Since I first started investing in digital health in 2007, the sector has exploded. Digital health startups raised over $4 billion in venture capital in 2014 and will likely raise even more this year. Based on my observations, a large proportion of these startups are founded by folks who want to apply their background in tech to healthcare. Many are young, successful engineers and product managers who have a negative experience with healthcare and want to fix it. These pitches often start with a personal story. They want to disrupt the system from the inside.
Telemedicine may just be the biggest trend in digital health in 2015. As a partner focused on digital health investments at venture capital firm AMV, I spend a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs. By far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine. For hospitals, expanding telemedicine is a way to cut costs while providing consumers with the convenience they crave. But the idea has been around for a while so why now?
Devices that track specialized biometrics will still appeal to athletes or patients who are highly motivated to improve their performance or chronic diseases, said Skip Fleshman, a partner at the venture capital firm Asset Management Ventures. But people who just want to lose a few pounds are much less likely to buy and stick with a wearable.