Digital health is the convergence of digital and genomic technologies with health, healthcare, living, and society to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicines more personalized and precise. The discipline involves the use of information and communication technologies to help address the health problems and challenges faced by patients, as well as the general public who wants to stay healthy.
Digital health is also one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet, and here are some numbers behind that claim:
1. Startups are raising record amounts of investments
In 2019, venture capital (VC) firms contributed $7.4 billion to these companies, according to data from Rock Health, a full-service seed fund that supports digital health startups. What's more, that figure is only expected to grow from there with 2020 data suggesting startups have managed to attract $9.4 billion from investors during the first three quarters of the year.
2. Wearable device shipments are growing
Global shipments of wearable devices are expected to total 396 million units in 2020 according to data from the IDC. This marks a 14.5% increase from the 345.9 million units shipped in 2019. Looking ahead, IDC forecasts shipment volume to have a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% and total 637.1 million units in 2024.
3. Telehealth usage is rising, as well
The global telehealth market is expected to be worth $191.7 billion by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets, with a number of factors driving the market forward, including: growth in the geriatric population, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, dearth of healthcare professionals worldwide, improvements in telecommunication infrastructure, need for affordable treatment options, and so on.
4. And so does remote monitoring
Remote monitoring will also be affected by new technologies, with Berg Insight predicting (PDF link) it to grow from 7.1 million patients using remote monitoring this year to 50.2 million by 2021. On a related note, ABI Research forecasts the patient monitoring wearables market, which includes remote and on-site devices, will grow from 8 million shipments in 2016 to 33 million in 2021.
5. mHealth apps are getting some serious capital
Finally, when it comes to mobile health apps, it was one of the most funded areas, with app makers receiving almost $970 million in funding during the first three quarters of 2020, according to Mercom Capital Group. The fourth quarter may be equally big with a few massive deals bringing the 2020 figure well above $1 billion.
The fact that healthcare is one of the last industries to be "properly" digitized leaves a ton of room for growth. And by "properly" we mean that all your data gets uploaded to the cloud from where it could be securely accessed by doctors in other parts of the country, or even in other parts of the world. So if you ever did an MRI, you will have that scan securely stored on the web from where physicians can access it (if you allow them to do so).
How to Get Started in Digital Health?
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