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🍩 Oh Hey 2022 - Healthtech Predictions Coming At You
Musings on what might be for the year... or decade, cause like, healthcare
Happy New Year friends! 🥳
Hope you’re well and had a good break.
Given the state of affairs - there’s a strong chance you or someone you know/love has had or have the spicy cough, or are in isolation. Please take care (and Hydralyte).
To all healthcare workers - thank you, and so sorry for what you’re going through 💜
Apparently, you don’t really have a newsletter until you make predictions so you can look back and see just how stupid you were. And what better way to start the year than with a few silly speculations.
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Ok, here goes…
1. Enter the Era of Health Media…
“Community” and Content Anyone?
Health media, communication and education has traditionally been dry (af), confusing, and largely inaccessible. But it doesn’t have to be.
With quality, engaging content - not only do you get the message through far more effectively, but you build trust and brand too. And sustained health effects and outcomes. Also given the talent shortage - having a strong brand and clear value prop is how you win.
The execution piece might take a while. But we’re going to see more health companies focus on media with more interesting content, and brands built for and with their target consumer in mind.
This will start to overflow (finally) into medical training too.
If you want to know more - here’s a thing on “Why you need to become a health influencer and educational content agency”
The number of companies suddenly using the term “community” and building out that function is 🚀
Everything is apparently now a community… but also, not yet. This takes time.
Combining the right individuals, creating collective knowledge, and experience is powerful in every facet of health, wellbeing and business. Really it’s just the basic ingredients behind all human success - Networks, relationships, helping people and good storytelling.
Many companies have started to add “community managers”, strategies or begun referring to their audience/consumers as such - and this will continue to skyrocket.
“Health Ecosystem” & “Network” will also be buzzwords 😂
2. More Health Defectors (Ie - The Great Health Professional Resignation Begins)
Medicine and healthcare have never been easy. Many professionals have been keen to try or find other things, but given the culture, lack of obvious opportunities and the sunk cost fallacy… many haven’t jumped.
There has been a BIG stigma around “leaving” for doctors. Not to mention, often it’s one of those “step backwards to go forwards” situations no one likes.
But options are opening up - it’s ever so gradually becoming more accepted to “leave”, pathways are becoming trodden, and clearer. Not to mention the excessive stress and strain from the pandemic has and will be for many, the final straw that broke the camel’s back - making many look for the door.
Many may not leave completely but instead, take a “portfolio” or part-time approach.
It’s concerning for us as a society - leading to an even greater shortage of practising health professionals, but super exciting for other industries with the amount of value these people can bring.
3. On-Ramps - Programs for Entering Digital Health, Innovation & Healthtech
To be interested or open to health innovation or technology is one thing - but there is still a BIG problem with awareness and few ways for people to enter the world.
The doors that do exist are pretty hidden until you (often accidentally) stumble upon them. These barriers to entry create an “On-ramp” issue - aka pathways and education. It’s also a biggie for those in Academia or Research too.
This can be broken down into endless categories, including:
Health workers learning the basics of hospital tech
Health Professionals learning the 101 of tech and innovation
Techie or Operator learning about health & healthtech
Researchers & Academics learning about tech & innovation
Investors learning more about health/bio
How to be a CMO or advisor
Pre-existing programs are a great start - but there needs to be more. And really, it should be incorporated in the training of every professional going forward.
Hopefully, this year we’ll see people band together to get these moving.
4. Biotech, Health & Deeptech Investing Becomes Mainstream
Investing in tech is the new Wallstreet. Everyone is keen to get in the game.
The problem? With an abundance of capital, there’s high competition for good deals that get the VC sized returns. And it’s only going to get worse. So, the game has started to change - with eyes looking to new places and the next big thing.
It’s still been largely neglected from the commercial angle in Aus, but big potential on long term returns. Especially with our track record in research and bio. It can and will be one of the big game-changers tackling big problems of society.
It’s already happening. Main Sequence’s portfolio have fared well, Brandon Capital used Super funds funds for biotech creating market confidence, and Blackbird are diving in with a few investments and their Wild Futures program.
💊 More Industry-Specific Funds Too
With more interest in the space, vets looking to reinvest and overseas valuations sky high - it’s likely more industry-specific funds will pop up or lay prey over here too.
There’s also an opening (ok need) for a new type of investor or structure, who are open to lower returns, or perhaps some scaled venture studio and portfolio approaches.
Here’s to the science revolution!
5. Public Investment and Involvement - “Crowdfunding” for Health & Research Commercialisation
With the rise of crowdfunding and health consumerisation, people are keen to get involved with their health and invest in brands they love.
We’ve seen record-breaking funding occur like Zero Co who raised $5m in 6.5 hours. What better way to build brand, show traction, ensure buy-in and align incentives.
Many who have done well for themselves and have some expertise or specific interests are keen to get into either contributing funds and/or knowledge to innovative companies in health.
So research, startups and projects can and will probably start being funded through crowdfunding or syndicate style models.
In Web3 world - structures called "Decentralised Autonomous Organisations" have emergedthat can and will create another channel for funding and innovation.
🍩 PS - If this is something of interest and you’re keen on investing in, or contributing to a community of startups - HIT REPLY
6. Proliferation Continues
It’s early days in the Aussie healthtech scene. But building on the trend, 2021’s record funding (Aus & US), and companies proving it’s possible - we’re just getting started.
Many talented peeps are looking to make a leap, or contribute to something “more meaningful”. And in the wings, there’s bubbling ideas, as well as the ability to execute thanks to the flow-on effects of the OG Aussie tech scene… So, I think we’ll see countless early-stage teams ideate and emerge this year.
Established orgs will also continue to pump out products, branches and brands. Including more M&A action and equity stakes to maximise growth, resources and moat.
They haven’t actually done much digital innovation yet - so, there’s a chance their innovation arms will start to find, fund &/or buy companies that are aligned.
7. Consumerisation & Reconstructing the Doctors Experience
Building on momentum - more companies and brands will be popping up for specific conditions, products and/or health needs. Creating better processes, experiences and empowering the modern consumer.
A great question to ask when looking at any problem or business…
“If this company/organisation/industry/system was started today - how would they do it?”
Yes, in health its a little more complicated, and often subject to lashback - but still a good place to start. Especially around workflows
Tomorrow’s big successes will be multichain brands and media companies.
Euc got this before most, combining learnings from e-commerce, media production & other industrial processes then applied it to health and recently published their deck here.
This trend will likely overflow to physical clinics too - as we start to see more specialised clinics and/or hybrid offerings pop on the scene, prioritising experience and brand.
8. The Gov Gets Involved
Ok, this one is a long shot - but I’m going to will it into existence because it needs to happen. Especially since things are kind of… crumbling.
Maybe we’ll finally start to see formal channels emerge from the government to create visibility & start sourcing solutions -instead of building from scratch and tenders no one sees.
And… Reforms. Healthcare Finally Gets the Wind of Change
It’s no secret that the healthcare system is struggling. Our system is AWESOME comparatively. But for it to stay that way and stop the decline and address our aging population and keep professionals in the game - things need to change.
And now is (or should be) the time. Or there will be a serious crisis.
One of the biggest things that needs addressing is the incentivisation and structuring of care and reimbursement. Especially for General Practice & Aged Care.
(I am definitely no expert here - so if you are would love to hear your thoughts!)
9. Health Insurers Attempt to Innovate… and Get In the Game
The business model has frankly been doomed for yonks. And we’ve seen health insurers try operate venture and innovation arms before, to little avail… yet.
Given the decreasing profits, trust and buy-in from younger consumers - if the industry, and gov, don’t adapt or restructure these models, the future is pretty grim.
The end of last year made it look like a few changes might finally be in the works - with NIB investing in Midnight health, and Bupa with their Benefit platform.
I’m sure more will follow suit - and perhaps we’ll even see a new breed hit the scene.
10. Big Tech - Just Gets Bigger
Enough said. This is boring and predictable.
But even orgs like Oracle are entering the game buying out behemoth Cerner. The buying spree and leveraging their power/resources/data will continue.
11. Gaming Gets Going
It’s not exactly new. The online gaming market is growing at a rapid rate and capturing today’s truly valuable commodity… attention.
Games with health outcomes are going to be big - from therapy programs, to rehab health and health education. And opps for reward programs and continued wearable integration. Not to mention with VR trending and set to reach a global market of $53B by 2028, up from its current $7.9B there’s a good likelihood this will this could take hold for fun, education and fitness. So look out for more products in this space.
Health for gamers is another one to watch.
12. Well, well, well… Web3
It’s still in its very early days… and I could go on for a long time. So I’ll spare you and just save that for another newsletter 😉
But the possibilities are big. It might be just hype, and will go through more iterations than any of us can imagine (including an equivalent or 5 of the dot-com crash) - but investors are betting BIG on decentralisation, digital identities and communities.
And, in my opinion - it presents a great opportunity for health & research… At least, eventually. For now, we’ll start to see a few projects surface, and perhaps even some funding thrown at this intersection.
TLDR - it’s gonna be another big year for healthtech & health innovation.
Get ready 💃
What do you think is going to happen this year? Reckon I’m way off the mark?
Drop a comment below or hit reply and let me know!
Go on… I dare you… 😉
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