‘Tis The Season For Consumer Health

Don’t you just love the holidays? It’s not a question. It’s my mantra. To be repeated frequently as I squeeze through the crushing mass of humanity that is the local Whole Foods this time of year, wondering whether that’s joy or rage I’m feeling. Equal parts maddening and awe-inspiring, no time of year is a better reminder that these days, the consumer really is king. Even health care, Grinch that it can be, is getting into the spirit.

Consumers can manage, drive, and design their health care experience like never before. Want to know what your blood pressure is every morning? Done. Need to see a Doctor, but don’t have time? Schedule a visit on your hours. Wish your doctor knew you better, so figuring out and preventing problems was a little easier? Well, your cell phone can help with that.

With all eyes on the consumer at the center of health care, we’ve seen an explosion of companies prepared to cater to consumers and a number of investors equally as eager to fund them. As it currently stands, the Health 2.0 Source Database tracks more digital health companies geared towards consumers than there are calories in your Thanksgiving feast – 1,719 to be precise. Companies, not calories. Another 200 plus are solely focused on connecting consumers to providers. And these companies aren’t all two-person startups operating out of Mom’s garage (although as we all know, that’s not a bad start). All told, more than $1.3 billion have poured into consumer-facing startups in the first three quarters of 2014 alone.

Of course, no consumer transformation would be complete without the brands, which is something health care now has in spades. Retail giants and stocking-stuffer staples Apple, Samsung, Google, WalMart, Target and more continue to expand their health footprints. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a part of digital health, but with the big names getting involved, it seems that soon enough we’ll all be involved in digital health in some way.

With consumers driving the future of health, it’s important to understand the implications this shift has for technology, retail, and venture. These are the themes Health 2.0 plans to explore at WinterTech, a new one-day event focused exclusively on the consumer health tech landscape. From how consumers are managing their personal health to how providers are using consumer data to drive clinical insight to how retail is improving the consumer health experience, WinterTech will unpack whether we’re headed for a Black Friday stampede, or that perfectly targeted ad that with a few simple clicks becomes a new favorite pair of boots in the closet.

WinterTech will take place in San Francisco on January 15th and will focus exclusively on the consumer health tech landscape from the perspective of leading technology companies, retailers, and investors. 

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