An estimated 51.9 million Americans (20.3% of the U.S. population) owned wearable technology (“wearables”) as of 2018 and that number is only expected to grow over the next several years.(1) The category spans AI-enabled glucose monitors to augmented reality glasses, but fitness trackers and smart watches are by far the most popular wearables, representing over half of the market. As wearables’ penetration continues to grow, so will the volume of data on individuals who adopt the technology—from physical activity, to sleep patterns, to heart rates. This level of data availability represents a major opportunity for technology-savvy companies who are able to effectively analyze the information and provide their customers actionable insights or valuable services.
The Potential of Care Coordination and Patient Communication to Improve U.S. Healthcare
The challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system are complex but boil down to two fundamental objectives: to lower the aggregate cost of care and to deliver improved outcomes. These dual objectives are oftentimes at odds under the existing industry construct. For many reasons, such as restricted access to care, legacy fee-for-service models, high drug prices, and imperfect implementation of public health initiatives, the incumbent regime is deeply rooted. To boot, many powerful participants within the industry are positioned to benefit from the status quo.
What’s on the Menu? Maximizing the Potential of Hospital Pricing Transparency Regulations
Beginning January 1st of this year, by order of the Trump administration, all hospitals in the U.S. are now required to publish master price lists – known as “chargemasters” – detailing all products and services offered to patients. According to the mandate, chargemasters must be readily available on the internet in a machine-readable format. While greater price transparency is a righteous goal, in practice, the pricing information is prohibitively difficult to find and utilize. The industry must take great strides in pricing data presentation and availability before the information can begin to positively impact affordability and patient care.
Unlocking the Value of Protected Patient Data
The global healthcare dataset is massive and grows larger each day. Widespread adoption of electronic health records (“EHR”), digital medical imaging, health monitoring tools, wearable devices, and other recent technological advances are projected to drive a 36% annual growth rate in the total volume of healthcare data through 2025, according to a recent report from IDC. The potential impact of this mountain of information is staggering. Effectively organizing and analyzing this data can improve patient outcomes and provide valuable insights on overall health trends. However, there are several hurdles on the path toward realizing the full potential of this information.
Digitalization in Healthcare – Alleviating Growing Pains Amid Electronic System Implementation
The year is 2019, and terms such as “Cloud Storage,” “Big Data” and “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” have evolved from foreign, idealized concepts to familiar, tangible solutions for problems plaguing businesses across many industries. Implementation of digital-based systems to assist with the collection, storage and manipulation of data seeks to increase efficiency in operations, but it can also present hurdles for industries with long-established workflows, such as healthcare.
Blockchain for Healthcare Data
Change Healthcare’s, a provider of healthcare technology solutions, recent acquisition of PokitDok, a leading provider of platform-as-a-service tools and software for developing healthcare applications, highlights the promise of using blockchain technology to streamline the management and analysis of patient healthcare data.
As noted in Change Healthcare’s December 18th press release:
“This acquisition is about practical innovation to create a more connected, transparent and efficient healthcare system where patients control their own information,” said Kris Joshi, Ph.D., executive vice president and president, Network Solutions, Change Healthcare. “As the leader in blockchain for healthcare and with one of the most extensive open API marketplaces available, with PokitDok we are bringing together synergistic assets and technical expertise for delivering additional capabilities to our customers and accelerated value to digital health markets.”
For years the global healthcare industry has struggled to find a streamlined way to manage patient records. The emergence of blockchain and secure, decentralized data management technologies, may offer a way to create portable, interoperable digital health records for patients.
New Findings on Physician Burnout: Key Takeaways
Last week, six authors affiliated with the Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Global Health Institute released a headline-grabbing paper titled “A Crisis in Health Care: A Call to Action on Physician Burnout.” The authors believe that the extent of physician burnout constitutes a public health crisis and offer a handful of prescriptions for improving providers’ work experience. What does it all mean for healthcare investors, practitioners, and entrepreneurs who are looking to the future state of the U.S. healthcare system? MHT Partners, a leading healthcare services investment bank, highlights a few key takeaways:
Medical Device Companies | Thoughts on 2019 M&A Activity
While specialty physician practices, behavioral health businesses and healthcare IT deals have captured many recent headlines in middle market healthcare M&A, other sectors within healthcare are benefiting from strong tailwinds with less fanfare. As a leading healthcare services investment bank, MHT believes one space that is worth paying attention to is Medical Devices, where competitive dynamics, demographic shifts and new technologies are making it a compelling industry sub-sector to watch.
The Promising Emergence of Telemedicine
In the quest to improve U.S. healthcare by both lowering the cost of care and delivering improved outcomes, emerging technology solutions represent the most realistic and achievable path for success. One area of particular promise is the field of telemedicine, which utilizes remote communication programs to connect patients with healthcare providers and rapidly expands access to care, particularly in rural areas. For many healthcare issues, telemedicine can be administered at a cost far below that of live patient-provider encounters. As providers, patients, and payors increasingly recognize the benefits and ease of telemedicine solutions, investor interest in telemedicine is expected to intensify.
Private Equity’s Emerging Interest in Autism Therapy Companies
Private equity investment in adolescent behavioral therapy has skyrocketed in recent years. Both investors with a track record for partnering with healthcare companies, as well as generalist funds, have come up to speed quickly with an interest in adolescent behavioral care. Numerous attributes of adolescent behavioral health companies align with private equity’s interests and experience, and recent M&A in the space suggests that market opportunities exist for the first-movers that can build large platforms for providing care nationwide.