By: Thom Busby and Oded Ben-Joseph
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, MassBio, held their inaugural Digital Health Impact summit, ushering in the recognition that digital technology and life sciences are irrevocably conjoined. Traditional life science trade groups have made the strategic decision to include their tech-based counterparts, perhaps out of fear of becoming obsolete. We at Outcome Capital have witnessed this shift in both capital market and M&A value drivers.
Speakers at the event spanned the life science/healthcare/technology continuum, but the message was clear and consistent throughout: digital health is not a trend, and any luddites averse to digital technologies impacting life sciences value creation will struggle for relevance (i.e. success) in an increasingly digitized industry.
Though many thought-provoking topics were shared, the following themes and quotes stood out:
While life science-targeted digital technologies may still arguably hold more promise than impact at this juncture, the velocity and influence of innovation is striking. Moreover, the opportunities for digital technology to complement, enhance and in some cases displace existing solutions presents a unique opportunity for life science entrepreneurs to upend traditional life science market dynamics for their (and their shareholders’) benefit.
At Outcome’s digital health practice, we strive to identify technologies capable of clearly improving clinical outcomes, or quickly and capital-efficiently integrating into hospital workflows to reduce costs. Our recommendation for entrepreneurs is to keep these insights in mind and focus on developing companies that achieve these goals. Digital technologies’ impact has already been felt in the life sciences industry, from drug development to post-treatment monitoring. The challenge related to value creation shifts from overcoming technological limitations, to carefully constructing corporate strategies that result in well-informed and clinically-relevant products and services.
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