Rosemark Capital, the Nassau Street-based venture capital firm founded by Chris Kuenne, has made its second major investment: a series-B buy into Doctor on Demand, a San Francisco-based company founded by TV’s Dr. Phil McGraw that allows patients to talk to their doctors using an iPhone or Android app. Rosemark’s first investment, announced in June, was also in a healthcare technology company, Jiff.
“There are a large number of acute conditions, whether it’s poison ivy, a sore throat, or flu, that really can be at a minimum diagnosed through a video conference with a board certified doctor, and at a maximum diagnosed and given a prescription for drugs or some kind of therapy,” Kuenne said. Using an app could potentially save a patient a visit to an expensive emergency room or urgent care facility.
“Sometimes the medical advice is that you should go to the emergency room, but it’s good to know that before you get in the car and go to an ER,” Kuenne said.
Kuenne, who sold his first company, the digital marketing firm Rosetta, to Publicis Groupe for $575 million, invests based on his theory of “the four cornerstones of growth,” which he has developed alongside the numbers-heavy market research techniques that made Rosetta a pioneer in the field.
He says Doctors on Demand meets the four cornerstones he has identified, which include focusing on solving a problem for customers, being different from competitors, having a strong corporate culture, and having a good way to measure value.
Kuenne says the value-creating potential of healthcare technology companies is huge, which is why his company’s first two investments have been in that field. “Everybody is very excited about the potential healthcare tech will have for improving lives and improving the cost of care,” he said. He said Doctors on Demand was “very focused on solutions that are really going to engage the patient.”
Jiff, the Silicon Valley-based company in which Rosemark invested in June, is a maker of enterprise software that allows employers to keep track of the health of their work forces and offer incentives for healthy behavior. Doctor on Demand is not the only telemedicine company out there, but Kuenne says he felt confident investing in it because it is the market leader so far. Rather than invest in unknown startup companies, Kuenne has waited for companies to show success before getting on board.
Doctors on Demand was founded in 2012 and has received a large amount of publicity because of co-founders Dr. Phil and his son Jay, who produces a health advice TV show called The Doctors. The Doctors and the Dr. Phil show have not been shy about promoting Doctor on Demand. (McGraw’s daytime TV health guru rival, Dr. Oz, has been hawking a competing app called Sharecare.)
“What an exciting time to become part of the Doctors On Demand growth story,” Kuenne said in a statement. “In a space that’s transforming healthcare delivery, Doctor On Demand’s superb product and extensive provider network positions it perfectly to become the leading brand for moms, dads, and busy employees seeking a trusted mobile physician consultation for one of the many acute conditions that can be handled through this care modality. We’re delighted to bring Rosemark’s expertise in user engagement to help accelerate trial, use, and adoption of this enhanced form of medical care.”
Doctor on Demand offers video consultations with doctors and psychologists for a fee of $40 per visit. Psychologists charge $50 for a 25-minute session and $95 for a 50-minute session. Kuenne says the service is appealing to self-insured employers and health plans because of the reduced cost of the visits, from more than $200 on average.
The company has signed on about 25 million customers through deals with large employers and insurance plans, and Rosemark said the company is “poised to leverage its new funding for explosive growth.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re proud of the quality of our product and the world-class physicians that deliver care on our platform,” said Doctors On Demand co-founder and CEO Adam Jackson in a statement. “Patients rave about their experiences. With Rosemark joining this round and bringing its patient engagement expertise, Doctor On Demand’s potential will be realized that much faster.”
Other investors in the round include Tenaya Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Dignity Health, Jump Capital, and Anne Wojcicki, the founder of biotech firm 23andMe and the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Previous investors included Venrock, Shasta Ventures, and Richard Branson.
Rosemark Capital Group, 90 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; 609-577-5701; Chris Kuenne, founder and CEO. www.rosemarkcapitalgroup.com.
#b#RWJ to Merge with Barnabas Health#/b#
Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System are merging, in a deal that Barnabas says will create the state’s largest health care system and one of the largest in the nation — to be known as RWJ Barnabas Health. The agreement must be approved by the state attorney general, with the companies saying they expect the merger will be completed in 2016. RWJ owns four hospitals, including RWJ University Hospital at Hamilton.
The merger is part of a general trend of hospital systems forming larger partnerships under cost-cutting pressure from the Obamacare legislation. Last month, Princeton Healthcare system said it was looking for partners for an alliance or merger of some sort.
Executives said RWJ Barnabas Health will annually represent operating revenues of more than $4.5 billion, 260,000 inpatient admissions, 2 million outpatient visits, nearly 700,000 emergency department visits, 23,000 births, nearly 30,000 employees, 9,000 physicians, and 1,000 residents and interns. The new system will be comprised of 11 acute care hospitals, three children’s hospitals, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, and five fitness and wellness centers located in Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset, Monmouth, and Ocean counties.
“The new health system will comprise effectively every clinical service from primary to quaternary [highly specialized] and greatly strengthen our commitment to medical education and research,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, CEO of Barnabas Health. “The merger also will provide a large enough geography to be appropriate for the migration to population health management” — the aggregation of patient data.
“We are excited to move forward with this historic merger agreement, which will offer the diverse communities in New Jersey expanded access to the best in academic medicine and community-based care,” said Stephen K. Jones, CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson Health System.
Transition teams have been formed to begin planning for combining the two systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Ostrowsky will serve as the inaugural CEO of RWJ Barnabas Health. Jones will serve as chief academic officer.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital , 1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick 08903-2601; 732-828-3000; fax, 732-545-6749. Stephen K. Jones, president/CEO. www.rwjuh.edu.
#b#Princeton SCORE Names New President#/b#
John Biancamano has been elected chairman of Princeton SCORE. He has over 25 years of business experience as a marketing and sales executive with technology companies, and is president of Inbound Digital LLC, a home-based consulting company in Ewing. He holds an MBA from Rider and a masters in engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Biancamano has been a member, small business mentor, and executive board member of Princeton SCORE since 2014, and is a frequent speaker on digital marketing, branding, leadership, and social media.
“My primary goals as the Princeton chapter chairman are to increase our marketing efforts to build awareness for SCORE, increase the number of clients we serve, establish new partnerships with other community service groups, add more small business events, and ensure that we maintain a high skill set to provide our clients with the latest tools and information,” Biancamano said.
“During the past year, Princeton SCORE has provided over 100 workshops and mentored more than 500 entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
Princeton SCORE offers local workshops in business planning, financial accounting, cash management, digital and social media marketing, Google Analytics, starting a home-based business, sources of funding, QuickBooks, international business, and other. In addition, it offers online training.
Covance Inc. (CVD), 206 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6681; 609-452-8550; fax, 609-452-9375. Joe Herring, CEO. www.covance.com.
Covance, a drug development service company, has announced the retirement of CEO Joe Herring. Herring, who named Deborah Keller as successor earlier this year, retired at the end of July. The company merged with LabCorp in February.
“Over the 10 years he led Covance, Joe transformed Covance from a company with 7,300 employees in 20 countries to a global organization with nearly 13,000 employees in more than 60 countries. Revenues more than doubled, from $1.2 billion in 2005 to nearly $2.7 billion last year,” Dave King, CEO of Labcorp, wrote in a letter to clients. “Under Joe’s leadership, Covance became a true strategic partner for companies bringing new medicines to the marketplace. As such, his impact on healthcare has been extraordinary.”
Herring’s successor, Keller, is a 28-year veteran of Covance, and will also join LabCorp’s executive committee.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, James Forrestal Campus, Box 451, Princeton 08543-0451; 609-243-2000; fax, 609-243-2751. Stewart Prager, director. www.pppl.gov.
A.J. Smith is retiring as Princeton University’s vice president of the Princeton Plasma Physics lab. Smith, 77, has worked in physics at the university for 50 years as a particle physicist, educator, and administrator.
The university is searching for a successor. The lab is owned by the Department of Energy and is managed by the university mainly to conduct research into fusion power among other projects.
Smith received a doctorate in physics at Princeton in 1966.
Sparta Systems, 2000 Waterview Drive, Suite 300, Hamilton 08691; 609-807-5100; Eileen Martinson, CEO. www.spartasystems.com.
Sparta Systems, a Water View Drive based software company, has promoted Steve Buonaiuto to chief operating officer. He will also continue to serve as chief financial officer, a role which he has held for the last year.
“In less than a year, Steve has had a meaningful impact on the business with his exceptional managerial skills, operational expertise, and financial acumen,” Eileen Martinson, CEO of Sparta Systems, said in a statement. “As COO, Steve’s ability to build and integrate exceptional teams will be even more critical to ensure we continue to grow.”
Taft and Partners, 2000 Lenox Drive, Princeton Corporate Center, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-683-0700; fax, 609-683-8011. Pete Taft, CEO. www.taffandpartners.com.
Taft and Partners, a Lenox Drive-based advertising and marketing firm, announced that it has hired former Capital Health spokeswoman Jayne O’Connor as vice president of communications.
“Jayne is one of the most admired communications leaders in central New Jersey,” said Taft President Ted Deutsch. “She has earned the respect of leaders and decision-makers throughout the state, and her deep experience not only with healthcare but also social responsibility and public affairs makes her a perfect fit to help propel Taft’s continuing growth.”
O’Connor was responsible for all marketing and communications at Capital Health for the past seven years. Before that she was director of corporate communications for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she handled communications and community relations. O’Connor’s government experience includes serving as press secretary for Governor Christie Todd Whitman and legislative liaison in the Office of the Attorney General.
As a community leader, O’Connor was a founder, former chair, and current member of the board of directors of Dress for Success Mercer County and served on the boards of many community organizations. O’Connor earned her bachelor’s in political science and masters in political science/public policy at Rutgers.
Taft clients include Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sanofi, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Hay Group, Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Shatterproof.
Systech One, 1 Research Way, Princeton 08540; 609-235-8404; Robert DeJean, CEO. www.sytechone.com.
Systech, a company that makes anti-counterfeiting technology, has moved from Route 130 in Cranbury to a new office on Research Way in Princeton. The company, which was founded in 1985 by CEO Robert DeJean, also has offices in Belgium and the United Kingdom.