Medical Alley Association forms Partnership to Spur Danish Investment, Innovation

December 10, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Medical Alley Association has signed a collaboration agreement with the DanishTechnical University (DTB), Medicoindustrien, Medtech innovation, and GreaterMSP to bring innovative Danish health technology firms to the U.S. via Medical Alley. The three-year agreement funded by the Danish Industry Foundation will involve developing a soft-landing pad for Danish small and medium sized firms that are seeking to commercialize products in the U.S. This will include access to mentors and advisors, service providers, and other expertise.

The collaborators are in the process of building an advisory board and developing the first year’s programs to be announced early in 2019.

“Denmark and Medical Alley have long histories of innovation for the betterment of people around the world. This collaboration will mean more innovations benefit more people.”

– Steffen Hovard, President & Senior Vice President,Interventional Urology, Coloplast and Medical Alley Association Vice Chair

Mr. Hovard will participate in the groups advisory board, providing valuable insight from his experience as an executive in both Denmark and the U.S. Coloplast, the largest Danish medical device firm, has their North American headquarters in Medical Alley.

Medical Alley was chosen as the community to build this bridge because of the breadth and depth of healthcare expertise that exists – world leaders like Medtronic,Mayo Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, innovative startups, and an unmatched supply chain.

“Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care making it the natural U.S. base for this partnership. We anticipate Danish companies will find the right partners in and through the Medical Alley community as well as Medical Alley companies finding new partners in Denmark.”

– Martin Stenfeldt, CEO and Co-Founder of Danish Startup, MedTrace, and a member of the advisory board

Bright Health Announces $200 Million Series C Funding Round as Unique Care Partner Health Plan Model Ushers in the Next Generation of Healthcare

December 3, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MINNEAPOLISNov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Bright Health, an insurance company that provides exclusive Care Partner Health Plans for everyday individuals at competitive prices, today announced it has raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series C funding round. The financing includes two new investors, Declaration Partners and Meritech Capital, as well as existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Cross Creek Advisors, Flare Capital, Greenspring Associates, Greycroft Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Redpoint Ventures, and Town Hall Ventures.

Since early 2016, Bright Health has raised more than $440 million in three rounds of equity financing in pursuit of its vision of ushering in the next generation of healthcare through its proven Care Partner Health Plan model, delivering efficiency, predictability and cost savings to members. The Series C funding will grow the company’s balance sheet and support ongoing expansion into new markets at a pace expected to exceed Bright Health’s growth in 2019.

“Bright Health has continued to execute at a fast pace towards our goal of disrupting the old health care model that places insurers at odds with providers,” said Bob Sheehy, Chief Executive Officer of Bright Health. “With our recently announced expansion, we will triple our geographic footprint in 2019. And Bright Health’s current high re-enrollment rate shows that consumers are ready for this improved healthcare experience – especially when it is priced competitively. We are honored to welcome these long-term investors to the Bright Health community as we look forward to what’s ahead for the company. We are just getting started.”

“As a growth investment fund, Meritech is looking for opportunities to invest in fast growing sector leaders whose potential to use technology will enhance the customer experience of large populations,” said Craig Sherman, Managing Director at Meritech Capital Partners. “Not only has Bright Health proved this is possible with its above average re-enrollment rates, but the data infrastructure that they are building has the potential to produce better health outcomes for millions of hardworking Americans and disrupt health insurance – and healthcare – as we have come to know and accept it.”

Another new investor contributing fresh capital is Declaration Partners. Andrew Goldfarb of Declaration said, “Bright Health’s differentiated model solves long-standing issues in healthcare and, most importantly, delivers high quality, integrated and affordable care to its growing membership. We are excited to support Bright Health through this next phase of the company’s growth.”

Mohamad Makhzoumi, General Partner and head of healthcare services and healthcare IT investing at NEA said, “I remain awestruck by the achievements that Bright Health has made since the Company’s Series A financing in 2016. Bright Health is the entrant with the best chance of upsetting the staid status quo of the managed care industry. This financing positions the Company well to capitalize on its transformational medical cost management results. We are thrilled to continue partnering with Bob and the entire Bright Health team.”

Launched in 2016, Bright Health’s innovative Care Partner Health Plan Model works exclusively with one health system per market to offer superior, integrated care that removes the friction that has traditionally existed between payers and providers. This relationship allows for coordination of services and administration to optimize consumer and patient experience.

Offering both Individual and Family Plans (IFP) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Bright Health can support consumers from childhood through retirement, allowing them to build lifelong relationships with their providers who in turn are invested in their long-term health outcomes.

About Bright Health
Bright Health provides quality health insurance for everyday individuals at competitive prices. Through its exclusive Care Partner Health Plans in local communities, Bright Health is reshaping how people and providers achieve better health together by making healthcare simpler, more affordable and personal. Bright Health currently offers a range of individual, family and Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama, ArizonaColoradoNew York CityOhio and Tennessee via its website, call center, broker partners and through government websites as well as public health insurance exchanges. Bright Health co-founders include Bob Sheehy, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare; Kyle Rolfing, co-founder and former CEO of Definity Health and RedBrick Health; and Tom Valdivia, MD, MS, former chief health consumer officer of Definity Health. Learn more at

SOURCE Bright Health

6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with First Light Asset Management’s Matt Arens

November 26, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at

This interview with Matt Arens, CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager, has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

6 Questions Series



Matt Arens has been fortunate to combine two distinct passions in his career: investments and life sciences. Since entering the investments field in 1997, Arens has followed small-cap stocks, with a particular focus on identifying companies with high growth potential in the health care sector.

Prior to founding First Light Asset Management in September 2013, Arens was president and senior portfolio manager at Kopp Investment Advisors. While at Kopp, he served as the sole portfolio manager for the firm’s health care-focused investment strategy.

Arens graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor of science degree in financial planning. He has been a keynote speaker at the PricewaterhouseCoopers CFO Forum, and has been featured in publications, such as BusinessWeekBarron’sPensions & InvestmentsInvestment NewsMinneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reining in costs or accelerating outcomes?

With U.S. health care expenditures projected to exceed $5.5 trillion by the middle of the next decade,1 there is nothing that will define healthcare more than our ability to rein in costs while simultaneously providing excellent patient care. The benefit of any medical advancement must be evaluated within the context of its cost to the healthcare system. If the system is unable to support a costly healthcare solution that can improve people’s lives, its benefits are largely lost. Fortunately, there are brilliant entrepreneurs who recognize this tremendous need and are advancing some amazing solutions that I believe will bend the cost curve and dramatically change the way health care is practiced in the United States.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

People often relate value to saving money in the short term. However, I believe one has to consider the benefits a solution provides and its total cost when defining value in healthcare. For example, a vaccine to prevent a disease or a therapy to cure a disease may be viewed as expensive in the short term, but, over the life of a patient, the ability to provide medical preventions or cures can represent tremendous value when compared to the costs of simply treating a chronic disease.

What’s the biggest blind spot in healthcare today?

I believe one of the biggest blind spots in health care today is the “hand-off” as patients move from private insurance to Medicare. There are some incredible solutions on the horizon that can effectively prevent or cure disease, but until these two systems are aligned, the complete burden of cost will fall on private insurers who will — out of necessity — prevent access to these potentially game-changing therapies. I believe the way to achieve this alignment is by moving away from the current model, which is based on a massive one-time payment for treatment, toward a system that more closely resembles an annuity model agreed upon by all constituents. Only then can we cost-effectively advance treatments — such as organ transplant and gene therapy — that in the short term look expensive, but over a patient’s life may actually provide tremendous value.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest blind spot?

Many people may assume that because First Light invests solely in healthcare companies, our staff is full of MDs and PhDs. That is not the case.

We do have multiple team members who have been investing in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. During that time, I and the other individuals have developed domain expertise and identified key areas for evaluating healthcare companies from a business perspective, including workflows, reimbursement, and intellectual property. These areas are second nature to us and, historically, we’ve been successful in approaching healthcare investing from a business and finance standpoint.

One could argue we have a blind spot when it comes to understanding the deep science within healthcare. We work hard to avoid this issue by working extensively with outside resources — MDs, PhDs, and others who are world-renowned experts in their particular fields of study. Because healthcare is such a specialized and nuanced industry, we believe it is often critical to consult with experts in areas we are researching in order to be most effective in our work.

This approach allows us to combine our business insights with our expert network’s tremendous depth of knowledge around specific disease states and treatment approaches. We feel this collaborative model is critical in turning what could be a blind spot into an area of strength for First Light.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

First Light’s presence in Minnesota is critical to our success. We benefit from the state’s tremendous healthcare ecosystem, composed of industry titans across the healthcare spectrum, incredible healthcare systems and innovative university programs. The ability to sit down in-person with people shaping the future of healthcare without having to get on a plane is invaluable and, we believe, a competitive advantage.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

I believe the solutions to cure some of the biggest problems in healthcare exist today. Some may be in the very early stages of development in someone’s garage, some may be advancing through the regulatory process, and some are already being presented at scientific meetings.

Knowledge around, and awareness of, these opportunities is the lifeblood of investing in the healthcare space. While incredible innovations are introduced to us each week — from gene editing and genomic profiling technologies to ground-breaking new surgical robots and solutions for detecting cancer through a blood draw — the desire to learn more, see more, and understand more is always present.


1Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (n.d.) National Health Expenditure Projections 2017-2026. Retrieved from


Want to learn more about First Light Asset Management?


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with Lemhi Ventures’ Jodi Hubler

November 12, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at

This interview with Jodi Hubler has been lightly edited for clarity and length. To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series



Jodi Hubler is widely recognized for her keen insight, direct style of communication, and skillful stewardship of organizations from incubated startups to multibillion dollar corporations. She delivers a unique combination of executive leadership and venture capital investing expertise with direct experience in operations, governance, human capital, strategic planning and execution, culture change, and negotiations. As a strategic advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and CEOs, she is especially adept at leading and governing in industries facing transformative change.

Jodi currently serves on the boards of Lemhi Ventures’ portfolio companies Bind, Digital Reasoning, PokitDok, and PlanSource, and serves as board chair of Recondo Technology. She previously served as a member or chair of seven additional Lemhi portfolio company boards. She also currently serves on the boards of CaringBridge, Central Logic, DHIT Global, and Medical Alley Association. Jodi is a frequent conference panelist and is a member of the Healthcare Executives Leadership Network and Women Business Leaders in Health Care Foundation.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

Yes. That’s the interesting imperative of our time: It is no longer an “or” question, it’s an “and” imperative. For startups, the paradox is that the measure externally needs to be about achieving the triple aim of cost, quality and outcome all the while generating revenue, reducing risk, and increasing organizational resilience.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be? 

The definition of value is like beauty – it’s all in the eye of the beholder, and it is significantly dependent on where one sits within the value-stream map of healthcare. In our current system, it’s all too often defined by reimbursement which, on one hand, limits the rate of change and, on the other, has more recently accelerated the rate of change as consumers have been more willing to pay and insert themselves, actively demanding change in line with their view of value: cost and convenience. A consumer centric definition will increasingly become the norm.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

We still see a fair amount of denial in the system as to the rate of change– think Blockbuster vs. Netflix.

What’s the venture capital sector’s biggest “blind spot?” 

We have a math problem building. Massive amounts of funding having gone into a significant number of companies with disproportionately fewer number of exits. The system is at risk of having propagated our own hype curve.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

Minnesta is in our roots as founders of Definity Health, and the ecosystem continues to prove to be a very strong market to start companies, particularly as it relates to talent.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of? 



To learn more about Lemhi Ventures visit  

A First-Timer’s Look at the MedCity Invest Digital Health Conference

| Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

By Serafin (Fin) Samson, Baker Tilly


The MedCity News INVEST Twin Cities digital health conference brought together industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors who are cultivating and shaping the digital health landscape.  As a first-time attendee, I walked away with several key takeaways from the conference.

Talent pool

There is a great range of talented minds that are creating and commercializing digital health solutions to solve some of healthcare’s biggest issues, including needs to improve clinical outcomes, reduce cost of care, increase access to care and improve patient experience.  For the entrepreneurs, the Pitch Perfect rounds provided investor insight on key fundamentals to consider when formulating their digital health business models, including:

New players

Representing the large industry side, Comcast Digital Health provided another example of a relatively new healthcare entrant that is leveraging and repurposing core assets to create new healthcare solutions. In this case, Comcast is leveraging its installed network to enable new care delivery models outside the traditional care setting and to provide people (aka patient consumers) with greater healthcare market transparency, allowing for more informed health decisions.

Given the broad reach that large industry players have within U.S. households and their own core competencies (e.g., production capabilities that can scale quickly to generate a large library of health content), entrepreneurs will need to consider industry partnerships earlier in their strategic planning process.

Strategic partnerships

The importance of early strategic partnerships was also stressed during the Commercializing Novel Digital Health Tech panel discussion. Partnering with providers, for example, to pilot new digital health solutions can be of value to a start-up in demonstrating clinical utility, inserting novel solutions within the system of care and proving out payment models.

Additional important takeaways include:


Similar to many industries, diversity is a topic that requires greater awareness, discussion and action within healthcare. This was also an emotional topic during the Achieving Diversity in Healthcare panel discussion. The viewpoints vary on the best path forward, but as the panel demonstrated, it starts with the ability to open up discussions around diversity. The panel noted that diversity is not just about gender and race, but also about diversity in thought.

It is cognitive diversity that brings together a great range of talented minds and will make our Twin Cities community better equipped to advance innovation in healthcare.

About Baker Tilly

Accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly serves life sciences organizations ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar companies. Our specialists understand a company’s business, financial and operational needs in all phases of the life cycle – from launch through maturity – and help companies address each phase’s unique needs and requirements. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 territories, with 33,600 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.4 billion.

6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with 4C Medical’s Katherine Kumar

November 5, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is an interview series with Medical Alley leaders about the future of healthcare. The Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

This series is meant to share insights from, and spark discussion within, this powerhouse healthcare community. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at



Dr. Katherine Kumar specializes in regulatory and clinical operations, as well as reimbursement and marketing functional areas of the business. Prior to 4C Medical, she was VP of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at TVA Medical, Inc. (acquired by Becton, Dickinson and Company), VP of Clinical Affairs at Monteris Medical, Inc., and Sr. Director of Science & Clinical Affairs at Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI) where she led clinical study development and execution, all scientific activities, and the bridge between clinical and marketing activities. Prior to CSI, Dr. Kumar led clinical efforts at MEDRAD Interventional/Possis Medical (a business of Bayer HealthCare), American Medical Systems, and several startup companies.

Dr. Kumar earned her Master of Science and Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering degrees from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also earned the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) in 2009 and is a Harvard Business School alumni (Executive Education, General Management Program 2017).

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

This is tough question… We must have both…If you will lower costs, but not improve outcomes, your cost eventually will increase, and you will lose in both. At the same time, for you to have improved outcomes, you will have to spend. Both must be balanced.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

On one hand, we are trying to look at health economics long term, but on the other, we are trying to reduce procedural costs. In my opinion, you may have to spend more upfront to get more valuable (and much better for patients) long-term results. We apply this logic in everyday life (e.g., buying better quality appliances so they last longer) but fail to do the same in healthcare.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

Trying to reduce cost! Let me try to elaborate:

We are trying to drive cost down: This may be reduction of manufacturing cost so that we can sell a device for lower cost to a hospital, reducing their cost, etc. We forget to ask “What does this really do for patients?” By reducing manufacturing costs, we save on features of the product, reduce sizes, etc. This will eventually lead to a less optimal outcome for patients. Eventually, patients will keep coming back to the hospital, driving the overall healthcare cost up

The solution is customization that costs more upfront but leads to optimal long-term results; great for patients’ quality of life as well as significant reduction in overall healthcare cost. But everyone fears it! If I will need a medical device or a drug, I would want those to be customized/personalized.

What’s the venture capital sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

There is almost no difference today between VCs and banks… Hence, VCs today are really missing out on early opportunities in general.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

I can answer this by giving you specific example. A while back, I accepted position with TVA Medical, a cardiovascular company based in Austin, TX. The CEO was friend of my friend and it appeared to be a good fit. I don’t mind travel, and if I could live in Minnesota, I was ok commuting. Shortly after starting, I came to realization that no one gets med devices… Yes, every state has engineers. But almost none of them have as much talent in medical device like Minnesota does. Eventually, we created a satellite office in MN and hired all local clinical and regulatory staff. Medical Alley is amazing as it provides unique opportunities, not only from training perspective, but also from collaboration.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

From personal standpoint, most probably more time with my kids. They are growing too fast! From a business standpoint, easier ways to connect with different people… What I mean by that is when I went to Harvard Business School, there was such a diversity in industries, in countries, etc. – I learned so much from those interactions. Creativity is amazing and you get energized like there is absolutely nothing you cannot do!

Interested in Value-Based Care and the Future of Healthcare?

Attend the November 6th Leading the Conversation: Value-Based Care, taking place at The Hutton House in Minneapolis, MN.

Learn More & Register

Adhesive Innovation Helps Clinicians Confidently Meet the Most Challenging Demands of Critical Tube Securement

November 2, 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

New 3M™ Durapore™ Advanced Surgical Tape provides exceptional adhesion to meet clinicians’ securement needs


PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–One of the most important, yet stressful jobs clinicians do is to ensure critical, life-sustaining tubes are safely secured because even the slightest millimeter of movement can be life-threatening for some patients. While recent adhesive advances have incrementally improved critical tube securement performance, clinicians are still facing challenges to safe securement under hard-to-adhere-to conditions like diaphoretic skin, saliva and humidity. To fill this clinician need, 3M developed 3MTMDuraporeTM Advanced Surgical Tape, a high-adhesion medical tape designed to provide safe, reliable critical tube securement in challenging conditions like high-moisture environments.

Unplanned extubations or dislodgement can significantly impact clinical outcomes, patient care quality and cost targets1, so it’s incredibly important that clinicians are confident that the tape they choose will perform.

As part of 3M’s ongoing mission to redefine securement performance, adhesive scientists met with numerous clinicians to learn more about the real-world obstacles they encounter securing critical tubes. The scientists replicated the conditions that most frequently led to securement failure – such as humid, moist environments and various surface textures – and put the tape through 3M’s most rigorous medical adhesive research, development and testing process to date to make sure vast performance improvements were achieved in high-adhesion to skin, tubing and the tape itself.

Laboratory testing showed Durapore Advanced Tape outperformed competitive tapes* in three key securement areas: adhesion to tubing, adhesion to skin after moisture occurs and edge lift. In a study of pull force needed to dislodge a tube from diaphoretic/moist skin, Durapore Advanced Tape required 44 percent more force on average than other tapes2.

“When patient outcomes rely upon effective securement, choosing the right medical tape is crucial,” shared Mel Wong, Global Business Team Leader, 3M Medical Solutions Division. “We understand there’s absolutely zero margin for error in safely securing patient tubes and devices. That’s why we are committed to continuously challenging adhesive capability boundaries. We want every clinician to have complete confidence that their critical applications will stay in place, so they can focus entirely on providing patient care.”

Durapore Advanced Tape’s design addresses three key performance needs to help clinicians safely secure critical tubes:

For more information about Durapore Advanced Tape, including results of additional clinical evaluations against competitor tapes, please visit Here you can also find educational resources on effective critical tube securement and request a product sample.


About 3M

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 91,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

1 Shu-Hui, Y., Li-Na, L., Tien-Hui, H., Ming-Chu, C., & Li-Wei, L. (2004). Implications of nursing care in the occurrence and consequences of unplanned extubation in adult intensive care units. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 41, 255-262.
2 3M data on file. EM-05-014441.
3 3M data on file. EM-05-014427.

*Durapore Advanced Tape outperformed Johnson & Johnson ELASTIKON® Elastic Tape, Hy-Tape® and Kendall™ Standard Porous Tape in adhesion to tubing/skin after moisture occurs and edge lift studies.

Carrot Health Named Top Healthcare Startup & Grand Prize Runner-Up in 2018 Minnesota Cup

October 11, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

MINNEAPOLIS – October 9, 2018 – Carrot Health, a leading provider of healthcare business intelligence powered by social determinants of health, was named the winner of the Life Sciences/Health IT division of the 2018 Minnesota Cup, and was runner up in the overall competition to identify the state’s top startup organizations. The recognition came after a judging process that spanned seven months and included working with experienced mentors to polish its business plan for presentation to the Grand Prize Award committee.

“Minnesota is the heart of the nation’s world-leading health technology cluster, so being named the state’s best new healthcare company is an amazing honor,” said Kurt Waltenbaugh, CEO of Carrot Health, which provides consumer data-driven insights that engage populations, improve health, and optimize performance. “Our MN Cup win is a testament to the ongoing efforts of the Carrot Health team, which is dedicated to making our vision of leveraging data to transform healthcare a reality. We are also grateful to all our customers who have supported our team of entrepreneurs.”

Carrot Health was one of 1,661 Minnesota-based companies that participated in the 2018 MN Cup, the nation’s largest competition of its kind. A free annual statewide competition, the MN Cup seeks to support and accelerate development of the best breakthrough ideas across nine divisions: Education and Training, Energy/ Clean Tech/ Water, Food/ Agriculture/ Beverage, General, High Tech, Life Science/ Health IT, Impact Ventures, Student, and Youth. Participants underwent three rounds of judging before reaching division awards. The nine division winners then presented live to the Grand Prize Review Board to determine the overall winner, with Carrot Health named runner up.

Carrot Health specializes in healthcare business intelligence software for health systems and payers. Its cloud-based platform, Carrot MarketView™, delivers actionable business insights on customer behavior, health, and engagement. It drives customer engagement and profitable revenue growth for payers and providers, improving decision-making, market share, growth, and the overall health of the consumers and communities served by its clients.

The company is also a finalist in the 2018 Tekne Awards in the Health IT division. Presented by the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), the Tekne Awards honor Minnesota organizations and innovations that positively impact the global technology economy. The Health IT division award recognizes advances in the application of information technology to the healthcare sector, helping to diagnose diseases, increase efficiencies and improve patient outcomes. This category rewards technologies which have made a real impact to improve patient healthcare and quality of life.

About Carrot Health

Based in Minneapolis, Carrot Health provides consumer data-driven insights that engage populations, improve health, and optimize performance. Its SaaS platform, Carrot MarketView, delivers analytics and predictive modeling to understand who customers are, what they want, and how best to engage them. For more information, visit

6 Questions with Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care, Dr. Jim Ehlen

September 26, 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at

This interview with Dr. Jim Ehlen of Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care, has been lightly edited for clarity and length. Dr. Ehlen’s interview is the second interview in the series. To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series


Dr. Ehlen is a healthcare leader, executive and physician with deep experience in medical technology and healthcare system management. Dr. Ehlen has spent more than a decade leading medical device organizations including Halleland Health Consulting and RespirTech, which was acquired by Philips in 2017.  In 2018, Dr. Ehlen transitioned to an advisory role with Philips Healthcare’s Sleep and Respiratory Group. He is a strong advocate for patient education, value-based healthcare and is an expert in change management.  Dr. Ehlen also has extensive knowledge and practice in integrated healthcare organizations leading and improving operations, quality, and community and physician involvement.


This interview with Dr. Jim Ehlen, Medical Liaison, Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care Medical Office, has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

Both! The healthcare market is increasingly, and more effectively, demanding evidence of value creation in the delivery of healthcare services and technology. The most impactful data will include evidence of better healthcare outcomes at a lower price. We’re part of an evolving industry trend of delivering value-based care that strives to deliver, and ultimately improve both clinical and economic outcomes. This strategy is one of the key drivers that will enable us to reach our vision of improving the lives of 3 billion people worldwide by 2025.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

We have been exposed to the notion of value-based purchasing (VBP) for some years now and the healthcare industry is beginning to deliver on this concept. However, “value” in healthcare is more than just smart purchasing – it is delivering the best possible clinical outcomes at the lowest cost. To do this, we must think creatively. By providing patients with therapies and services that support their continuous health and wellness versus treating episodically, we can reduce complications and reduce costs like expensive hospital stays. Not only does this philosophy decrease expenditures, it also leads to healthier, happier patients.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

I see two major areas where we, as an industry, can improve:

The first is through improved education. We expect our physicians to know an awful lot about a huge spectrum of conditions and we must be vigilant about ensuring that our providers have the data they need to make the best possible treatment recommendations. This extends to patients as well. Too often, we see patients deteriorate because they are not keeping up with their prescribed therapies. It is critical that we improve patient adherence. We must support our patients, enable them to take ownership in their healthcare and ensure they remain engaged.

The second is an enhanced focus on personalized medicine. We tend to categorize patients into diagnostic categories or codes, but in reality, each patient is nuanced and unique. We need to update our care processes and technologies to allow providers to deliver more individualized care instead of being immediately bound by fixed categories.

We need to invest upfront in supportive services that keep patients healthy. Spending dollars initially on preventative measures will lower long-term healthcare costs and its what’s best for our patients.  Ensuring patient accountability with home-care monitoring is an important way to do this and will help maintain superior patient health.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

Providers have a remarkable amount of resources at their disposal. The challenge is understanding and implementing the best possible combination of products and services to ensure patients receive optimal care. We, as a medical technology industry, have an obligation to provide vast and reliable clinical data that enables providers to do this. I’d like to note: I do not think we are blind here, rather we see a clear challenge to meet.

As a manufacturer, Philips is investing more in holistic solutions that can help to maintain population wellness and shifting resource allocation to preventative care and reduction of complications and readmissions. We’re focusing on continuous care and finding new ways to connect information across the care ecosystem to enable more appropriate, timely clinical intervention and decision making. Ultimately, this should equate to more cost efficient and more clinically effective care.

Why is a presence in the Medical Alley Association critical to your company?

Medical Alley Association demonstrates its contribution in several highly impactful ways:

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

Clinical evidence. Among the critical success factors for our organization, I see the need for more and better evidence around how to improve care processes, assure cost mitigation and enhance patient engagement.


See Dr. Ehlan at Leading the Conversation: Value-Based Care this November

To learn more about Value Based Care and share your thoughts make sure to attend Leading the Conversation: Value Based Care on November 6th

Leading the Conversation

Minnetronix Announces Rebrand to Minnetronix Medical

September 10, 2018 | Tags: , , ,


Minnetronix Announces Rebrand to Minnetronix Medical
New brand supports the company’s continued investment in technology solutions and development of proprietary therapies.

SAINT PAUL, MINN. (September 10, 2018) – Minnetronix, Inc., a leading medical technology and solutions provider, today announced that it has rebranded as Minnetronix Medical, Inc. The rebrand reflects the company’s continued investment in technology and growth focused on solutions for customers as well as innovative treatments in neurocritical care. As part of the rebranding effort, the company also introduced a new logo, colors, tagline and website all focused on rapidly bringing safe and cost effective medical products to market.

Minnetronix Medical has helped hundreds of medical device companies across the globe bring technologies to market since its founding in 1996. Today, the company is investing further in areas in which it has established significant technical expertise. These investments are strengthening Minnetronix Medical’s industry leading positions in RF Energy, Fluid and Gas Management, Optical Systems, and Stimulation and Active Wearable devices. The investments will expand the company’s ability to deliver state-of-the-art process and technology solutions to medical device companies.

Minnetronix Medical also announced today that it is developing a portfolio of proprietary therapeutic solutions for the Neuro ICU. The company is initially focusing on hemorrhagic stroke patients and has completed a first-in-human study for its Neurapheresis™ Therapy, a breakthrough treatment for post-aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients. Neurapheresis™ therapy is a minimally invasive process in which the patient’s Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) is filtered to remove blood and then return the clean CSF to the patient. An extended study is scheduled to begin fall of 2018.

“Minnetronix is growing and broadening its footprint in the healthcare industry. Our new brand better reflects the company we are today and how we are furthering our mission to improve life for patients,” said Rich Nazarian, CEO of Minnetronix. “Over more than two decades we’ve gained a breadth and depth of skill and experience that we’re continuing to use to deliver meaningful solutions to our medical device customers as well as neurocritical care physicians and patients.”

About Minnetronix Medical
Minnetronix Medical is a technology company focused on bringing therapies to market that solve unmet needs. Since 1996, we have been a valued development, manufacturing and technology partner for medical device companies across the globe. We specialize in RF Energy, Fluid and Gas Management, Optical Systems and Stimulation and Active Wearable devices. Today, we are expanding what we do and we’re developing a portfolio of proprietary solutions for the Neuro ICU.

Keep your finger on the pulse of Medical Alley from anywhere with the ALLEY NEWSLETTER