In October 2019, CB Insights announced our first-ever annual Digital Health 150 — a list of the 150 most promising digital health startups across the globe. Below, we take a look at where these companies are now.
In 2019, digital health companies from 18 countries spanning 17 overarching categories were selected for the first-ever annual CB Insights Digital Health 150.
They were selected from a pool of over 5,000 companies based on several factors, including patent activity, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, proprietary Mosaic scores, market potential, partnerships, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty.
Since announcing our list, many of these startups have exited, raised equity funding, and entered into strategic partnerships.
For our 2019 report, we defined digital health as companies in the healthcare space that use technology/software as a key differentiator from their competition. This includes everything from disease diagnostics to tech-driven health insurance platforms to AI tools for drug discovery.
Startups were categorized by their main focus areas, and categories were not mutually exclusive. Please click to enlarge.
Below, we take a closer look at how these companies have grown since we published the list in October 2019.
Table of contents
- Notable partnerships
- Select responses to Covid-19 pandemic
exits: 3 exits from digital health 150 startups
Three startups named to the Digital Health 150 have exited, with 2 acquisitions and 1 IPO.
In April 2020, UnitedHealth acquired telebehavioral care company AbleTo for $470M. UnitedHealth will fold AbleTo into its Optum subsidiary, which had previously backed AbleTo in a Series D financing round in January 2019.
Concierge medicine company One Medical went public in January 2019, raising $245M in its IPO. Before exiting, the company had raised $402M in total disclosed funding.
Home care software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform ClearCare was acquired by WellSky in October 2019. WellSky offers healthcare & human services software solutions for providers in various settings from hospitals to hospices to home care agencies.
Funding: Digital health 150 startups raise nearly $3B more
Since October 2019, 47 of the Digital Health 150 startups have collectively raised over $2.9B in equity financing from investors.
Seven startups have raised mega-rounds (rounds of $100M+) in that time. These deals span the categories of insurance & benefits, primary care, genomics, and real-world evidence (RWE).
Notable investors and corporations, including venture capital firms, pharma companies, and health insurers, backed these startups.
Health insurers also participated in investments here. For instance, Anthem invested in virtual primary care company K Health while Humana took a corporate minority in health benefits platform Accolade. Accolade filed its S-1 for a $100M IPO in late February.
Many of the Digital Health 150 startups have formed strategic partnerships with key players in the healthcare industry across pharma, medical devices, health systems, insurers, and technology companies. Below are some key examples.
- Sanofi partnered with RWE company Aetion in November 2019. Also, it teamed up with telemedicine company Babylon Health in March 2020 for a 3-month pilot supporting those with digestive health issues.
- Novartis partnered with Biofourmis in November 2019 to develop digital therapeutics for patients diagnosed with heart failure.
- Abbott joined forces with Omada Health in October 2019. This combined Abbott’s glucose sensing tech with Omada’s digital coaching platform for managing type 2 diabetes.
- Philips and Paige.AI partnered to bring AI-based cancer assessment tools to clinical pathology labs in December 2019.
- Cleveland Clinic and AmWell announced a joint venture called The Clinic in October 2019, which will offer telehealth services from Cleveland’s providers. That month, it also collaborated with health benefits company League to bring the platform to its employees.
- CommonSpirit Health partnered with robotic process automation (RPA) platform Notable in December 2019 to improve interoperability.
- Cigna partnered with telemedicine company MDLIVE in December 2019 and health insurance company Oscar Health in January 2020. It also expanded its collaboration with kidney care company Cricket Health in March 2020.
- Express Scripts — a Cigna subsidiary — partnered with Buoy Health on digital screening tools for Covid-19 in April 2020.
- MassHealth — the combined Massachusetts offering of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program — partnered with Maven in March 2020 to provide free telemedicine visits to members who demonstrate symptoms of Covid-19.
- Lyft partnered with social determinants of health (SDOH) platform Unite Us in March 2020 to power ride-enabled referrals through its platform.
- Verily Life Sciences partnered with genomics company Color Genomics in October 2019 to bring genetic testing insights to its Project Baseline participants.
Select responses to covid-19 pandemic
Many of the Digital Health 150 companies have launched new initiatives or products to help patients through the pandemic. Some are also providing additional resources and waiving costs for their existing products for the time being. Below are some key examples.
- Omada Health made its mental health program free for employer and health plans in April 2020 for up to 6 months.
- Talkspace launched its Digital Employee Assistance Program (Digital EAP) in April 2020 to provide employee solutions in remote therapy and wellness.
- Akili Interactive Labs made its digital therapeutic product — a video game for adolescents with ADHD — available to eligible users in April 2020, following the FDA’s recent guidance on the use of low-risk digital psychiatric devices during the pandemic.
- Pear Therapeutics‘ digital therapeutic for schizophrenia was also made available in April 2020 in response to the FDA guidance mentioned above.
- Carrot Fertility announced that it would be launching Carrot Rx — a fertility medication package for its members — in May 2020. This aims to minimize the disruption in fertility care because of the pandemic.
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity