In recent months, companies providing technology solutions for ambulance and emergency medical services (“EMS”) agencies have gained steam. Accelerated by the impact of COVID-19, stress on existing healthcare services’ infrastructure has forced change. Regulatory barriers to innovation are being demolished. As a result, a number of high-profile EMS technology (“tech”) companies have successfully raised capital from investors in recent months, and promising new technologies are poised to continue to attract investor attention.
The funding boom for EMS tech companies stems from a few dynamics at play within the industry.
- Until recently there was little in the way of disruptive innovation in EMS. This persistent lack of innovation and entrepreneurship in EMS has created a significant tech debt among operators, resulting in embedded inefficiencies. Opportunities for technologists to create new solutions abound, leading to real cost savings and improved patient outcomes.
- Complementary technologies in areas such as communications and geolocation have created new opportunities for innovation. Steps forward in adjacent industries have not trickled down quickly to EMS-specific applications. Technology has been stubbornly difficult to deploy in EMS, despite the significant outcomes-related benefits of doing so. More recently, however, the industry has been nudged in the right direction. Congress’ authorization of the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) represents a substantial step forward, leading to the expansion of high-quality broadband dedicated to first responders. Similarly, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (“ET3”) model leverages telehealth to enable treatment at the point of care, and companies like Allerio (allerio.com) are developing innovative products and solutions for first responders to fully realize the benefits of emerging technology. Going forward, industry-wide infrastructure investments will enable entrepreneurs to create more custom solutions for first responders.
- The market for remote medical care is large, growing, and has never been stronger. The traditional EMS market is huge, with municipal agencies and private ambulance companies operating in tens of thousands of cities and towns nationwide. The traditional market is expanding as prehospital medicine becomes an ever more important stage in the continuum of care. Spurred on by telehealth and the ubiquity of urgent care, more healthcare is being delivered in the field. Companies such as Ready Responders, which leverages field medics to facilitate in-home telehealth, exemplify the trend. Most recently, contact tracing in the field has been a key initiative in the national response to COVID-19.
Recent investments in EMS tech companies include the $21 million raised by RapidSOS in June of this year, bringing its total funding to $107 million, and the more than $11 million raised by Pulsara, bringing its total funding to almost $30 million. Other emerging companies are sure to attract the attention of investors seeking to profit from growth in the space.
MHT Partners, a leading healthcare services investment bank, is an active advisor in the healthcare, technology, and medical transportation industries. If you would like to learn more about MHT’s practice, please e-mail Alex Sauter (email@example.com) or Taylor Curtis (firstname.lastname@example.org).