New trends don’t materialize at the start of the year, but it is still a great time to reflect on the past year and see what topics will fill newsfeeds and dominate conversations in the digital health space in 2023.
Digital health solutions for hybrid care
Virtual first-care models continue to spring up for every conceivable medical condition, and there are still many gaps in the market where we expect to see new solutions in the coming years. The market is shifting to the new normal of hybrid care, where patients and digital health solutions interact virtually and sometimes in person as the care pathway and the patient demands.
Neura Health is an excellent example of this model. They have many useful virtual features designed to provide faster access to neurologists, such as a condition tracker, weekly care coaching sessions, and 24/7 care team access. However, if a brain scan is needed, they refer to a physical location for that service.
Furthermore, Neura Health is expanding capacity for brick and mortar practices by helping them extend their services outside their typical geographical reach and office hours. This presents an innovative way for hospitals to delight patients and grow revenue because they can leverage Neura’s neurology network as a virtual-first layer (bandwidth extenders for the neurology department). In this partnership model, Neura Health’s neurologists refer back to the hospital for necessary procedures, labs, and scans.
No matter what disease or type of treatment, a critical component of healthcare comes from caregiving and the support of others in the journey to prevent, treat, or recover from an illness or disability. TCare enables family caregivers to focus on what matters most: caring for themselves and their loved ones. By providing personalized resources and support, TCare battles caregiver burnout.
Digital health startups for mental health
More solutions and funding are flowing to startups addressing severe mental health. Previously, the emphasis was on bringing mental health awareness with a strong focus on stress, anxiety, and depression. The market is moving towards chronic disease patients with high costs associated with their disease due to frequent emergency room visits and in-patient hospitalizations. One of the ongoing issues in mental health is that there is no objective way to measure mental illness; diagnosis is based on subjective questionnaires and patient self-reporting without an accurateobjective way to know if a patient is responding to treatment.
Senseye uses a smartphone camera to diagnose mental health and track disease severity over time by measuring the eyes in response to stimuli. Senseye aims to help clinicians personalize care with fast, accurate, and, ultimately, FDA-approved tools for establishing a clear baseline and measuring treatment efficacy, starting with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Another critical area in need of attention is youth mental health. Building upon the trend of providing care in community spaces, InSite Health is going to its patients by partnering with schools to provide accessible outpatient psychiatric care. Furthermore, InSite Health is improving access to care for all families by tapping into the Medicaid market via the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and managed care Medicaid program.
Approximately 60% of all children in the United States were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in 2020. Innovations targeted toward the Medicaid market are on the rise, and using pediatrics as an entry point to capture the adjacent adult market is an increasingly popular way to grow and scale.
Digital health companies for price transparency and value-based care
Regardless of how care is delivered, many care models still need to rely on fee-for-service. With recent federal regulations requiring price transparency in the United States, patients will have an easier time shopping for healthcare, resulting in more consumerization in the market.
Startups like Scan.com are building easy-to-use platforms for patients to search and compare medical imaging services by location, price, and insurance coverage, as well as take action and book appointments.
Vytalize targets the Medicare market and uses value-based incentives, innovative technology, and a virtual clinic to help independent physicians and practices strengthen relationships with their patients through data-driven, holistic, and personalized care.
Value-based care continues to trend in healthcare as companies like Vytalize help providers transition to this model. With technology to support, value-based care arrangements will succeed.
Digital health startups focused on clinical trials and diverse data analysis
When it comes to treatment options, more and more solutions are arising to support a critical piece of drug development: clinical trials. The industry also emphasizes the need to collect and analyze diverse data.
Infiuss Health connects drug development companies to millions of eligible Africans for clinical studies to diversify participant cohorts and shorten timelines by leveraging decentralized recruitment.
Lamar Health provides patients with a personalized genetics hub for rare diseases that provides tailored updates on clinical trials and new treatment options. Lamar Health utilizes modern technology such as AI-driven analytics and advanced machine learning to provide detailed insights about disease trajectories and future prognosis for individual patients. In addition to helping providers stay on top of the latest research developments in the field, Lamar Health offers specialized services such as genetic counseling, personalized treatment plans, and educational materials for both patients and providers.
Then there are solutions like Perceiv AI that optimize, accelerate, and de-risk clinical trials through a multimodal prognostic platform to forecast disease progression in complex diseases, starting with Alzheimer’s. Perceiv AI also enables physicians to make a timely diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders and improve patient care.
These technologies support precision medicine, where new drugs are tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or disease risk. With the advances in medical research and further understanding of the human body, the industry will increasingly provide precision medicine to patients.
Digital health companies focused on microbiomes
The microbiome presents an exciting opportunity to improve patient health. The market has only scratched the surface regarding testing, analyzing, and offering products to correct imbalances that lead to negative symptoms.
Pragma Bio exists to find cures for undruggable immunological disorders. They use real-world data and synthetic biology to map out multi-omic signatures associated with clinical outcomes and to produce human-derived small molecules with therapeutic potential.
Overall, 2023 is expected to be an exciting year for the health industry as technology continues to shape healthcare. Startups have the opportunity to revolutionize the health industry, and with this list of top 10 health startups, you'll know which ones to watch out for.