Driven by a new wave of demand for better health tech solutions on both the consumer and medical professional fronts, Health tech has become a topic of renewed interest for investors looking to expand their portfolios. In this series, we discuss the future with Antler partner Kim Oreskovic and two healthcare CEOs on trends and how COVID-19 will affect the space in years to come.
May 14, 2020
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HealthTech in the time of COVID-19
This is part of Antler's healthtech seminar, aimed at entrepreneurs interested in the healthtech space, and to learn more about how we invest and support healthtech startups throughout their journey at Antler.
In this piece we'll be addressing the implications of COVID-19 for the healthtech industry, reflecting on what that means for our entrepreneurs and investment team as we work together for a better future.
The four emerging trends of Health Tech
Driven by a new wave of demand for better health tech solutions on both the consumer and medical professional fronts, Health tech has become a topic of renewed interest for investors. With this in mind, Antler held a discussion with Antler partner Kim Oreskovic, along with two healthtech CEOs Navid Ardakanian, CEO of Fusedbone, and Sachin Raoul, CEO of Blueheart to talk about what major trends we're seeing and how COVID-19 will change, advance or disrupt the healthtech space in the years to come.
The four health tech trends
According to Kim, there are 4 emerging trends in healthcare tech that we're seeing, namely telehealth, artificial intelligence and data security, self diagnostics and 3D printing for medical equipment. Currently, we're already seeing some of these trends perform well within the context of COVID-19. For telehealth, we're already seeing an ability to diagnose less critical illnesses and fulfill prescriptions easily without being on site. For AI, we're already seeing this put to good use in the selection of drug trials for COVID-19, and we will begin to see a shift in more accurate predictive methods and better analytics for trial results. For 3D printing, various startups print PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) on demand for critical frontline health workers, and finally, in self diagnostics, a shift towards using tools as a preventative investment in their wellbeing.
All in all, COVID-19 will most likely fuel the growth of most of these health tech sectors, and in some cases, help us re-focus on creation solutions to help an already taxed healthcare system.
Non essential surgeries, such as orthopaedic or plastic procedures will take a backseat during COVID-19, with up to 95% of these being deferred.
To kick us off, Navid discusses how he has seen COVID-19 change how Fusedbone is currently operating. As a startup focused mainly on 3D printing prosthesis implants, he's been helping hospitals develop, test and provide medical devices on site, but due to the reduction of non-essential/critical surgeries being performed, Fusedbone has seen some impact to its business.
Decentralization for medical equipment is key
On the bright side, he believes that many companies will take this time to re-evaluate their supply chains and decentralize their production sourcing. As we saw with COVID-19, many companies had equipment stuck in China thanks to border shutdowns. By choosing to decentralize production and build more geographical redundancies, larger companies can better prepare for crises by being less dependent on a singular production source.
Point of care production will become important
Self Care and Self Improvement
Self care has been a millennial trend that has existed for the last 2 years or so. With self care, we've also seen this concept being used by a variety of consumer products. They could range from buying cast iron pots to giving remote life coaching a shot. Be what it may, self care has become more important than ever, and we'll definitely be seeing more startups pivot toward getting people to work on themselves through coaching sessions, online wellness, therapy, education and more. Interested? For now, go get yourself a Great Jones cast iron pot for your stews, sign up for MasterClass with a friend to learn how to DJ from Deadmau5 and use Glossier products to help soothe your dry skin as you wait for the day you get to go out and experience the physical world again.
This article was written by Christine Ng, Marketing Consultant for Antler Amsterdam.
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