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The New Game Changers: 14 Healthcare Brands to Watch

Whether pushing the boundaries of what healthcare is or redefining the industry altogether, these brands are ones to watch in 2015.

Theranos is changing the diagnostics business, one drop at a time. Their revolutionary testing system transforms the speed and access of traditional testing. The implications could reach well beyond regular point-of-care diagnostics to retail health, wearables, and beyond.

OneMedical sets the standard for concierge medicine, a niche area that bucks the traditional annoyances of healthcare: inconvenience, cost, discomfort, inaccessibility, and opaqueness. From same day appointments and direct email access with physicians to hospitable offices and on site labs, they’re taking care to the next level.

Oscar Health Insurance was just valued at $1.5 billion. Pretty good for a startup that’s only 16 months old. The New York State provider is making its mark with smart, easy-to-use technology; transparent communications; and a friendlier face for healthcare. Oh and you’ll also get a kickback in costs if you wear the Misfit Flash fitness tracker the brand provides for free.

IBM recently announced Watson Health, a cloud-based system for sharing and analyzing health data. Additionally, IBM has partnered with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic to work on medical devices, wearables, and personalized patient programs. The company is also working with Apple in Japan to address the care of elders, a demographic whose health will impact many nations in the coming years.

Open Humans encourages the masses to share data to drive healthcare innovation and therapies. Will people take to opening up their medical records for the world to see? In our social media age, possibly—and the increase of participation in scientific studies can only advance medicine further.

Under Armour continues its run against the big dogs in the fitness category with interesting acquisitions and projects. More proof of UA’s success? Its digital health and fitness community is now the world’s largest. After purchasing MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal, they created UA Record, the first social network for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. UA also opened its largest Brand House store in Chicago, which includes the first ever “wearables bar” (a section dedicated to fitness devices).

Canon now offers Digital Conversion Services for Healthcare. The company’s extensive knowledge in imaging technology and information management could transform the way health records, x-rays, MRIs and more become digitized, in addition to improving efficiency and overall patient care.

23andMe is the first company to ever deliver genetic testing straight into the hands of the consumer. Despite the brand’s ability to judge a person’s risk for approximately 250 conditions and diseases, the FDA has barred it from doing so since 2013. However, 23andMe continues to do research and publish its findings; its genetic kits have also been approved for use in the UK.

Even among a plethora of wearables, the iTBra stands out. Its developer, Cyrcadia Health, has been using heat sensors to track cancer predictors since 2008. Though the product is still in clinical testing, it could ultimately address concerns related to mammogram accuracy and reduce non-cancerous breast biopsies.

Google has a multitude of projects in the works that could revolutionize healthcare. They’ve partnered with Johnson & Johnson to develop surgical robots; filed a patent for a cancer-fighting wearable; have a diabetes contact lens in the works with Novartis; and even established Calico, an independent R&D company focused solely on decoding the aging process.

Teladoc is one of many newly emerging providers of telemedicine, but it was the first and remains the largest with nearly 300,000 consultations performed in 2014. Access to physicians and other practitioners via technology could massively impact point-of-care and also our nation’s healthcare costs, by reducing in-office or ED visits.

With BioBots, any company or institution will be able to develop 3-D organ models from human cells in the comfort of its own lab. This amazing bioprinter was inspired by a low-cost, compact desktop PC, and the tissue and organs it prints could have boundless impact on research studies and pre-clinical screenings.

Practice Fusion, a free web-based electronic health record (EHR) company, supports medical professionals with its platforms and management technology, allowing them to organize and process everything from charts and prescriptions to scheduling and referrals. The company also just announced a Population Health Management program, focusing on asthma and COPD, and a partnership with ePatientFinder to aid clinical trial recruitment.

Omada Health is leading the way in digital therapeutics, a new area of treatment it defines as a behavioral science program. Currently, the company partners with major insurance providers to identify people at risk for diabetes and coaches them into healthier lifestyle decisions with digital trackers, diet and fitness tips, and regular feedback. Considering the astounding rate at which preventable diabetes is developing (1 in 3 Americans is at risk) and the annual medical costs ($245 B), Omada could have a real impact on disease prevention.


Director of Marketing, InterbrandHealth