$3.5 Billion Has Been Invested In Digital Health So Far In 2017. Here’s Where The Industry Is Going

Investors in digital health have been busy this year. In the first half of 2017, 188 startups took in $3.5 billion in investments—a record setting amount.

It’s not hard to see why. Patients and providers are both looking to digital health tools to get better treatment and improve the relationship dynamic.

With all that money flowing into some very intriguing startups, and it’s a good idea to know what the digital health industry holds for us in the coming years.

1. Telehealth

When a rural patient has to travel hours to see a doctor for a simple consultation, there’s a problem that needs solving.

Telehealth isn’t just for rural patients, but it is a big step forward when it comes to getting patients the care they need, when they need it. And by 2018, telehealth adoption is expected to double from its rate in 2016 according to Hospitals and Health Networks.

Telehealth is a term that covers a broad range of services, but it boils down to using technology to help facilitate consultations, diagnosis, education, or care management—anything that used to be done solely in person, that can now be done while patient and provider are physically miles away.

It’s not just a convenience thing, but can actually be a life-saving resource as well. Patients who face difficulties getting to a care provider now have the option of meeting virtually.

This will open up a whole new world of possibilities for healthcare and doctor-patient relationships.

2. Patient Recovery

A surgeon who has hundreds of patients a year can’t call each patient every day to follow up and see how they’re doing. The volume quickly becomes overwhelming. The rate of knee replacements alone nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010 according to the CDC. But post-op, patients want to be in the loop. They want to know that they’re on target during their recovery, that they’re hitting their milestones.

That’s why many of the investments in digital health are going towards patient recovery tools. For example, Pulse is a joint replacement recovery app that is the brainchild of Dr. Nitin Goyal, a surgeon and digital health entrepreneur. Apps like these look to use tech to help patients stay on course after their surgery—even if they aren’t able to visit with their doctor in person—and help reassure them throughout the recovery process.

As digital health continues to progress as an industry, more and more of these sorts of tools will become expectations for patients—especially considering the digital savviness of each future generation.

By Nicolas Cole | Huffington Post

Image Credit: Daniel Frank

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About Peter Coffaro 670 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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