Digital health startups have raised $20B this year

By | August 14, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • The most promising digital health startups this year raised more than $ 20 billion in total funding across over 600 deals from more than 900 investors, according to CB Insights annual rankings released Thursday.
  • Sixty-two startups, or 41% of the list, sell remote telehealth services, including platforms such as Doctor on Demand, Heartbeat Health and Livi. Remote monitoring and diagnostics platforms like Oura and Element Science and therapy and coaching apps like Omada Health and Virta Health also made the list.
  • Some are forming partnerships with key industry players, including Happify Health, which makes digital therapeutics in mental health. It has partnerships with the American Heart Association, Sanofi and Cigna. Private health insurance startup Bright Health has partnered with Mount Sinai Health System and Mercy Health, according to the report.

Dive Insight:

The coronavirus pandemic led to a rapid adoption of telehealth in particular, though other remote care players are stepping up with more specialized services.

That includes some of this year’s early-stage digital health startups, such as Onera Health, which makes technology for sleep disorders, and Folx Health, a telehealth service specifically for the LGBT community.

CB Insights researchers looked at nearly 8,000 digital health startups for the yearly analysis, choosing 150 of what they deem most promising companies based on factors such as patent activity, competitive landscape and tech novelty.

Startups based in the U.S. dominated this year’s list, accounting for 77% of the companies from 18 different countries.

Beyond telehealth, another leading category this year is clinical intelligence and enablement. CB insights picked 26 of those companies, which make tools to help providers and payers make clinical decisions to deliver care more efficiently. These include platforms such as Twistle and Wellth, which connect patients and providers, and Quartet Health, which coordinates mental health care.

In the first quarter of 2020, mental health startups raised a record $ 575 million in equity funding, according to the report. Ten companies on this year’s list provide mental and behavioral health services, including teletherapy platforms like Lyra Health and Meru Health and addiction management platforms like Axial Healthcare and CureApp.

Twelve unicorn companies, those valued at more than $ 1 billion, are also on this year’s list, including Ro, a telehealth platform that provides remote care and medication delivery services, and Oscar Health, the tech-enabled health insurance platform. CMR Surgical, which makes robotic surgical systems to assist surgeons during procedures, is another unicorn.

Seventeen of the 150 digital health companies on last year’s list have remained or since became unicorns, while two went public and two were acquired.

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