Venture investor Fred Wilson sees the digitization of the health care sector as one of the great investment opportunities we’re likely to see:
Mary Meeker’s slide deck addressed this is bit. Here are a few of the big points from it:
- Healthcare is now $2.8 trillion in the US, which represents 17% of GDP
- Healthcare is being consumerized
- Healthcare is being digitized
- Digital Health Venture Investment was $1.9bn in 2013 (out of a total of $24bn)
We are looking for networks of users, patients, doctors, and other stakeholders in our health care who can transform the way health care is delivered. We only have one game plan at USV and look to play it in every market opportunity we see.
I am pretty certain the intersection of the Internet and mobile, the digitization of the health care system, and a desire for people to take more control over their health is going to be one of the biggest investment opportunities we will see in my lifetime. And its game on.
As we’ve seen here in Winston-Salem the process of digitization won’t always be pretty. We’ve seen a lot of news regarding the problems our large health care networks, particularly Wake Forest Baptist, are experiencing as they try to (finally) catch up with almost every other industry in the use of information technology. While these are very large problems, and people have lost their jobs as a result, they almost certainly have more to do with terrible implementation strategy from executives than with the technology itself. In the long run those providers should realize huge gains in efficiency, and the data they’re accumulating will provide untold numbers of opportunities for entrepreneurial companies to create products and services that benefit providers and consumers alike.
It’s about damn time and it’s great to see that some smart money people are ready to put their money behind some of these initiatives.