In a recent report by US based StartUp Health, 2017 is set to be another important year in Digital Health funding. With Q1 figures just released, funding reached $2.5 billion, the biggest first quarter recorded since 2010 due to a record breaking Series B funding round. GRAIL is a life sciences company whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured and raised over $900 million in Q1. GRAIL combines the power of high-intensity sequencing (ultra-broad and ultra-deep sequencing), leading-edge computer science, and large population-scale clinical studies to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology and develop a blood test for early-stage cancer detection.
In the UK and Europe we have also seen some very interesting developments as the once battleground of the startups has now matured and the lines are blurring quickly as expected between “digital” and all other categories of health and healthcare. According to the StartUp Health report, Medical Devices was the 4th largest funding segment in “digital health” with $175 million in Q1 2017. Pharma also continues to embrace the digital revolution and Severin Schwan, Roche CEO has been among those who have stressed the importance of data for the industry’s future. A number of pharma companies have entered into partnerships with tech, insurance and other companies to collect data aimed at informing treatment and clinical decisions. Examples include, Sanofi and Google’s Verily business set up a joint venture earlier this year dubbed Onduo, and Novartis has its own digital tech arrangement with Google
Merck is also investing heavily in a tech future and is reportedly setting up a 600 person IT hub in Texas, one of 4 around the world as it ramps us preventative and personalised medicine solutions.
We are also seeing a large growth in hiring within the Life Sciences tech market in Europe. Salus Digital Jobs saw a 380% increase in jobs advertised in Q1 2017 across the fields of Digital Health, Medtech and Pharma and this is expected to grow considerably over the next 5 years according to reports from both PwC and Deloitte.
2017 looks like its going to be another record breaking year for Healthcare Innovation and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.