Norden will be part of Vator’s virtual event Future of Mental and Behavioral in May

Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco interview Justin Norden, A partner at GSR Ventures where he focuses on early stage investments in digital health, AI / ML in health care, and enterprise technology. He led Investments in Sparta Science and Limbix. GSR has $$ 3 billion under management and currently invested from a total fund of $ 650 million.

(Norden will speak at our Future of Mental and Behavioral virtual event on May 19. We will have high-level VCs and C-level executives from leading mental and behavioral companies like BetterHelp from Teladoc, Amwell, Doctor on Demand and Kaiser Permanent, Bessemer Ventures and more)

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Our goal for these digital health podcasts is to understand these three general questions as well: How do we empower the consumer? Are we creating productivity that also enables us to reduce overall economic costs? How is this advancement changing the role of the doctor?

Highlights from the interview:

  • GSR is focused on digital healthcare and typically invests in Phase A or B with initial checks in the $ 3 million to $ 15 million range. The company will invest approximately $ 50 million over the life of a deal. Some of the companies in the GSR portfolio include Kinsa, Medable, Deep 6 AI, and AppliedVR.
  • Two areas that work well with telemedicine are mental health and musculoskeletal care. Mental health can do a lot of things remotely, so this is a natural starting point for telemedicine. Musculoskeletal care companies like Hinge have also seen explosive growth as patients are generally healthy and able to do physical therapy remotely. In the future, telehealth will affect more complicated aspects of health care, including oncology.
  • In some ways, COVID has had a huge impact on how GSR invests, in other ways it hasn’t changed how the company rates and views companies. At the beginning, in February and March of last year, there was a brief standstill as everyone wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Since then, some of GSR’s portfolio companies have had explosive years as those solutions, which always seemed sensible but were a few years later, suddenly saw a rapid shift in demand.
  • COVID has proven the GSR digital health thesis, which has been considered since 2015, but has not changed what types of businesses to invest in. That means teams and entrepreneurs want the ability to grow a business to $ 1 billion in revenue.
  • In a play published on Vator, Norden wrote on how new technologies are relieving pressure on our mental health systems: Technology has already made a difference, including in terms of telemedicine and teletherapy. However, this does not go far enough as it does not change the supply of mental health providers and only marginally improves access. It is the solutions that can scale what a vendor can do, like digital therapeutics and chatbots, that help vendors meet the demand.
  • However, these technologies will not replace the doctor Improve their skills and allow them to focus on the patients who really need care. In the past, innovations have increased the cost of care, so Norden expects it to increase in the short term but may decrease in the long term as patients have cheaper access to first tier care.
  • Nord’s vision for the future of healthcare is that telemedicine will be a first solution across the country that is much more ubiquitous, and that the use of digital therapeutics will also increase. Basically, the reason Norden is an investor, not a doctor, is that these changes need to take place and the technology will improve the system significantly over the next 10 years.

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