At SplashX—How VCs Define the Future of Clinics, and What Gets Them Excited About It?
Vator recently held the first of four events centered around the advances in healthcare. The first panel featured venture capitalists who are investing heavily in healthcare technologies, including McKesson Ventures’ Managing Director Dave Schulte.
On the question of what the panelists see as driving the future of clinics. Schulte answered that what excites him is the ways clinics can make life easier for patients, even without the use of technology. “There are opportunities that significantly lower the cost and improve convenience or access. I think technology will be an enabler to those, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the requirement,” he said.
Schulte discussed McKesson Ventures’ recent investment in Infusion Express, a company that does infusions for patients with chronic illnesses, among other things. “It’s a really simple thesis: It’s 30 to 40 percent lower cost to give an infusion in a retail setting than it is in a hospital and it’s more convenient for patients….they’re doing this in process redesign and patient center design ways,” Schulte said, adding that there is some technology involved, but mostly it’s about patient care and what will meet the needs of a person who needs six to 12 infusions a year.
That said, Schulte continued, technology will change the future of clinics, but some will also be workflow redesign and some will be technology like AI and machine learning that can be applied to back-office duties like getting prior authorizations from insurance companies easier for both doctor and patient. “Scheduling continues to plague the clinic experience, the retail/patient experience. Why can’t we make scheduling easy? That’s probably a technology solution,” Schulte said.
Mayfield Fund Partner Ursheet Parikh cited evolving business models that have the power to make things easier for the provider, which in turn allows doctors to give better care to their patients. He added that Forward, a company in which Mayfield Fund has not invested, shows that the ability to schedule in seconds creates a better patient experience.
Khosala Ventures’ Alex Morgan discussed ways to improve healthcare without directly investing in it. “A healthcare investment is, ideally…an investment in creating more opportunities for improving health. You want an investor who thinks about this and works as hard as you do.”