‘We need to disrupt the current health infrastructure, and technology has not attacked that yet, but it is biting its heels’
TORONTO – John Albright is co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused exclusively on mobile connectivity. The company includes health care as one of its investment verticals.
We spoke with Albright about Relay Ventures’ interest in mobile health care technology.
HHTN: Why are mobile tech companies and health care a good fit for Relay Ventures?
Albright: We identified health care as a field of interest early on, and mobile technology is the fastest growing platform in the world—there are 7.9 billion users on the planet today. We need to disrupt the current health infrastructure, and technology has not attacked that yet, but it is biting its heels. I know we’re on the right track.
HHTN: Where do you see health care technology moving in the next few years?
Albright: The consumerization of health care is a big trend right now. People want to monitor chronic and acute conditions or manage their pain, for example, at home. Payers want to decrease their payouts. There are apps to help people take care of their health at home, and that, in turn, decreases those payouts. We’re looking at how mobile technology can save money and improve health, but improve it efficiently.
HHTN: What makes a mobile health care technology company attractive to Relay Ventures as an investment?
Albright: We have to ask if there is a value proposition that someone will pay for today. How does it enable existing health care providers to be more profitable, and who will pay for it? There have to be clear betas and evidence of efficiency vs. generating revenue. So, we test it, then ask if it’s an easy fit for us. If not, we reach out to the payer and see about the speed of adoption by a provider – that’s really important. If the payer doesn’t have the power to push it down, then it doesn’t happen. Everybody has to benefit, then it’s easy to finance it.