August 13, 2018

Digital Health Success Stories Report - Part 1

Tom Parsons

Is digital health merely a big collection of pilots; a good thing to talk about and a cool thing to have? What constitutes success in the world of health technology? Does a multi million-dollar investment mean we’re getting somewhere?

Part 1 of HealthXL’s ‘Digital Health Success Stories’ report is now available and delves into some of the recent successes in healthcare technology and asks the experts what it all means.


The ‘digital health’ arena involves a multitude of stakeholders, from healthcare systems to pharmaceutical companies and start-ups. It’s no secret that success looks very different to each of these players. HealthXL’s latest report offers a run-down of some digital health successes to date, along with a selection of case studies, and input from companies and thought leaders who have been involved in moving the needle so far. As Lisa Suennen, Managing Director at GE Ventures, rightly commented, “We will know we have succeeded when we stop talking about ‘digital’ health and start talking about solutions that payers, providers, and patients can’t live without."We rewind to the Y2K and trace the path forged by healthcare technology since then - from humble beginnings of the mainstream adoption of Electronic Health Records by hospital systems, to the first activity tracker, to the present day where these two are integrated and talk of genomics and Artificial Intelligence rings loud.

Defining success in digital health is an ongoing challenge as there is no one tried-and-tested formula for getting it right. We reached out to our multi-stakeholder community of experts across healthcare to try and discover some markers for success in digital health:

· Evidence-Based Advances· Widespread Adoption· Purpose-Built Business Models· Notable Acquisitions

We then carefully handpicked some interesting companies who have hit the mark in each of these categories, including Omada who are now one of the default diabetes prevention programmes for the ADA, Alivecor, who are responsible for the world's first FDA-cleared EKG with artificial intelligence for Apple Watch, and MySugr, the diabetes management company who were acquired by Roche last year.

You’ll also hear from industry leaders within our community about what they make of the current investment landscape in digital health, and where they see the market going in years to come. Christoph Ruedig, Partner at Albion Capital, suggests, ‘At the heart of the problem in my view is that there is a mismatch between expectations of quick and fast returns… My prediction is that there will be a correction, and that only firms that demonstrably deliver improved outcomes at lower cost will be able to thrive and attract capital in the long term.’

It hasn’t been smooth sailing. In Part 2 of the report next week we also look at some of the more high-profile failures, taking some learnings for the future.

Please get back to us by commenting or email with what you think we've missed so it can be included in future communications!