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Future Health

September 19th, 2017 | No comments

Delivering care in the new virtual world… 

Is Digital Health Dead? – My friend and colleague, Rob Coppedge who is one of the leaders in the health tech investor space, was widely reported to have said at a tech investor’s conference recently that “digital health is dead”.  I was surprised so I got a transcript of his comments since he is one of the thought leaders in the investor community related to digital where over  $16 billion has been invested in more than 800 digital health companies since 2014.  That is a chunk of change.  Here is what he said in his introductory remarks:

Let me be clear: I believe strongly in the need for substantive, consumer-centric transformation of the health care system and have been a long-term proponent of the power of entrepreneurs to catalyze and drive these difficult changes. Despite this, I truly struggled to prepare for a recent presentation on the future of venture capital investing in the “digital health” space. The group I addressed expected another digital health pep rally – but, after much reflection, the best I could bring them was an explanation of why, despite the countless blog posts and questionable survey data to the contrary, I believe the digital health party is over and why those of us focused on long-term systemic transformation should be happy to put this hype cycle behind us… 

He goes on to say:

…The macro-trends, industry challenges and consumer needs still exist – in fact most have gotten worse during the ramp up of digital health investment. And without question, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors will be critical developers of solutions to these endemic challenges. We just need a new way forward – to support the development of the next generation of great healthcare companies that our industry, and our country, needs…

I encourage you to read Rob’s entire presentation to the investors.  He is absolutely right that “…better mousetraps are not enough”.  In addition, the health care community has “antibodies” to the many new developments that are part of the digital health care movement.  In essence, I have come to the conclusion that while working with established health care organizations is important – building the capabilities to deliver digital health services needs to evolve from the outside in rather than from the inside out.  In addition, if the move toward value-based care delivery remains at the forefront as a direction for health care then the need for digital health services will increase even more.  A system that is volume-based simply demands “doing” things to people rather than making them better.  Value-based care will absolutely require new methods for care delivery, ongoing support and care management capability.  The foundation of a digital health service will be critical – especially given the evolving crisis where we are projected to have a large deficit of care providers to delivery service.  Read the article.  It’s worth the effort.  Ponder his thoughts.  I believe he is pointing us in the right direction – away from the hype and toward the reality that is arriving on the horizon.  Stay tuned…


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