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Digital Health Funding Hit $8.4B in 2019

By Jack O'Brien  
   January 14, 2020

The average digital health deal size topped $23 million, according to a Stanford Medicine report.

Venture funding in digital health totaled $8.4 billion in 2019, up $200 million year-over-year, according to Stanford Medicine's 2020 trends report

Researchers said the digital health market is maturing, having grown from $1.1 billion in total funding in 2011 with only 93 deals made.

Last year, Stanford estimated that 360 digital health deals were made, with the average deal size topping $23 million.

The report attributed this strong performance to several digital health companies going public along with major corporations acquiring digital health companies in multi-billion dollar deals, specifically citing Google's $2.1 billion purchase of FitBit.

A major focus for health system executives is whether digital health investments will yield a significant return on investment, with many leaders listing it as a primary concern for 2020, according to a recent survey.

Related: Will Providers See ROI on Digital Investments in 2020?

Stanford researchers found that while adoption of certain digital health tools like live video medicine and online health information dipped slightly year-over-year, other areas remained flat or saw growth.

These include adoption of wearable devices and online provider reviews remained flat while digital health tracking ticked up by 4% year-over-year.

As data sharing increases among healthcare organizations, a burgeoning generation of physicians are embracing data and technology on the clinical side as well, the report said. 

Related: John Halamka, MD, Launches Mayo Clinic's 'Digital Data Business'

Almost half of practicing physicians and nearly 75% of medical students reported that they are seeking out additional training to better prepare for healthcare innovations.

The most popular areas of study are advanced statistics, population health management, artificial intelligence, and genetic counseling.

Both physicians and medical students also overwhelmingly reported that among a list of digital health innovations, they most expect to use electronic health records (EHR) in their respective practices.

Still, the report found that while most physicians and students said they are ready to use an EHR, that "does not correlate with physician satisfaction with the technology."

Related: New Partnership Explores Nexus of Digital Health and Patient Safety

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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