Medical tech is the new gold rush for investors during the pandemic
More and more people are seeing their doctors at a distance during the pandemic. And that means that investors are starting to look with new interest at medical technology and how it might be used in the future.
Personal medical technology isn’t especially new, but the pandemic has shown that much of health care can be delivered at a distance.
There’s been a boom in telehealth platforms, online fitness classes and internet-connected devices that read our vital signs.
“Before COVID, you really had to look at these things and figure out where the world was gonna go, how fast it was going to go there. All of a sudden, now you’re giving people — I don’t want to say “no choice” — but now they need these things,” said Harry Glorikian, co-author of “MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market.”
And tech investors want in. Venture capital entities have invested nearly $5.5 billion in medical tech from January through June, according to Rock Health, a company that helps digital health startups.
But there are those urging caution about the direction these investments take.
“All too often, the technology has attempted to reengineer the process of care rather than leverage the most efficient process of care,” said Jed Constantz, a health care consultant.
For example, he said it took years for the developers of medical records technology to get it right, because early versions made it difficult for doctors to talk to patients while they filled in computerized forms. Constantz said there’s a history of companies creating what’s flashy instead of what’s practical.
“And so the venture capital, investor-backed efforts — I have found them to be largely ignorant. And they wonder why they don’t get traction,” he said.
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