Minnesota-based health system Mayo Clinic selected six auspicious digital health startups for its MedTech Accelerator — a joint venture with Arizona State University for companies that raised at least$500,000 in seed funding rounds.
The accelerator aids early stage medical device and healthcare tech startups raring to polish their products and bring them to commercial success.
Here’s what it means: Mayo Clinic tapped startups leveraging promising digital health technologies.
- Mayo Clinic selected a number of AI-focused startups. Montreal-based Hexoskin, for example, developed a shirt that uses sensors to monitor heartrate, breathing, and sleep, and leverages AI while relaying data to clinicians and researchers. And Gyant, located in San Francisco, uses AI to streamline diagnoses and treatments for nonemergent conditions. Mayo Clinic isn’t alone in focusing on AI: It was the most well-funded healthcare tech in 2018, and spending on AI solutions in healthcare AI will likely continue toclimb over the next several years.
- Mayo Clinic also displayed a commitment to startups with remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions. For example, Arizona-based Life365 is tackling patients’ adherence to post-acute care regimens with its tablet and accompanied software and connected devices. It makes sense for Mayo Clinic to bet on an RPM startup: 70% of physicians strongly intend to use RPM tech in the future.
The bigger picture: US health systems are buckling down on new strategies to reap the benefits of cutting-edge digital health tech.
- Hospital-led digital health incubators are gaining traction as hospitals look for a competitive edge. A flood of provider organizations launched digital health hubs last year: Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center opened an incubator aimed at developing a slew of digital health technologies in May 2018. And Pennsylvania-based health system Lancaster General Health launched an innovation lab in June 2018 to help groom health tech startups looking to bring their products to market. It makes sense for health systems to work on bringing health tech innovation in-house: More than 75% of US hospital leaders agree that digital innovation has strong ties to competitive differentiation.
- And hospital VCs are pumping a record amount of cash into healthcare startups to generate a financial cushion. Deals involving at least one provider-linked venture capital fund surpassed $1 billion in 2018 — three times the amount recorded five years earlier. Hospitals can offer budding startups clinical expertise and a launching pad for products — and they can harness the benefits of the new tech. Further, a running list of startup investments could counteract lags in reimbursement that could emerge in the wake of declining inpatient admissions and new payment models, for example.