Recent trends in healthcare innovation

Creating innovation in healthcare has finally taken hold and attracted the interest of not just entrepreneurs, but employers, payers, service providers and investors as well. Life science and health entrepreneurship is the process of the creating user/patient-defined value by deploying new biomedical and health products, systems or services.

Whether you are in private practice, trying to get an idea to market, an employed physician or interested in promoting a social cause, biomedical and health innovation has probably by now grabbed your attention as a way to improve the health of patients and get us out of the global recession.

Several recent trends have emerged in the focus, finance and formation of new healthcare ideas.

The focus of innovation has shifted from drugs, devices and diagnostics to digital health (the application of information and communications technologies to health), care delivery innovation and business process improvement. Money and people go where they are treated best, and digital health is no exception. A risky financial, market, regulatory and reimbursement environment has forced investors to rethink how and where they deploy capital -- and digital health ideas are getting gaining more and more attention.

Second, how ideas are getting financed has changed. The venture capital model has changed into "superangels," crowd funding, corporate venture, vertically integrated generators and other new ways to finance early-stage ideas.

Finally, how companies are formed has changed. Accelerators, incubators and generators, launch pads for new  companies, are the new MBAs. They have exploded on the scene within the last six months and several, such as HealthBox, RockHealth, Blueprint Health , the SXSW Accelerator and the New York Digital Health Accelerator have already graduated their first classes and are expanding globally.

Healthcare reform in the United States has reached the tipping point. The necessity to create a more affordable system has spawned new models, technologies, products and businesses launched by physician entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on the opportunities. Welcome to the show and good luck with your new venture.

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