2015 funding for digital health matches last year's record

2015 investments for digital health matches last year’s record

In 2014, investments in digital health shattered previous records, pulling in over $4.3 billion. According to venture fund Rock Health's Digital Health Funding: 2015 Year in Review report, this year has followed suit by matching last year's record. That dollar amount was more than double the funding acquired in 2013 and just under triple the funding earned in 2012. Continuing to account for 7 percent of overall venture funding, according to the company, the category can no longer be considered a novelty.

Funding driven by the consumerization of health care
The growth and expansion of technology in the field has been exponential over the last decade, yet the consumerization of health care has only just begun to reach the surface and make an impact. Until recently, the digital space in this field has been one of the toughest groups for investors to break into, according to Rock Health, a company dedicated to backing digital health care initiatives. Yet this year, personal health tools, tracking categories and consumer engagement tools have accounted for nearly one-fourth of all funding, according to the company's report.

Close to half of Americans have only accessed one of these categories and still others have never even used one. To better understand the attitudes, demographics and data surrounding digital health, Rock Health conducted a survey of more than 4,000 individuals this past summer. The need for consumer engagement remains, but one of the more surprising results of the survey was that unhealthy Americans are quicker to adopt these tools than healthy individuals – even though the general assumption remains the contrary. 

Continued growth
Regardless of the demographic of consumers utilizing these health care tools and the lack of others following suit, the niche experienced an impressive 222 percent growth since 2014, according to Healthcare IT News. Growth was also seen in the new investors who entered the scene throughout the past year. According to the source, more than 300 venture firms invested in at least one deal during 2015. Companies in the Bay Area of California had the biggest impact, earning 40 percent of all digital health investments.

Record-setting year for female CEOs
Perhaps one of the highlights of the year-end data reported by Healthcare IT News was the growth of women as leaders in the field. Among all of the funded companies started this year, more than one-third of them were led by a female. The number of female digital health CEOs doubled from 2014, with 10 percent of this year's funded companies managed by a woman. This data shows a break in the trend of a predominantly male-led industry.