Venture funding for digital health companies around the world hit an all-time high in 2018. According to Rock Health, health startups in the U.S. won a record $8.1 billion in funding. StartUp Health’s number for investments around the world is $14.6 billion. Compare this to $1.1 billion in 2011, and you can see just how far the digital health industry has come.
The money is going to companies that create devices capable of conducting FDA-approved electrocardiograms on the go or at home, as well as creators of apps that help users keep track of key health biometrics or simplify the insurance process.
While there are a lot of startups getting a lot of funding, there have not been many IPOs. However, Fortune magazine says that “a slew of digital health IPOs” are expected in the second half of 2019. Companies presumed to be planning IPOs include diabetes management firm Livongo, health data firm Health Catalyst, and technology intermediary Change Healthcare. Peloton has also recently filed confidential IPO documents.
Fortune also says that even if these IPOs don’t perform as planned, “the general buzz in the space will almost certainly last” because solving the mysteries of the human body—and the U.S. healthcare system—remains an irresistible challenge for the tech-minded and the people who fund their companies.
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