10 things in healthcare that are cheaper than WhatsApp

The technology world was buzzing last week as news of the WhatsApp acquisition spread. Less than two years after acquiring Instagram, Facebook completed the largest venture-backed deal ever.

Safe to say, most people are in shock by the sheer amount that Facebook paid for the messaging app. $19 billion? It’s hard to comprehend exactly how much that is.

We’ve talked about the costs of healthcare before at length (see our digital health facts). Bottom line? Healthcare is expensive, especially in the United States. We spend more than than any other developed nation and that amount will double in the next decade.

We started thinking–what could we do with the money that Facebook spent on WhatsApp? $19 billion only seems small when you look at the U.S. healthcare market! With that money, we could pay for:

1. All federal costs for HIV Care and Treatment in the United States last year ($15.6B)
2. The two largest pharmaceutical R&D budgets in 2012, courtesy of Roche and Pfizer ($18.4B)
3. All the healthcare costs for the population of Wyoming, Vermont, and South Dakota ($14.3B)
4. Humana, the fourth largest insurer in the United States (Market cap: $15.8B)
5. Every medical student in the United States to attend school for the next five years ($16.7B)
6. Every child in the world to have the MMR vaccine, six times over ($17.1B)
7. More than seven months of research by the National Institutes of Health ($18.2B)
8. The annual direct costs associated with breast cancer in the United States ($16.5B)
9. Nine times the amount of digital health funding from 2011-2013 ($17.7B)
10. The operating expenses of the ten largest hospitals in the United States ($16.3B)

At Rock Health, we’re funding and supporting entrepreneurs building the next generation of technologies transforming healthcare. We’re looking for ideas and founders who are crazy enough to make a huge impact.

If this sounds like you, tell us about your idea!