Venture Capital: The Healthcare Innovation Landscape

June 3, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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COVID-19 could do for healthcare what the 2008 GFC did for fintechs.

An article in Forbes by Stephanie MacConnell looks at areas in healthcare that are likely to be most attractive to startups for innovation.

It’s the fifth in a series of articles with the hypothesis that COVID-19 is a seminal event in the healthcare industry similar to the global financial crisis in 2008. The virus will spur innovation in healthcare just like GFC sparked the fintech revolution.

“The COVID-19 crisis offers an opportunity for the healthcare industry to examine the status quo and invite innovation,” says MacConnell. “I predict we will see startups focus on the following three areas, and venture capital dollars will follow.”

Data – the new frontier, says MacConnell

New products and services in healthcare will seek out hitherto difficult-to-access data. This is typically reposed with insurers, electronic medical records, and other such parties. The innovation will center around the manipulation of this data, resulting in many new products.

For example, Ribbon Health launched in 2018 to provide the most accurate and comprehensive information on doctors, insurance plans, and costs for healthcare enterprises. Consumers can find an in-network doctor anywhere in the United States.

Secure AI Labs provides a secure data analytics platform that allows companies to share sensitive, valuable, and regulated data without exposing secrets or sacrificing ownership.

Long-distance consultation via telemedicine and medicine drops

Covid-19 proved to be a shot in the arm for telehealth services. Health insurance companies and physicians now offer remote consultations, though the technology and user interface could do with a lot of improvement.

Nevertheless, the bulk of patients have realized the convenience and practicality of telemedicine. There is, therefore,  room for plenty of innovation in this area.

As an illustration, Firefly Health provides intelligent, tech-enabled, concierge-care service through a digital care platform along with a cross-functional care team.

Doxy.me provides a simple, free, secure telemedicine solution that is accessible worldwide through a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Buoy Health provides a personalized, all in one platform to learn about symptoms or for researching benefits. It makes self-diagnosis and navigating the healthcare system simple and easy.

After shelter in place restrictions, customers now prefer ordering medicines, groceries, and other shopping through online services. According to MacConnell, delivering drugs will become more innovative, convenient, and more personalized.

Healthcare to become more niche, with better customer satisfaction

Healthcare start-ups are likely to start focusing on more specialized areas in clinical care. They will use technology to enhance user experience and revamp current healthcare practices.

For example, in fintech, Betterment and LendingClub focused on a specific service out of the large collection of products and services that banks offered.

Similarly, in healthcare, Cricket Health is focused on patient-centric kidney care. Strive Health’s kidney care platform is designed for total care of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Virta has a goal of reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.

Use fintech as inspiration says MacConnell

MacConnell’s advice. “Startups that have the balance sheet to get through this crisis can pull quite a few pages from the FinTech playbook. Healthcare investors can do the same.”

Related Story:  Microsoft’s $40 Million Healthcare AI Program                                                

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