Startup Health just released their Q1 2018 Global Digital Health Funding Report. The most recent quarter had the most deal volume of any first quarter since they’ve been tracking data — totaling $2.8B of investment across 191 deals. This actually tracks along with one of the predictions that we made during our Innovation Symposium events earlier this year -- that healthcare funding will continue to increase. The social and business opportunities that exist here are simply too big, and too important, for it to be otherwise.
Some other important themes highlighted in the report:
- The market is maturing with more start-ups making it to a second round of financing or beyond. We’ve predicted that winners will start to emerge, making acquisitions and expanding into other service areas. There are signs this is happening. One example is the diabetes solution Livongo, which had already expanded into hypertension and has just acquired Retrofit, a weight-loss start-up.
- Provider solutions attract the most capital. This makes sense given the complexities of administrative and clinical workflows. While our Center for Health Innovation LABS team is focused on employer solutions, increasingly we’re seeing ideas that have important ramifications for providers, and we’re left wondering whether the customer should be the employer, the health system, or the health plan. It’s not always a clear answer.
- Israel and China are driving international growth. Here at Mercer, we’re tracking both homegrown innovation that starts in the US and expands outwards, but also global innovation that has established a foothold elsewhere and is now entering the US market.
Those are just a few of the report highlights. There are a lot of interesting nuggets in the rest of the report (far too many to cover here), but flip through and you can see which cities in the US are most active, which investors have done the most deals, and what the most frequent applications are. Plenty to keep tabs on in this space!