- Big data analytics and clinical decision support companies are continuing to rake in funding from venture capitalists and other investors looking for the next breakthrough in healthcare information technology.
According to Mercom Capital, the first quarter of 2018 saw data analytics companies bring in $679 million of funding, while clinical decision support offerings secured $516 million to support future development.
“Digital Health VC is off to a record start in 2018 with $2.5 billion, beating the previous record of $2.4 billion from Q2 2017. Several large deals over $100 million pushed the funding total up in the quarter, with activity powered by over 400 investors,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.
Two of the year’s biggest disclosed acquisitions – so far – topped $1 billion: the $1.9 billion acquisition of Flatiron Health by Roche, and the $1.2 billion spent by Inovalon on ABILITY Networks, a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology provider.
Other companies leveraging big data to provide insights to healthcare providers or patients also received an injection of investment funding to help them expand their offerings.
HeartFlow, which constructs a personalized 3D model of coronary arteries from a standard CT scan to help identify blockages, received $240 million from Wellington Management and Baille Gifford & Company.
Two companies that offer different levels of insight based on genetic data – Helix and SomaLogic – each secured $200 million from separate groups of investors.
Source: Mercom Capital Group
Helix offers consumer-facing DNA tests from a saliva swab that can highlight potential inherited health risks, while SomaLogic measures proteins to illuminate biomarkers that may indicate the development of disease.
Rounding out the top five biggest investment deals of the quarter are the $146 million devoted to PointClickCare, an electronic health record platform for the long-term and post-acute care environment, and $110 million for Collective Health, a consumer engagement platform for health insurance benefits management.
Over 400 investors, including accelerators, participated in funding deals during the first three months of 2018. During the last quarter of 2017, just 371 investors engaged with the vendor community, indicating strong and growing interest in bringing innovative technologies to market.
Other popular categories of investment included mHealth apps ($247 million), telemedicine ($178 million), and digital health benefits ($160 million).
While investment in the electronic health record market has lessened over time as healthcare organizations start to turn their eyes towards additional technologies, Allscripts started 2018 off with a bang by announcing the $100 million takeover of cloud-based EHR provider Practice Fusion.
Interestingly, other categories of technologies that have received a great deal of attention lately, including wearable sensors, remote monitoring, patient engagement, wellness, and population health management tools, received very little of the investment pot during the start of the year.
Whether or not these markets attract additional interest in the coming months remains to be seen, but it clear that the enthusiasm over big data analytics and clinical decision support will not be slacking any time soon.