Research9/25/17

Coming soon: An even deeper dive into digital health investment

Written by Megan Zweig

Research

Since 2011, Rock Health has worked tirelessly to be the trusted source for digital health venture funding trends. We take this role very seriously because we believe funding is a key metric in assessing the trajectory of healthcare innovation. Today, we are excited to announce new upgrades that will enhance our ability to deliver thoughtful, objective analysis of digital health investment and the broader market.

We believe entrepreneurs, investors, and enterprise leaders will make better business decisions and smarter investments when they have a clear view of digital health funding and exit activity. We know you can only catch budding macro trends by meticulously tracking the minute details of deals, companies, and exits. That’s why we constantly maintain our proprietary Digital Health Funding Database, recording every digital health deal in the US over $2M. We follow rigorous guidelines on which companies to include based on our definition of digital health. That line is not always black and white, so we have vigorous debates—with colleagues and with our community—about how our definition should evolve based on the companies we’re seeing. We welcome you to join the conversation—drop us a line at research@rockhealth.com.

We’re so grateful to have an energetic community of entrepreneurs, investors, enterprise leaders, journalists, and digital health enthusiasts who engage with and scrutinize this data. We—and our database—are sharper for it.

To enhance the value we provide to this community, we’re thrilled to reveal a revamp to our Digital Health Funding Database. In short, we are collecting more critical information on every deal and company in the database with the goal of surfacing additional trends and deeper insight on digital health funding. We’re launching a beta version in early October (after the release of our Q3 funding update) and we’d love for you to be a part of it. Itching to be a beta participant? Email us now at research@rockhealth.com. Want a little more information? Read on!

In the database, we assign a “category” to every digital health deal based on the type of company. This allows us to report out every quarter on the types of companies receiving the most—and least—funding. For instance, in the first half of 2017, we saw the “Consumer Health Information” and “Digital Gym Equipment” categories bring in the most money, largely due to a couple of $100M+ mega-deals within each. Though these categories are helpful as a signal value of where the market is headed, the digital health landscape has outgrown this “one-size-fits-all” approach to categorization.

We’re taking a new approach moving forward—one that captures the nuanced characteristics of every funded company. Instead of assigning a single category, we’ll track each company’s value proposition(s), differentiating technology(ies), clinical indication(s), customer(s), and end user(s).

Capturing these additional company characteristics will offer new insight into the digital health industry. Though we look forward to hearing how users (you!) would like to leverage this new information, we’re especially excited about two brand new capabilities:

1. Quickly perform market scans of particular deals and companies. Our team—and subscribers to our proprietary database—will be able to quickly identify companies based on a cross-section of tracked characteristics. For instance:

  • What is the landscape of diabetes companies selling to self-insured employers? (We could also run this analysis for all other tracked clinical indications!)
  • Which companies are leveraging machine learning to facilitate research and development and selling to pharma?
  • What is the competitive landscape for telemedicine? Are we seeing more telemedicine plays specific to particular clinical conditions as opposed to multipurpose telemedicine?

2. Surface emerging trends and test trend hypotheses.

  • Has funding increased to companies that leverage machine and deep learning in the past year? By how much?
  • How has the predominant business model of digital health companies shifted over time? What’s the relative percentage of funded companies that are B2B, B2C, and B2B2C?
  • Are marketplaces becoming more popular? Who are they being sold to?

We’re really excited to dig into this data and hope you are, too. If you’re a data nerd at heart (like we are) or your mind is racing with the possibilities of the insights you could surface for your business, we want to partner with you! We are currently recruiting participants for a “beta launch” of our Digital Health Funding Database 2.0.Participants will be the very first to access this new dataset as well as provide feedback on how we can increase its value and usability. We’ll be providing the database to participants in the first week of October and offering structured opportunities to provide feedback over the course of October and November.

If you’d like to be considered for participation, you must be a subscriber to our Rock Health Research Subscription, which includes ongoing access to the Digital Health Funding Database. Subscribe now and take advantage of the “beta” pricing of $1999 per year. Once the beta launch is complete, the subscription price will increase (we do offer discounts for early stage startups, students, and academics—if you think you may fall into one of these categories, please email research@rockhealth.com). If you’re not sure if you have a subscription—or have any questions—please email research@rockhealth.com.

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