HealthTech in the time of COVID-19

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.

christine-ng

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Christine Ng

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.

An infographic showing 4 ways that health technology is developing in the future

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.
An advertisement informing the public about the existence of 3D Point-of-care medical devices present in more than 260 hospitals globally

 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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