How startups are disrupting the healthcare market
In February, Samsung NEXT hosted a panel to discuss how emerging startups and traditional health care players are teaming up to improve people’s lives worldwide, and what hurdles continue to block startup innovation.
Q: What can we expect from the upcoming health tech panel?
Bhavna: Health + Tech is a candid discussion on what it will take for healthtech startups to succeed. VC funding in healthtech continues to increase. But the reality is, health care is a complex industry unlike any other. Startups have to build solutions that work for practitioners, payers, hospital systems, and pass through regulatory hurdles, before they can get to a patient. So, we’ve sourced a successful founder, a digital health attorney, a doctor, a hospital administrator, and a VC to cover the whole ecosystem and provides actionable insights.
Amit: Looking at the big picture, healthcare is almost 20% of our GDP. We have a population that’s getting older with increasing chronic diseases. The whole world is seeing this phenomena, not just in the U.S. Plus, we have a complex system in our country where the people who need healthcare the most may not have access. There’s an opportunity for private enterprises and startups to really play in this space, and try to tackle and solve one of these issues in health care. The challenge is that health is mission critical. There are lives involved and you can’t afford to get it wrong or misunderstand the regulations. To be successful, you really have to be prepared to prove that your system works to patients, providers, and policy makers. Innovators in this field need to understand it’s really not just about the technology.
Q: What inspired you to invest in startups in the healthtech space?
Amit: At Samsung NEXT Ventures, we recently made an investment in Glooko, a diabetes management platform. You take data from a prick of your finger and you upload it into the cloud, then your doctor can get continuous data on your blood sugar levels to monitor your health. Glooko supports the most glucometers out there—it has 95% coverage. The company has really taken off. Healthcare is something that makes a direct impact on your life. I’ve done parallel tracks in my academic work in engineering and life sciences. I also built a hospital in rural India. I’ve always believed that technology is here to solve big problems in the world. When I think about the big problems in the world, health is high up there. If you don’t have health, you may lose the foundation of who you are.
Bhavna: Quite simply, I want to help people lead healthier lives, and I believe startup innovation will be the driving force to achieve this on a global scale. Health spend in the U.S. is the largest in the world at $3 Trillion. I want to see innovative ways of bringing this number down – remote monitoring, smarter nutrition management, predictive diagnostics, streamlined workflow management, etc. I believe this is the right time for us to be investing in healthtech startups – the pain points are validated, the solutions are there, and the ecosystem continues to provide room for pilots, integration, and scale.
The Health + Tech panel featured five experts from the healthcare field:
Ian Shakill (Co-founder & CEO of Augmedix)
Wainwright Fishburn (Chair of Digital Health at Cooley LLP)
Vanda Mittal (Digital Health at Stanford Children’s Hospital)
Adam Schlifke (Physician, Startup Advisor & Investor)
Amit Garg (Healthtech Investor, Samsung NEXT)
Moderated by Bhavna Kumar, Samsung NEXT.