Silicon Valley roars back…in healthcare too?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal has been writing article after article about how Silicon Valley is suddenly as hot again as in 1995. And anyone driving into San Francisco these days will have views of the city obscured with big “we’re hiring” billboards from the Groupons, Zyngas, Rockyous, and whathaveyous of the world.

In the past healthcare innovation and startups/new value creation has proceeded independent of that tech-scene and it has been much slower, dominated by buying behavior from giant incumbents who thought NIH stood for Not In Healthcare. But as my colleague and Health 2.0 co-founder Matthew Holt likes to put it: change starts at the edges. And we have seen Health 2.0 start small at the edges with the growth of patient communities, followed by other models connecting patients, payers, and providers in new ways (e.g. American Well, athenahealth, Castlight).

On May 18 SDForum is organizing a one-day event highlighting the change that is afoot in mainstream healthcare as a result of the innovation from the edges reaching the shores (and more) of mainstream health and wellness industries.

I am introducing the first keynote speaker (Holly Potter from Kaiser Permanente) and moderating a panel on one of my favorite topics: how data and innovation in analytics can make treatment and wellness decisions better, and hence create value, for all involved. While 80% of presenting companies are young (from only a few months in existence to 5 years from initial funding), there are also some pioneering established companies (Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, PAMF) who will touch upon topics like:

  • how ONC’s push for ‘data Liberacion’ is one of several forces helping to make health decisions more data-driven
  • how mobile/unplatforms, cloud-computing, and innovative use of analytics create new opportunities to understand patient behavior and introduce new, smart interventions
  • how chronic disease treatment is starting a transformation (funky billboards in LAX not withstanding, Lisa)
  • how new entrepreneurial energy is being backed by more and more funding (Healthtap is one of the companies who recently received funding and who will be on the panel that I moderate, Doximity is another company that fits that bill)

Finally, while some companies in general tech  or consumer markets seem to pursue growth without a business model, this event shows how companies in healthcare who get it right (e.g. Limeade), can grow fast, do good, and become financially viable businesses. Maybe one day the WSJ will report on the exciting IPO window of healthcare technology innovation companies for a change. In the meantime, come and see what the future will look like by hearing from those who are building it now.

Marco Smit is President of Health 2.0 Advisors, the market intelligence arm of the Health 2.0 family.

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