RockHealth.org’s Equitable Investments Initiative: What we’ve learned and what’s next
In January 2022, RockHealth.org launched the Equitable Investments Initiative to expand the flow of resources–including financial capital, strategic support, and broader network access–to underrepresented and underfunded digital health (UUDH) innovators.
This work sought to make sustained progress against three goals:
1. Dismantle barriers that hinder scaled innovation by UUDH innovators.
2. Shift narratives about investing in the power and potential of their innovations.
3. Expand the flow of investment resources across the digital health landscape–including financial capital, strategic support, and broader network access.
Nearly a year from the outset of this work, we are excited to reflect on the road that we have traveled to date, important insights that have informed our perspective, and an emergent view for how the above will inform our work in 2023 and beyond. As always, we invite stakeholders across the digital health ecosystem to join us on this journey to dismantling barriers to innovation as we work to create an equitable digital health future for all.
Our work to date
Throughout 2022, the Equitable Investments Initiative’s work was grounded in an immersive field engagement process that engaged a variety of perspectives to explore the persistent challenges that UUDH innovators face in accessing investment resources. To kick off this process, the RockHealth.org team convened an Advisory Committee of 14 industry leaders, conducted an extensive review of digital health investment literature, analyzed Rock Health’s proprietary startup venture data and trends, and held discussions with 30+ digital health experts.
Emerging from this work, in September 2022, RockHealth.org published a field-facing publication, Reimagining Opportunity and Innovation in Digital Health, which identified six near-term opportunities that venture investors, philanthropists, enterprise leaders, ecosystem actors, peer digital health innovators, and more can take to channel additional investment resources to UUDH innovators.
Following the publication’s release, RockHealth.org socialized its content with the broader digital health ecosystem. These efforts included four curated discussions with over 75 digital health leaders who shared their perspectives on the publication’s findings and where they believed the field could effectively mobilize. Additionally, the RockHealth.org team shared this body of work at several events, including Aspen Ideas: Health, Rock Health Summit, HLTH, and on the Digital Health Review Podcast. During each of these sessions, ecosystem leaders shared a deep commitment to the mission of the Equitable Investments Initiative, alongside a strong desire to move toward tactical and sustainable action. To date, the publication has reached thousands of individuals, and has contributed to meaningful discussions that have pointed to the opportunity to catalyze field-wide action.
As we look to the remainder of this year, we are excited to center our team’s learnings and expand the initiative’s work and impact activities, to include:
1. Informing the field by leading Insight Generation Projects: Field-facing research and content development projects that will aggregate industry insights to highlight emerging investment topics or market trends that impact UUDH innovators and their innovations.
2. Elevating proof points through RockHealth.Org’s Innovation Fellowship: An immersive, leadership-focused fellowship program that will support emerging leaders by providing exposure to the digital health ecosystem, deepening their understanding of trends and opportunities across the digital health industry, and engaging with Rock Health’s dynamic community of digital health leaders.
3. Catalyzing Learning and Practice Collaboratives: Small practice-oriented learning communities will convene digital health investors and advisors to share knowledge, approaches, and effective practices to embed equity within their work and/or respective domains.
As we advance the Equitable Investments Initiative, we are excited to partner with leaders and organizations that are committed to the initiative’s mission, goals, and activities. Noting this, we invite you to consider partnering and collaborating with our team in the following ways:
1. Funding partners: Provide financial support to the Equitable Investments team as we stand up our early strategic initiatives and build an equity-centered organization.
2. Collaboration partners: Thoughtfully collaborate and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Equitable Investments team to implement our strategic initiatives, lead field-wide activities, and/or amplify transformative narratives and insights.
3. Learning partners: Engage in ongoing insight sharing and/or provide strategic guidance on the trajectory of the Equitable Investments Initiative.
To learn more about these collaboration opportunities, please reach out to Deonta Wortham at email@example.com.
If you haven’t yet, we also invite you to read RockHealth.org’s inaugural report–Reimagining Opportunity and Innovation in Digital Health–and join us as we work to ensure an equitable digital health future for all.