VC investment in healthcare tech startups
In this modern economy focused on lightening-fast, immediate services, it comes as no surprise that healthcare technology startups are springing up, attempting to make medical care available at our fingertips. With the goal of increasing efficiency, healthcare startups are raising millions of dollars in venture capital funding as they strive to provide virtual care, extensive information through apps and websites and instant access to medical providers.
Charles King, president and principal analyst at IT industry analysis company Pund-IT, explained in a Forbes article that a huge focus in the healthcare industry right now is finding better ways to use information. Doing so, he said, will improve the quality of care patients receive as well as the speed at which they receive it.
"Modern medicine is very much a data-driven practice," King said. "If it's possible to collect and communicate information in a reliable fashion, that can actually speed certain kinds of medical decisions and activities."
Some major players
Several healthcare technology companies have been making headlines these days.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Opternative, a Chicago-based health tech startup, recently raised $6 million in a Series A funding round. The company offers affordable virtual eye exams ($40-$60) that patients can receive through either a smartphone or desktop. The company is able to take data from the exam and send it to a local ophthalmologist who will then write the patient a subscription for glasses, contacts or both. Chicago's Jump Capital led the investing round, along with Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, Corazon Capital and more.
Another startup making waves: Oscar Health. Through the company's app, users can purchase insurance directly or through an insurance marketplace. They can also use the app to speak directly with a doctor no matter where they are.
According to Fortune, Oscar Health had 17,000 members at the beginning of 2015 and in early 2016 that number has already grown to 125,000. In the past Oscar Health has received $300 million in startup funding from firms like Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Founders Fund. At the moment the company is not profitable, but it has been speculated that it is currently in the midst of a massive funding round, led by Fidelity, which could lead to a valuation of $3 billion.
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