US funding for digital healthcare start-ups, such as telehealth or wearable technology, is expected to reach US$6.5 billion by 2017, according to Accenture.
Accenture’s Fueled by Healthcare IT Start-Up Funding, Digital Disruption is Knocking report indicated that start-up funding for digital healthcare has been driven by consumer expectations and is set to double in the US over the next three years, growing from US$3.5 billion in 2014, to US$4.3 billion in 2015 and US$6.5 billion by the end of 2017.
“A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare that will change social interactions, alter consumer expectations and, ultimately, improve health outcomes,” said Dipak Patel, managing director of Accenture’s patient access initiatives. “This momentum will be sustained if digital healthcare start-ups apply capabilities that create a seamless patient experience and result in both medical cost savings and improved outcomes.”
An estimated US$2.8 billion was used to fund digital health start-ups last year, rising at an annual rate of 31% since 2008. Meanwhile, start-up funding totalled US$10.2 billion for digital health solutions addressing four market segments between 2008 and 2013.
Infrastructure capabilities, such as interoperability and health analytics, accounted for an estimated US$2.9 billion in start-up funding, which was used by organisations to comply with industry changes and federal Meaningful Use guidelines.
Meanwhile, engagement solutions, such as wearable technology and incentive programmes targeting behavioural change among patients, received US$2.6 billion in start-up funding.
Treatment tools, which enable alternative care channels by leveraging technology, such as telehealth, received US$2.6 billion in start-up funding, while diagnosis technology captured US$2.1 billion. This represented a rapidly growing segment of clinical and consumer tools, such as remote monitoring, that provides practitioners with real-time insight.
“Healthcare leaders will need to embrace digital capabilities, not only to stay relevant to consumers, but to influence behavioural change, improve access to care channels and reduce per patient costs,” said Patel. “Organisations need to weave digital capabilities into the core of their business models so technology becomes embedded in everything they do.”
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