Digital Healthcare Investment Expands, Provides Optimistic Future for Industry and Patients

The explosion in telehealth and video visits during the pandemic portend the ongoing shift in the site of care from a doctor’s office to a home-based or remote setting. The industry has not stopped there. Now massive investment is going to opportunities that expand traditional video visits and enable patients to monitor their health, engage with their physician and test and screen for health conditions in a home-based setting.

The first quarter of 2021 saw the most-funded quarter to date in the digital health sector with a record $6.7 billion investment, The funding led to 147 deals, including many mega deals with $100 million price tags. Mental health companies received the most funding followed second by primary care companies with on-demand and R&D as the top-funded digital health categories.

This year’s funding is already set to exceed nearly half of the $14 billion in digital health investment funds raised in 2020. To put this massive investment in perspective, digital health investment was only $1 billion 10 years ago.

COVID-19 — a game changer

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rules of the game. Digital health is now more accepted, driving industry consolidation and growth as well as increasing patient utilization.

As a result, digital health companies are no longer just addressing primary care through a video visit but expanding opportunities that allow patients to engage in all aspects of their health remotely.

According to a survey of 2,000 consumers, 61% of Americans have seen a provider in the last year through telemedicine compared to only 19% in March 2020. The survey also reported that 80% of consumers now believe they can receive quality care through a telehealth appointment, compared 66% who were uncertain about the quality of telemedicine care before the pandemic.

In the post-COVID era, telehealth is expected to be a larger part of the healthcare market growing up to $250 billion, or 20% of health spend that will be done virtually, based on a recent report.

As virtual care adoption expands, non-traditional healthcare companies have also jumped into the digital health market, including Verizon which bought a video conferencing platform last year. Also, in play are market disrupters such as Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft.

Meeting Market Expectations for Digital Health

The keys to success rest upon maintaining the trust of providers and patients, providing a convenient treatment option for patients and providers, lowering the cost of care and supporting better health outcomes.

  1. Expand Beyond Self-limited Encounters or a Single Solution: transition to personalized, two-way engagement between patient and provider that leads to improved health outcomes at lower cost.
  2. User-friendly: develop solutions that fit within the existing provider workflow; patient adoption and utilization should be easy to understand and implement, considering an aging population and any physical limitations.
  3. Adaptable to Home Environments: enable flexibility as devices need to be utilized in the patient home or other remote settings leveraging multiple engagements or data points.
  4. Data Accuracy and Interoperability: allow data from a variety of sources to be easily aggregated and integrated; this will provide a holistic view of the patient and enable the best clinical decision-making.
  5. Reliability: establish a secure infrastructure that protects against unauthorized access and meets legal requirements; automates and certifies quality assurance; and provides fast and agile integration of new services, digital technologies and tools.

Enhancing the Telemedicine Experience

As the digital health industry continues to grow and evolve, it is essential to develop solutions and tools that go beyond the traditional video visit and enable patients to engage in their health more deeply, easily communicate with their physician and receive personalized treatment plans no matter their location or circumstance.

At Recuro Health, our interdisciplinary teams are enhancing the telemedicine experience for payers, providers and patients by creating a unique hub of healthcare tools and resources designed to meet an individual’s healthcare needs. It’s a convenient way for providers and patients to interact and ensures the highest quality care is delivered proactively and at a lower cost.

We’ve come a long way since the days of sitting in waiting rooms filling out exhaustive clipboard questionnaires. Although there’s still more work to be done, the future of healthcare is bright.

About Recuro Health

Serving employers, providers and payers, Recuro Health delivers value throughout the healthcare ecosystem with digital solutions that respond to ongoing changes in the health care system. As patient care moves from traditional office in-person settings to wherever the patient and data are located, these solutions support the migration from convenient care to meaningful patient engagement across broader care pathways. Holistic, integrated, interoperable solutions create a personalized digital medical home that results in better outcomes and lower costs. www.recurohealth.com

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