While the healthcare industry struggles to meet its mandates and stay in business, players outside the traditional industry have not been idle.
Google recently announced its Google X Baseline study to map the human body. In June, Apple launched its new Health app and HealthKit developer tool, to build an application platform for innovative mobile solutions. IBM promptly signed a deal with Apple to integrate its Watson analytics platform with Apple's technology. And Samsung announced it was investing $50 million to accelerate innovation in personal health.
By one measure, the amount of money invested in healthcare startups in the first half of 2014 exceeds the total amount invested in all of 2013.
To make sense of what some of these investments mean, and why they are happening now, I turned to StartUp Health, a global three-year "academy" for health and wellness startups. The 71 companies participating in StartUp Health have collectively raised $150 million in capital across seven countries. Nearly half (47%) of these companies were founded by physicians or practitioners.
I recently spoke with co-founder and president, Unity Stoakes, who is also a founding member of the Society for Participatory Medicine.
HLM: So what startup areas are hot now versus six months ago?
Stoakes: Big data and analytics is definitely still hot, but in different ways. We had a company, Aver Informatics, announce an $8.5 million round. They take bundled payments data and use that to find price efficiencies in the marketplace, on behalf of payers and employers. Everything related to sensors is gaining a lot of traction.