We cannot guarantee that the content will display correctly while using Internet Explorer. To have the best browsing experience, please upgrade to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari.

January 3, 2020

5 Digital Health Predictions for 2020

Commentary
Sophie Madden
&
Tessy Huss

As we enter 2020, we take a look back at some notable digital health developments from 2019 and give our take on what we think you should be keeping an eye on this year. 

Despite setbacks during the year, we predict that digital therapeutics will continue to be a central talking point within digital health, and that partnerships in this space will be on the rise.

The HealthXL market intelligence platform has identified over 130 partnerships within the digital therapeutics space. As we predicted last year, 2019 saw the formation of some significant partnerships including:

As one of the earliest, and most publicised partnerships, the industry was almost reliant on the Novartis/ Sandoz - Pear Therapeutics partnerships to pave the way for others, and publish the 'how to' guide on product development, establishing partnerships, commercializing their products. When it was announced in October of this year that Sandoz would no longer be continuing a commercial partnership with Pear, the industry was awash with uncertainty as to what this may mean for the digital therapeutics space. We were curious about how this may impact digital therapeutics companies’ attitudes to partnering with large pharma, and were happy to see that Pear continue to forge steps to commercialisation with the announcement of a partnership with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals to bring to market prescription digital therapeutics for gastrointestinal indications.

We predict that we will also continue to see money flowing into promising digital therapeutics companies, particularly in light of some notable FDA activity this year (Somryst and ReSET by Pear Therapeutics, Oleena by Voluntis etc). We are also excited to see the applications for digital therapeutics continue to expand across therapeutic areas, and see this being a driving factor for more investments in this space. For example, the announcement in August 2020 that AmblyoPlay is launching a new digital therapeutic for people with 'lazy eye'. 

Beyond China - we predict increased investment in digital healthcare in Asia.

Last year we predicted a heightened focus on China as the next big digital health market. We hit the nail on the head on this one! Shortly after raising a $10 M Series A investment in August, the Carevoice launched the CarevoiceOS platform to allow its insurance client to optimise and further personalise their offerings. Last month, Tencent and Elsevier announced a strategic partnership to help share medical information with Chinese doctors. This year alone, the pharmaceutical giant Merck entered into partnerships with both Ping An, to develop an integrated care solution, and with Tencent to leverage digital platforms to promote health disease awareness as well as access to healthcare services amongst the Chinese population. Meanwhile, Huimei Health raised $30M Series C funding for the development of its new AI based clinical decision support (CDS), while the Ping An subsidiary Ping An Smart Healthcare trialed its CDSS AskBob in Singapore in a collaboration with SingHealth and the National University Health System (NUHS).

These developments signify the rapid democratisation of healthcare, which we believe will continue to spread far beyond China and impact North and Southeast Asia. The emergence of ‘healthcare at your fingertips’ model has spread across the region, evidenced in the large investments and commercial deals providers there have been closing. In Indonesia  Alodokter recently raised $33M in a Series C round and HaloDoc landed the largest digital health investment of the year worth $100M. Singapore-based telehealth provider MyDoc recently partnered with Prudential, a large life insurance company in Hong-Kong, as well as with BoaViet Group Insurance, one of Vietnam’s largest insurers. WellDoc and Astellas announced a partnership to commercialise the the BlueStar Digital Therapeutic in Japan and further afield.

Source: HealthXL Platform

We predict that in 2020, we will see more digitally enabled clinical trials for cardiometabolic conditions.

Last year, we suggested that clinical trials would go virtual and that digital biomarkers would become the norm. However, as 2019 drew to a close, we saw that this was not yet a reality. In September 2019, we discussed the state of the nation for digitally enabled clinical trials at our Global Gathering in Dublin. From these discussions, we were inspired to create our next HealthXL report, which will explore the hype, the reality, and the next steps for Digitally Enabled Clinical Trial Optimization.


Digital health technologies may help contribute to multiple areas in pharma research, such as patient enrollment, data collection, novel digital endpoints, and more. However, when it comes to specific therapy areas that may be ripe for digital disruption, we believe that cardiometabolic conditions are the low hanging fruit for pharma at the moment. Firstly, there are already huge volumes of medical and consumer grade devices available within this space, as well as behavioural interventions, coaching apps, etc. Cardiometabolic conditions will likely see the quickest utilization of apps and wearables due to the presence of sensors and related technology which are well placed to evaluate those conditions. Secondly, the rise of cardiometabolic conditions is a growing concern in the US at this time, catalysing the exploration of different treatment and prevention options. We are already beginning to see pharma play in this space, with Novartis utilizing wearable sensors to track physical activity during waking and sleeping hours to determine the impact of Entresto vs Enalapril on disease treatment in the AWAKE-HF Study. We predict that in 2020 we will see increasing numbers of digitally enabled (use of wearables and sensors to collect patient data remotely, use of social media and other tools to recruit patients) clinical trials for cardiometabolic conditions.


We predict that non-traditional players will tackle the issue of SDoH in 2020.

No longer a healthcare fad, social determinants of health (SDoH) are here to stay, not least because they are the business of value-based care. While value-based purchasing models aren’t new either, we are only beginning to see ‘fee for performance’ being switched for more accountable care. With social determinants and environmental factors contributing to as much as 60% of variations in health status, more and more health systems and large health care organisations are beginning to invest in SDoH – 2019 had some real traction in this regard. 

We have seen a number of different players across the entire healthcare ecosystem begin to tackle a variety of SDoH, and predict that this is just the beginning of this activity for non-traditional players in this space. For instance:

Because at HealthXL we like to understand trends in depth, we dedicated our most recent Global Gathering (which took place in November in Lake Nona, Florida and which we organised in partnership with Guidewell) to the topics of next gen payers and value based care as well as social innovation for health – for a recap of the event check out our report.


We predict that in 2020, Germany and the UK will become go to models for real world applications of digital health.

Last year, we predicted that we would move beyond speculation over business models and reimbursement into actual application and generation of real world evidence for digital therapeutics - putting the tech into the hands of patients and physicians. I think it’s safe to say we got this one pretty spot on.

In June 2019, EMIS, a Leeds-based primary care software provider, announced a partnership with IQVIAs Appscript in which they will help EMIS populate their app library with the most validated and relevant digital tools to prescribe to patients. EMIS is the default EMR/ software provider for a majority of the GP practices in the NHS, and therefore, this substantially increases the number of doctors and ultimately patients who can access these apps. 

We believe that the UK may soon become the go-to model for digital health companies to learn from, by first going through the NICE guidelines for validation and evidence generation, partnering with EMIS via Appscript, and generating real world data collection as an outcome. Another example is Discover-NOW by ICHP, one of the UKs seven national health data research hubs. A health data research hub for real world evidence, it brings together a collaboration of NHS organisations, industry, charities and academia, as well as patients, to help them make robust evidence-based decisions about healthcare and evaluate their interventions

Earlier this year, we also saw Germany introduce a new law which will facilitate the prescription of digital health apps by primary care physicians to their patients. After an app has proven that it meets the specified criteria, it will be provisionally reimbursed for one year by the statutory health insurance. During this time, the digital health company has to prove that the app improves patient care. If successful, the company will then negotiate a price going forward. 

We suspect that other European countries will follow suit to make digital health solutions easier for doctors to prescribe, insurers to reimburse, and patients to access.

What do you think will be the talking points of digital health in 2020? We’d love to hear from you! 

sophie@healthxl.com


We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

Request an Introduction

We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

Request an Introduction

Ready to read more? HealthXL members can access the full peak of the report on the HealthXL Community Hub.

Not yet a member of HealthXL? Download your 11 page snapshot of the report.

Download your 11 page snapshot

Connect with peers and share insights

Don't miss out on the discussion of the latest insights and reports on digital health. Meet with peers and take a deep dive for 75 minutes. Unlike at webinars, you can freely exchange experiences and insights to solve challenges and design the future of DTx.

Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

DTx last mile delivery - HCPs and patients adoption

2nd November @ 11:45AM EDT

Join us in this informal conversation where we will discuss the main challenges around HCP and Patient adoption of DTx. Apply now to connect with peers and learn from fellow thought leaders in this space.

Featuring
Shrawan Patel
Shrawan Patel
Founder & MD, Strategy Health
Céline Ulmann
Céline Ulmann
Head of R&D Digital, Almirall
Featuring
Shrawan Patel
Shrawan Patel
Founder & MD, Strategy Health
Céline Ulmann
Céline Ulmann
Head of R&D Digital, Almirall
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Tech Giants, Start-ups or Incumbents, who will disrupt healthcare?

4th November @ 11:30AM EDT

Join our Digital Health Meeting as discuss How do we define disruption in the healthcare industry? What is the ‘extinction event’ healthcare needs and why has it not happened yet? And what are the learnings from Tech Giants’ moves in healthcareApply now to join the conversation and share your thoughts on the topic.

Featuring
Amanda Goltz
Amanda Goltz
Principal, Business Development, Alexa Health & Wellness at Amazon
Anish Shindore
Anish Shindore
Head of NeuroTech & Open Innovation, Biogen
Featuring
Amanda Goltz
Amanda Goltz
Principal, Business Development, Alexa Health & Wellness at Amazon
Anish Shindore
Anish Shindore
Head of NeuroTech & Open Innovation, Biogen
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Masterclass: How to get your DTx product reimbursed in the US?

4th November @ 11:45AM EDT

Are you a DTx company seeking reimbursement in the US? Then this masterclass is for you. Join us in this US-focused interactive masterclass led by Mike Pace, who will walk us through how to get your DTx product reimbursed in the US.

Featuring
Michael Pace
Michael Pace
Founder and President at PalmHealth.co
Featuring
Michael Pace
Michael Pace
Founder and President at PalmHealth.co
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Masterclass: DiGa - Entering the digital health space in Germany

10th November @ 10:45AM EDT

Join us in this interactive masterclass led by Flying Health, as they discuss what you need to know to navigate the DiGa framework. Apply now to learn valuable insights from thought leaders in this space.

Featuring
Laura Nelde
Laura Nelde
Startup Relationship Manager at Flying Health
Len-Philipp Ortlepp
Len-Philipp Ortlepp
Junior Startup Relationship Manager, Flying Health
Featuring
Laura Nelde
Laura Nelde
Startup Relationship Manager at Flying Health
Len-Philipp Ortlepp
Len-Philipp Ortlepp
Junior Startup Relationship Manager, Flying Health

Are you a HealthXL Member? See the Full Report Here

Non-HealthXL Member? You can purchase the report HERE

HealthXL Digital Health Meetings

Want to join the discussion now?

Join our Digital Health Meetings and take a deep dive for 75 minutes into topics like digital therapeutics, patient support, telehealth, clinical trials, dermatology and many more. These Meetings are not regular webinars: No audience, no recording and no hiding behind a screen. You actively participate in a discussion to solve your present challenges and design the future of digital health. And with a free account on our Community Hub, you stay connected and up-to-date on the latest news and insights, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the topic before, during and after.

Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

DTx last mile delivery - HCPs and patients adoption

2nd November @ 11:45AM EDT

Join us in this informal conversation where we will discuss the main challenges around HCP and Patient adoption of DTx. Apply now to connect with peers and learn from fellow thought leaders in this space.

Featuring
Shrawan Patel
Shrawan Patel
Founder & MD, Strategy Health
Céline Ulmann
Céline Ulmann
Head of R&D Digital, Almirall
Featuring
Shrawan Patel
Shrawan Patel
Founder & MD, Strategy Health
Céline Ulmann
Céline Ulmann
Head of R&D Digital, Almirall
Telemedicine & Virtual Care Delivery
Telemedicine & Virtual Care Delivery
Telemedicine & Virtual Care Delivery
Telemedicine & Virtual Care Delivery

Commercialisation models for Virtual Care in Respiratory Diseases

3rd November @ 11:45AM EDT

Join our Digital Health Meeting as we discuss commercialisation models for Virtual Care in Respiratory Diseases. Apply now to hear from fellow peers in this space and share your own thoughts and experiences on this topic.

Featuring
Peter Small
Peter Small
Chief Medical Officer, Hyfe
Caleb Bank
Caleb Bank
Product Marketing at NuvoAir
Featuring
Peter Small
Peter Small
Chief Medical Officer, Hyfe
Caleb Bank
Caleb Bank
Product Marketing at NuvoAir
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Tech Giants, Start-ups or Incumbents, who will disrupt healthcare?

4th November @ 11:30AM EDT

Join our Digital Health Meeting as discuss How do we define disruption in the healthcare industry? What is the ‘extinction event’ healthcare needs and why has it not happened yet? And what are the learnings from Tech Giants’ moves in healthcareApply now to join the conversation and share your thoughts on the topic.

Featuring
Amanda Goltz
Amanda Goltz
Principal, Business Development, Alexa Health & Wellness at Amazon
Anish Shindore
Anish Shindore
Head of NeuroTech & Open Innovation, Biogen
Featuring
Amanda Goltz
Amanda Goltz
Principal, Business Development, Alexa Health & Wellness at Amazon
Anish Shindore
Anish Shindore
Head of NeuroTech & Open Innovation, Biogen
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)
Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Masterclass: How to get your DTx product reimbursed in the US?

4th November @ 11:45AM EDT

Are you a DTx company seeking reimbursement in the US? Then this masterclass is for you. Join us in this US-focused interactive masterclass led by Mike Pace, who will walk us through how to get your DTx product reimbursed in the US.

Featuring
Michael Pace
Michael Pace
Founder and President at PalmHealth.co
Featuring
Michael Pace
Michael Pace
Founder and President at PalmHealth.co

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

We cannot guarantee that the content will display correctly while using Internet Explorer. To have the best browsing experience, please upgrade to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari.