If you believe that digital health and orthopedics seem mutually exclusive, then you are sadly out of step with the times.
At a panel presentation about alternative payment models and bundled care at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Diego on Tuesday, speakers clearly signaled that virtual therapy would be used more and more in the future. Especially now when bundled care programs like the CMS-mandated Comprehensive Care of Joint Replacement (CJR) is in place in 67 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.
That should be good news for digital health startups in the field who are eager to prove the clinical validity of their products, as well as help hospitals to lower the overall cost of joint replacement procedures.
Illustration Credit: MedCity News
You don’t have to be a gambler to appreciate the complexities of the card game Texas Hold ‘Em. It involves a strategy that needs to evolve based on the players around the table, it takes a certain amount of intuition, and it doesn’t require the player to win every hand. Just a few days ago, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm named Libratus beat four professional poker players at a no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament played out over 20 days.
If you have even the slightest understanding of how to write code, you would realize that it is impossible to actually code a software program to do that with such “imperfect information”. The AI algorithm did exceptionally well and was utilizing strategies that humans had never used before. Professional poker players are in no danger of losing their jobs, but the incredible capabilities of what AI is mastering these days should make everyone wonder just how safe their jobs actually are.
Let’s take the $3 billion medical imaging market. It’s no secret that AI is now performing certain medical imaging tasks better than human doctors. Pundits say “well, people will always trust a human doctor over an AI” and the answer we’d have to that is “not if the AI is going to give a more accurate answer“. It’s only a matter of time before every X-ray machine is connected to the cloud and one human doctor per hospital puts his hand on your shoulder when he reads you the output from the AI algorithm. Kind of like this:
Here are 10 startups applying artificial intelligence to medical imaging.
Image Credit: nanalyze
In 2014, New York based accelerator Startup Health declared it was the “The Year Digital Health Broke Out”. With an increase of 125% from the previous year in startup funding for a total of $6.5 billion, the title was well earned.
Fast forward to the end of 2016, this trend has only continued to grow. In their 2016 Q3 funding report, the report stated “2016 is on track to be the biggest year yet for digital health funding. Q3 was significant with almost $2.4B in deals, nearly half of which were international. We continue to see the market expand globally, with several large deals taking place both in the US and overseas.”
These numbers tell a story that any hungry entrepreneur or founder plotting their next move, would be foolish to not at least have a deep dive into the fast-growing and slow to evolve healthcare industry. If entrepreneurs are famous for looking for problems to solve, it’s hard to think of anything in more need than the current state of healthcare in the United States.
For the hungry entrepreneurs, here are 3 of the biggest business opportunities in the healthcare sector.
By Drew Hendricks | Inc.
Technological breakthroughs in surgery don’t always attract as much public excitement as those in smartphones or self-driving cars, but they have in many ways been at least as life-altering.
Thomas Fogarty’s invention of the balloon catheter in 1961, which allowed surgeons to remove blood clots in a one-hour procedure, launched a revolution in “minimally invasive” technologies that radically simplified surgery on everything from knees to heart valves and brain tumors. Robotics, 3D imaging and computer-guided ultrasound are expanding the surgical boundaries even further.
Practicing surgeons like Fogarty have fueled much of this innovation. They understand the medical challenges better than anybody. They are expert users who see opportunities to improve on current technologies, and they constantly exchange ideas when they talk shop. Like Fogarty, many surgeons are tinkerers and entrepreneurs in their own right.
Mako Surgical co-founder Rony Abovitz has raised $1.4 billion for his newest venture, Magic Leap, a company focused on developing novel augmented reality that could find its way to the operating room.
The company’s technology, which has been kept hush-hush since it began development in 2011, is designed to project images onto the users retina to create “mixed reality” objects in the environment without the use of external screens or devices.
From fitness trackers to medical devices that track specific conditions such as Huntington’s disease or asthma, technology and healthcare companies are increasingly joining forces to utilize the Internet of Things to better monitor patients’ health and help prevent diseases.
The possibilities for both device makers and Big Pharma to collaborate with tech companies are vast, which is no surprise given that more than $3 trillion was spent on healthcare in the U.S. in 2014, and likely even more than that in 2015, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Alongside countless digital health startups, a wave of collaborations has already taken place as companies look to get ahead of what remains a very ill-defined market. But these new opportunities aren’t without risk, and for device makers and other healthcare companies, that uncertainty is largely centered around security.
Digital health continues to be on investors’ minds as the industry is on track for a record yearwith $7.2B in funding to private companies in the space.
Digital health companies vary widely in the user base they’re targeting, from physicians to athletes to insurers. In this post, we used CB Insights data to identify 82 private digital health companies that have a direct impact on hospital care and mapped them according to 15 categories within which they operate. Among other initiatives, these companies are changing the way referrals are processed, hospital rooms cleaned, and patient data collected.
This market map is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in this space. There are more than 3,000 digital health startups tracked on CB Insights.
By CB Insights