LAS VEGAS — Greater than 10,000 people descended on Las Vegas this week as well being and tech firms starting from startups to Fortune 500 juggernauts showcased their newest digital well being chops at HLTH 2023.
Final yr’s huge takeaway centered on shifting away from single-point options. This yr, synthetic intelligence was the subject on buyers’ minds as they seek for the subsequent huge wager in digital well being.
However it’s unclear what use case for AI in healthcare will finally win.
With huge tech gamers like Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Amazon (AMZN) constructing out their particular person methods — and all with a presence at this yr’s convention — startups are pitted in opposition to well-resourced titans in proving they will present significant change in healthcare.
That thought was prime of thoughts for Prateesh Maheshwari, a managing director at Maverick Ventures, a enterprise capital agency based mostly in San Francisco.
“Are we making a distinction in digital well being? I do not wish to undermine all of the folks that I work with, however … is the scale of the business making the impression that we wish?” Maheshwari mentioned.
That features supporting value-based care, an concept that has been round for greater than a decade that dictates that well being programs and professionals ought to have a monetary stake in maintaining sufferers wholesome and be penalized if interventions do not work.
That will differ from right now’s largely fee-for-service world, the place each time a affected person will get a blood check or goes to see the physician, they incur a invoice with line gadgets for every further service. That is particularly an issue in specialty care — companies reminiscent of most cancers care or dialysis —which require specialised docs moderately than main care physicians.
“We all know it is a lot extra of the [healthcare] spend, so it feels prefer it’s an issue that must be solved. I don’t know if we now have the reply,” Maheshwari mentioned.
Consultants like Vineeta Agarwal, basic companion at Andreessen Horowitz, are bullish on AI unlocking the potential to unravel the worth issues, in addition to relieve the rising administrative burden that know-how has positioned on clinicians.
“All of these use circumstances we predict are going to be powered by new and next-generation AI fashions and are going to be impactful,” Agarwal mentioned.
Prior to now a number of years, a big quantity of capital has been invested in digital well being, peaking through the pandemic —particularly for AI.
Rock Well being, which tracks well being tech funding within the US, recorded a complete of $21.4 billion in digital well being utilizing AI since 2020. Virtually half of that was in 2021 alone, with a reported $10.1 billion that yr.
The common whole funding is lower than half that quantity yearly. Nevertheless, as a share of whole digital well being investments, AI has been holding regular.
Within the first half of this yr, solely $2.2 billion had been invested, in keeping with Rock Well being. As a share of whole digital well being, nonetheless, the investments have remained comparatively flat, at round 30%.
In 2021, it rose to 35%, however within the first half of 2023, AI in well being investments had been solely 29% of whole digital well being funding.
Anjalee Khemlani is the senior well being reporter at Yahoo Finance, overlaying all issues pharma, insurance coverage, care companies, digital well being, PBMs, and well being coverage and politics. Observe Anjalee on all social media platforms @AnjKhem.