Providers, Trackers, & Money: What You Need to Know About Health 2.0

The cloud, web, and mobile-based technologies developing in health that we call Health 2.0 had a big year in 2013 and look to be continuing full steam ahead in 2014. Three things to know as the year takes off:

1. Professional Facing Growth

Health 2.0 tools have been primarily consumer facing, but we’re beginning to see the gradual integration of Health 2.0 tools for professionals at the edges of the enterprise world in realms like patient care communication (WelVu), practice management (Simple Admit), and clinician workflow (Zipnosis). Population health management in particular is an area where Health 2.0 companies (Phytel, Evolent) are experiencing relative success answering new demands from provider organizations needing to manage patient populations in different ways. Traditional enterprise software has not been designed for this type of challenge.

While Health 2.0 infiltrates the edges of the enterprise world, professional facing Health 2.0 tools are making significant inroads into the core workflow of small practice organizations. Practice Fusion, CareCloud, and Kareo are a few examples of companies making progress in this market.

2. Wearables and Trackers Explode, Divide 

The tracking space continues to grow explosively with the addition, by our estimates, of around 100 new tools for self-management or tracking in 2013, and a whole slew of new tools that debuted at CES 2014. However, the tracking and wearables world is experiencing a division between consumer-oriented products and those with more clinical applications. The consumer side of the equation is rife with interesting technology, including watches, clips, cuffs, and sleep tracking devices. Google’s latest purchase of Nest is vaguely related to this space as innovators continue to move towards smart tracking of the body and human activity generally. Of course, we are at the top of the hype cycle regarding wearables, but in general, tracking is growing rapidly and is increasingly becoming more passive and automatic in nature.

The other side of the tracking world is full of innovative players working to complement tracking with dashboard functions for providers. These are the players trying to build the OnStar of tracking: integrating data from multiple trackers, visualizing the collective data in a dashboard, and automating a function that can identify which individuals need what intervention when. This type of tracking lends itself well to care management programs, and we’re seeing more companies (newly launched BettrLife and recently funded Glooko) offer specific tracking functionality designed to play into the clinical world rather than the purely consumer world.

Health plans have repeatedly shown interest in using trackers to improve disease management, but no one has figured it out yet. Expect to see attempts to integrate trackers with more mainstream clinical systems continue to grow in 2014.

3. Year on Year, Money Keeps Growing

Money is still readily available for digital health startups, with total venture capital funding in 2013 ($2.31B) more than doubling the total from 2011 ($1.03B). Less than two weeks into 2014, digital health companies have raised upwards of $50 million.  This past year also saw some significant exits, including MapMyFitness, Avado, and BodyMedia. 2013 was a busy year for the Health 2.0 space and we expect to see the pace increase in 2014.

Health 2.0 has a new line of intelligence offerings, including the 2013 Health 2.0 Annual Report. The Report includes all of the highlights mentioned here and much more in 200+ pages of analysis that profile the more than 150 new technologies that graced the Health 2.0 stage in late September. The Report also includes an analysis of the five main content arenas that cumulatively amount to our thesis on Health 2.0 in 2013. The Report is in many ways a guide to the latest and greatest health technology products and services with additional insight gleaned from the growth and funding data tracked in the Health 2.0 Source Database.

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