Picture of Digital Health Startups

Digital Health Startups

November 2016


Pioneer digital health companies are transforming the market - What is pharma's role in the revolution?

In Digital Health Startups: Innovating the future of healthcare, FirstWord exposes the aims of 10 digital health startups and presents a checklist of where Pharma should get involved and the developments it must watch. Based on primary research with leading proponents of digital health, the report is essential reading for those needing to stay ahead of the technological wave that is sweeping across the healthcare landscape.

Examining the drivers, ambitions and technologies of leading digital health startups this report paints a revealing picture of how technology is redefining healthcare delivery and management. And by tapping into the mindsets of these healthcare innovators, we can identify opportunities for Pharma in digital health, and the risks of it not playing a prominent role in the revolution.

“The ultimate big phrase in the industry is ‘beyond the pill’. What all these companies are trying to do is to find ways to use digital technology to create extra wrappers around the health experience”. prior payer perspective, or from a patient perspective.”

Associate Director, Strategic Marketing 
Mid size pharmaceutical company

Through detailed company analysis, Pharma experts explore key questions:

Pharma experts give their perspective on key issues such as

  • Diverse impact: In which areas of healthcare is technical innovation making the greatest progress?
  • Friends or funders? How and when should Pharma be involved in funding and collaborating in digital health technology development?
  • Pharma’s challenge: How progressive is Pharma really in adopting/engaging with digital technology and where could they do better?

Detailed company analysis identifies market-changing technologies such as

  • Kit Check: How can Pharma practically work with Kit Check to track medications in the hospital setting?
  • Proteus Technology: How will Proteus’ advanced “in pill” technology revolutionise patient adherence monitoring?
  • Accel Diagnostics: How could Pharma benefit from data gathered via Accel’s point-of-need remotely monitored blood testing technology?

The digital health technology companies analysed

  • Accel Diagnostics is developing point-of-need diagnostic tests
  • Kit Check has developed a medication tracking system for hospitals
  • LuminaCare Solutions helps hospitals to reduce time spent finding the right treatment
  • Omada Health helps people reduce their risk of developing serious chronic conditions.
  • Proteus Digital Health’s technology monitors drug adherence and other patient behaviour
  • Zocdoc is a patient platform providing services as part of a digital centre of care.
  • Dexcom provides a mobile continuous glucose monitoring system
  • Fit4D provides solutions for Pharma, payers and providers that promote medical adherence and improve health outcomes in diabetes patients
  • RxREVU’s technology platform helps healthcare providers improve prescribing decisions, health outcomes and drug cost control
  • Tute Genomics analyses human genome data for genetic diagnoses

Expert Contributors

In order to ensure candid views the names of Pharma industry experts have been kept anonymous.

The following experts from digital health companies were interviewed:

  • Adam Brickman: Director, Strategic Communications and Public Policy, Omada Health
  • Markus Christen: Head of Global Development, Proteus Digital Health
  • Alberto Gandini: CEO, Accel Diagnostics
  • David Howe: CEO, LuminaCare Solutions
  • Oliver Kharraz: CEO, Zocdoc
  • Bret Kinsella: Chief Marketing Officer, Kit Check

The following experts from pharma companies were interviewed:

  • Associate Director, Strategic Marketing – mid size pharmaceutical company
  • Director, Digital Health – large pharmaceutical company
  • Director, Digital Health – top 10 pharmaceutical company
  • Senior Vice President – large pharmaceutical company 

Content Highlights

  • Digital Health Startups: Company profiles and analysis
    • Accel Diagnostics
    • Kit Check
    • LuminaCare Solutions
    • Omada Health
    • Proteus Digital Health
    • Zocdoc
    • Dexcom
    • Fit4D
    • RxREVU
    • Tute Genomics
  • Trends underlying the growth of digital health technology
    • The growth of smartphones
    • Big Data and AI
    • Digital engagement
    • Connected devices
    • Funding of digital health ventures
      • Major themes
      • Investment landscape
      • Exit tally
  • Pharma company involvement in digital health
    • Most pharmaceutical companies are involved in harnessing digital health technology
    • Pharma’s level of commitment to digital health technology viewed as insufficient
    • There are many areas in which pharma can gain from technology developed by digital health companies
    • Pharma–patient engagement could be disrupted if pharma fails to establish a foothold in certain digital health technologies
    • Opportunities for pharma to act as venture capital investor and incubator in the digital health sector
    • Industry should act as an accelerator for transformation of healthcare through collaboration with digital health companies
    • Digital health innovation provides pharma with opportunities to develop a competitive advantage across the value chain
    • Evangelists of digital health technology do not yet command significant influence
    • Clinical trials and ‘beyond the pill’ services are high growth areas
  • Barriers holding back the progress of digital innovation
  • The role of technology giants’ venture capital arms
  • Future trends that will propel the further adoption of digital health technology