This was a booming year of growth in the world of digital health, with first of their kind investments, acquisitions and product launches. We’ve captured the top 10 things we saw and did in our 2021 year in review.
What we saw:
1. COVID-19 impacted digital health adoption and ROI in a positive way
At the start of 2021 we predicted Health @ Home would be the future, shifting patient care away from the traditional hospital setting. Our community insights echoed this with 67% of those polled investing and partnering more, 22% investing and partnering more conservatively, and only 11% believing there were bigger concerns than investing in digital health.
2. Pharma- DTx partnerships tended to be ‘’combination’’ DTx
While in recent years we’ve seen pharma start to embrace standalone DTx, this past year most new DTx partnerships (87.5%) focused on digital companions. In terms of therapeutic areas, metabolic (diabetes) was the most popular.
3. Big Tech saw the challenges of being in healthcare
The same week that Google dismantled its Health Division, Apple announced it was scaling back their app project, Health Habit. The retreat shows the challenges Big Tech faces in entering the complex and fragmented healthcare system and the need to possibly change their approach.
4. Slow uptake of DiGA leads to question of the model’s sustainability
With the first 10 DiGAs introduced in 2020, we saw the library add an additional 15 solutions in 2021. While some countries, like France, are adopting DiGA-like models, others say approval (25 apps) and prescription numbers (50,000) in Germany are still too low to show success and sustainability at this stage.
5. 2021 was the year for mental health apps, mergers and acquisitions
There’s been a rise in attention to mental health as a result of COVID-19, with digital health being well positioned to support growing needs. We saw a flurry of activity in this space, including Amwell acquiring Silvercloud Health, Headspace and ginger.io merging to form Headspace Health, and Woebot receiving FDA breakthrough designation for their postpartum depression prescription digital therapeutic.
What we did at HealthXL:
1. We hosted over 178 virtual meetings, 2 in person Global Gatherings and 2 Cross-Industry Working Groups
HealthXL’s virtual meetings offered a chance for community members to connect at a time when in person meetings were at a standstill. We discussed the future of digital health, solutions to key challenges in the space, and the evolving landscape. Our Global Gatherings in Boston and Dublin this fall brought together innovators and global leaders from all areas of digital health. HealthXL also hosted a pre-competitive cross-industry working group that convened to create an open-source guidance to facilitate digital health vendor assessment for clinical trials and a working group on the future of skin health.
2. We got deeper in DTx
This past year we published two reports diving into the areas of Prescription Digital Therapeutics and DTx routes to market. Check out our PDT report and Part I of the DTx routes to market report now and keep an eye out for Part II coming in January!
3. We launched an App and 5 new HealthXL Communities
The HealthXL app brings news, networking and meetings to your fingertips. The HealthXL app is now available for Android and iOS. Our communities allow experts to get the latest news and curated insights from the HealthXL team while connecting with their peers on key areas of interest. Our DTx community has over 130 active members with our Telemedicine & Virtual Care, Clinical Trials Innovation, Digital Mental Health & Neurology, and The Future of Skin Health communities growing daily.
4. We grew by 32% this past year
We were delighted to welcome new HealthXL members across all of our teams this year. We plan to continue to grow in 2022 and have already published several job postings. Interested in joining our team? Check here
5. We added new products to our Advisory offerings
We’ve been providing expert insights and perspectives to our clients for over eight years with a focus on bringing together the people and insights to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges, and helping them evolve their digital health programs. This past year we added Ideation Workshops and Opportunity and Trends Assessments, among others to our portfolio of offerings. Some of our most popular offerings are Market Landscape Analysis and Bespoke Digital Health Workgroups. Interested in learning more? Reach out here
And that’s a wrap on 2021! This will be our last blog of the year as we begin to wind down for the holidays. Our offices will be closed from December 27th - January 3rd but we look forward to reconnecting with you all in the new year!
We’ll be starting the year off with a blog on our top 5 predictions for 2022 and our first in-person event of the year in Basel on February 24th. We can’t wait to see you there!
Until then, from all of us at HealthXL, happy holidays, and here's to a brighter 2022!