What is healthtech
Within the healthcare industry, healthtech is the fastest-growing vertical. Except for hospital and practice management software, it covers any technology-enabled healthcare product or service that can be provided or consumed outside of a hospital or physician’s office. Mobility and other information technology can be provided by healthtech companies to improve healthcare delivery while lowering costs. Outcome Health, for example, provides exam room technologies to keep patients entertained as they wait to see their doctor. Oscar, an online insurance network that offers telemedicine consultations, is another option. Cloud computing, internet services, and social mobility are all used by health tech companies to improve patient-centric healthcare.
How healthtech is different from medtech
The medical technology—Medtech—vertical focuses on therapeutic technologies and medical devices that treat existing medical issues as well as diagnostic technologies that detect medical conditions. While healthtech is focused on optimizing personal and preventative care, the medical technology—Medtech—vertical is focused on therapeutic technologies and medical devices that treat existing medical issues and diagnostic technologies that detect medical conditions (i.e. in-hospital care).
SPR Therapeutics, a MedTech business that develops a peripheral nerve stimulation therapy platform as an alternative to addictive opioid medicines, is a good example. Auris, which makes robotic micro-surgical instruments for ophthalmic (eye) treatments, is as well.
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare
The COVID-19 epidemic not only brought the global economy to a halt, but also revealed the developed world’s health services’ deficiencies in dealing with rapidly spreading pandemics. As governments, healthcare institutions, and corporations struggled to deal with the crisis, interest in technology and projects that could provide solutions grew.
Health tracking, disease testing, telemedicine, biopharmaceutical research, and medical supplies startups are at the forefront of a technology-based pandemic preparedness and response ecosystem. These firms are most likely to be able to forecast, identify, track, contain, and treat outbreaks and pandemics in the future. The primary companies tackling the COVID-19 crisis are broken down in our report on startups helping to create pandemic preparedness and response infrastructure.
Emerging spaces within healthcare and healthtech
AI-assisted medication development
Artificial intelligence is being used by companies in this field to explore and find new medications and drug therapies. Artificial intelligence algorithms can sift through millions of chemical compounds and isolate the most promising possibilities in a fraction of the time it takes human researchers.
Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, program, or device that is used to help people with disabilities increase, maintain, or improve their functional abilities. Though assistive technology has been around for a while, a new wave of startups is leveraging emerging technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robots to accelerate innovation and provide more attractive solutions for people with disabilities.
Neurotechnology is a term used to describe technology that helps us better comprehend consciousness, cognition, and higher-order brain activity. Brain-machine interfaces, implantable devices, neuroprosthetics, neurostimulation, and neuromonitoring devices are all being developed by companies in this field.
Technology for mental health
Companies producing software and technology that empower individuals to take better care of their mental health, as well as enable practitioners to better monitor the mental health of their patients, are referred to as mental health tech.
Shortly after the pandemic broke out, demand for mental health businesses skyrocketed. Between December 29, 2009, and March 1, 2020, the average hours spent on mental health and fitness apps increased by roughly 30% in the United States. Headspace, a startup that created an app to help people meditate, received twice as many inbound requests from members looking for information to assist them to manage pandemic-related stress than usual.
Technology that helps you sleep
The term “sleep technology” refers to a group of technologies aimed at increasing the quality of a person’s sleep. Tracking sensors, smart mattresses, and sleep monitoring headbands are examples of sleep technology.