Investing in the digital health sector

This month it has been revealed that Amazon’s Alexa is to offer health advice, the government is investing half a billion pounds in hospital technology, and EY suggests NHS datasets could be worth up to £10 billion a year.

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The NHS – the UK’s single-entry healthcare system – is actively open to innovation; which combined with a strong tech ecosystem, political support and an open regulatory framework, is setting the UK up to be a healthcare force on a global scale.

The demand for healthcare services is on the rise, driven by an ageing population, an increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and a population that wants to be at the centre of their own care. The tech community is quick to provide personalised digital health solutions by developing AI tools to diagnose disease, combining real-time data with apps, and wearables for those living with diabetes, dementia and heart problems.

A report by Global Market Insights states that the global digital health market is set to exceed $379 billion by 2024, due to increasing demand for remote monitoring services, as well as favourable government initiatives and funding for adoption of digitalised systems. The UK digital health market was valued at $4 billion in 2017 with the early adoption of telecare services, large central government programmes and a strong existing base of hardware – as well as increasing prevalence of smartphones and apps – and is forecasted to reach $28.3 billion by 2025.

StartUp Health data showed the sector was supported by $14.6 billion of venture capital funding last year with it being celebrated as the “most-funded year” since it began tracking the market in 2010. The ability to have a deep and broad impact, the rise in successful exits and an influx in corporate entities funding start-ups, are some of the reasons VCs are looking to invest in this innovative sector.

Digital health companies follow a path from developing their idea, through to early-stage funding, often from venture capitalists, scaling up in partnership with corporate investors and finally exit through IPO or acquisition. Rising venture capital funding, including private equity and corporate venture capital in the health IT sector, is likely to escalate the market growth, as more investors start to see and understand the opportunities of the sector.

We have partnered with RYSE Asset Management LLP for a second year on the RYSE Digital Health Call, inviting early-stage companies to apply for up to £5 million per company to get to their next level of growth. We spoke with Claudio D’Angelo, Co-Founder and Equity Partner, to find out his thoughts on the sector and why people should apply for the Call.

You can read the full article on the DigitalHealth.London website here.