Whenever there is change, there is an investment opportunity.
That was one of the key takeaways from Health 2.0 San Francisco’s December chapter meeting. Per usual, the organization convened some of the Bay Area’s brightest digital health players – providers, entrepreneurs and technologists among them. While “creating the problem” has become a catchphrase in many industries, attendees agreed the most viable digital health companies must get to the root of today’s most pressing healthcare challenges. And to attract investors, companies must do so in a way that’s technically feasible, clinically relevant and cost effective.
Lisa Suennen,managing partner of Valkyrie Ventures and managing director at GE Ventures, kicked off the meeting with a presentation about corporate venture capital and its role in healthcare funding. Lisa’s presentation was the perfect precursor to rapid fire pitches by nine emerging companies born out of Project Zygote, the chapter’s digital health pre-accelerator. Project Zygote united interdisciplinary teams, comprising healthcare providers, technologists and entrepreneurs, for a three-month pre-accelerator program. Unlike traditional accelerator programs, Project Zygote gave teams a safety net to test ideas and the viability of their products, before they graduate to a fully-fledged accelerator program. Based on Lisa’s presentation and the pitches, here are some key considerations for digital health players in 2017:
We’ll be eagerly watching how healthcare and technology converge in likely and unlikely ways in 2017. But one theme we’re confident will continue to hold true is that people want to access health information, at their convenience and on their own terms. That’s no longer just the consumer seeking prompt virtual doctor visits. Pharmaceutical companies are tapping digital health players to speed up clinical trial recruitment. Insurers are investing in tools and apps that predict health risks and promote healthy behaviors. As digital health companies vie for partnerships across the healthcare sector, they should follow the sage advice from an audience member: “Don’t fall in love with your solution until you fall in love with the problem.”