SXSW: What happens when health and tech meet up?

Posted by: in Digital Health, Healthcare Technology, w20 group on March 9, 2014

By Jenn Davis

It is no surprise that the healthcare landscape is experiencing a major – and much-needed – disruption. Providers are moving from fee-based to at-risk models, payors are selling directly to consumers through exchanges, and consumers are experiencing new options and more responsibility in managing their own care. The underlying factor in this shift is technology – solutions that are enabling coordinated, quality care beyond the hospital walls, while keeping costs down and improving patient outcomes.

This intersection of health and technology is growing at an astonishing rate. The digital health market is expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2015. Additionally, investors are becoming more and more interested in the space, having invested more than $4 billion dollars in digital health startup companies over the past three years, according to Jack Young of the Qualcomm Life Fund*.

We are excited to partner with Young on a SXSW Interactive panel this morning that will dive deeper by addressing key trends, opportunities and challenges in digital health investments. Joining him are some of the most prolific investors in the space, including Jenna Rose of Healthbox, Malay Gandhi of Rock Health and Ted Maidenberg of The Social+Capital Partnership.

I recently spoke with Young to get his perspective on the growing digital health landscape as a sneak-peek to the panel discussion:

JD: What do you look for when evaluating investments? For example, are you betting on leadership teams or new technologies, or both?

JY: First we evaluate the opportunity against our defined areas of investment interests. At Qualcomm Life Fund, we are currently focusing on six verticals: wellness/fitness, chronic care, aging in place, transitional care, clinical trials and telehealth/telemedicine. If an opportunity falls into these buckets, then we use the common venture investing evaluation criteria: market size, team, differentiation, IP, competition, go-to-market, etc.

JD: What types of products, services, etc., are you looking for in 2014 to round out your portfolio?

JY: Based on the six verticals I mentioned earlier, we invest in devices, applications, and enabling technologies. We are particularly interested in applications in genomics and analytics.

JD: What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen in the digital health space over the last 3-6 months?

JY: Emerging wearables and sensors, applications that take advantage of reducing costs in genomic sequencing, big data analytics in operational and clinical applications.

If you’re at SXSW, swing by to get an in-depth investors’ perspective on the exciting digital health industry and to learn more about the up-and-coming themes to watch out for.

Panel details:
What Happens When Health & Tech Meet Up?
Sunday, March 9
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

*NOTE: Qualcomm Life is a client of the W2O Group’s Digital Health Practice

Author: Jenn Davis is a Senior Manager in the Digital Health practice.

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