Medical sector startup financing in the United States has been growing constantly since 2008. This is both due to a widespread drive to improve the overall healthcare system, and the need to meet changing consumer expectations.

L’Atelier recently reported on the change in mindset among doctors regarding the use of new technologies in the medical care process, especially as regards their view of apps. Another recent analysis from global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture seems to confirm this trend towards widespread takeup of digital health tools. The Accenture study reveals that between 2008 and 2013 startup funding in the digital health sector in the United States grew 31% year-on-year and is set to reach $6.5 billion for the year 2017.

Over and above the usual explanations about changing habits and new technologies, the Accenture experts put forward several reasons for this non-stop growth. The paper points out for example that the revamp of the US health system launched in 2008 by President Obama could well be at the root of these figures.  Other contributing factors mentioned in the report are the arrival on the scene of new funding structures such as San Francisco-based venture fund Rock Health (see the video at the end of this article) and the increasingly advanced digitisation of physical objects.
 
 
The four markets attracting most investor funding during the 2008 - 2013 period are firstly Infrastructure – projects designed to improve such areas as administration and payments, use of Big Data & Analytics, etc, out in front with $2.9 billion in total funding; secondly Treatment – i.e. personalised medicine, telehealth and so on – which garnered $2.6 billion over the five years examined; patient Engagement – wearable devices, gamification to assist medication compliance, etc, which also received funding amounting to $2.6 billion; and fourthly Diagnosis – including such techniques as remote monitoring and self-diagnostics  – which attracted $2.1 billion in funding during the period.
 
By Aurore Geraud
Journalist