BOSTON – Venture capital investors sunk a record $5.8 billion in more than 300 health care technology companies in the U.S. in 2017, according to industry experts. The global spend was more than twice that figure.
“The great frontier in health care is the home,” said Michael Greely, co-founder of Flare Capital Partners, which invests exclusively in health care technology companies like Bright Health, Circulation and Welltok.
Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning for health care present a huge investment opportunity, Greely said.
“These technologies will make the health care system ‘smarter’ and more responsive to provider and patient needs,” he said.
Blockchain technology and platforms for health care environments that have massive data integration needs are emerging as another wide-open opportunity for investors, Greely said.
“Expect real substantial companies to be built here,” he said.
Additionally, personalized medicine and digital therapeutics continue to capture investor interest, and a number of venture-backed companies are emerging that hold promise for software-as-a-therapy.
Greely said interesting combinations and alliances, like those between CVS/Aetna, Humana/Kindred and Optum/DaVita, are forming across the health care technology space, as companies try to capture more of the health care spend and improve overall margins.
“Investors are searching for indications as to where the health care technology sector is heading,” he said. “It’s quite clear that we are now in a period of inflection as new strategic alliances are emerging, which will usher in novel care models.”