Digital healthcare is the standout take away from the latest Internet Trends report by high profile Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker. Thanks to rising volumes of data, health and technology are converging at an ever-faster rate to transform care delivery. There are several reasons for this: more healthcare data are being generated due to the increasing prevalence of wearables and connected health trackers, consumers’ access to more commercially available lab tests and their willingness to share data with the likes of Google and Microsoft, the rising use of electronic health records and the affordability of genome testing. This is leading to more and faster clinical trials and helping medical knowledge to double every 3.5 years, as opposed to doubling every 50 years as it did in 1950.
Technology adoption curves get faster with every innovation, and Meeker sees digital health going the same way. The sector is estimated to be worth $3 trillion in the US and, according to Rock Health, health technology start-ups attracted $4.2 billion from venture investors in 2016.
The UK’s digital health sector is also growing fast and continuing to attract a range of investors and acquirers. Telehealth app babylon, whose backers include the founders of DeepMind (acquired by Google in 2016 for £400m) has recently raised an additional £46m; in March, GE Healthcare acquired fetal monitoring technology business Monica Healthcare from Catapult Ventures; and Medvivo, which provides out of hours, crisis response and technology-enabled care services, has acquired Expert 24, which builds clinical algorithms for use across various care stages.