at Hootsuite were already bolting little IKEA shelves… Read More

What Happened To The Food Industry Last Year?

food groceries By the time you read this, you will be aware of the U-turn our food system is making to find new, personalized, localized ways to your plate. Last year was a bellwether year for food systems, specifically food distribution systems. In 2016, the traditional method of delivering food from farms to tables is going to shift to include new players, more technology and shocking transparency. Read More

New Rules For Our Health’s Digital Future

shutterstock_292036448 Technology promises to transform healthcare. It’s redefining how we interact with, and act on, our health data, and reshaping how care is delivered and coordinated. But uptake so far has been limited — particularly among the elderly, those with chronic conditions and others who could benefit most from a better, smarter healthcare system. To understand why, we need to look at… Read More

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