Last week, Santosh Mohan, managing director of the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, cautioned during an Enterprise Insights Series event in Boston that the digital health market was still in its “early days”, with many expectations unfulfilled as of yet.
“I want to say we are not in an investment bubble. I think the digital health solutions have started to show value and we are moving beyond talking about who pays for the pilot, and talking about how do we build these sustainable economic models for digital health to gain revenue and gain scale,” Mohan said, as reported by MobiHealthNews last week.
At the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European conference in Helsinki, Finland, investors echoed his comments during the 11th edition of the EC2VC competition yesterday, 11 June. Organised in partnership with the eHealth Hub, it saw startups and SMEs actively looking for funding pitch their solutions in front of a jury bringing together digital health investors from Europe and beyond, with StethoMe from Poland and Thryve from Germany selected as the winners of the competition in their categories.
“We are working on [a] smart stethoscope,” Wojciech Radomski, StethoMe CEO and cofounder explained in an interview with HIMSS TV. “Our idea is to put this tiny device in every home, so whenever you will have any problems with your or your kids’ health, just put the device on the chest, it will records the sounds, and our AI will analyse the sound and provide you instant feedback [on] what’s happening.
"So, based on this analysis, the doctor will also receive a detailed medical report, so, using telemedicine solutions, you will be able to have diagnosis without leaving home,” he added.
Three startups from the UK were selected as finalists in the seed category, LightBringer, Gendius and Cardiolyse, along with Komed from Switzerland and StethoMe. Meanwhile, two Finnish startups took part in the bloom category, Emfit and Emtele, as well as Ondosis from Sweden and Thryve.
Lara Koole, principal at Philips Health Technology Ventures, Luigi Amati, CEO of META, and Paolo Borrella, cofounder of Vertical, were part of the judging panel, as well as Steve Seuntjens, partner at Personal Health Solutions, Maarten Lambert, investment associate at Capricorn Venture Partners, Karol Traczykowski, head of new ventures at DocPlanner, and Ignasi Heras, principal at Nina Capital.
Thryve CEO and cofounder Friedrich Lämmel told HIMSS TV: “Thryve basically is a single SDK [software development kit] that provides health-related data from smartphones, from wearables like these [pointing to his smart watch], but also from connected medical devices through one API and through one standard interface to provide us with digital care solutions.
"And that makes it easy for them, in turn, to use all this contextual data that their users may provide and that their users may bring to better understand the context of their users, of their patients, to improve the individually adapted part of their service, but also to understand the long-term effects of their care programme. We basically provide the technology to easily adapt all kinds of manufacturers and devices.”
One of last year's EC2VC winners, Poland's Infermedica, recently landed $3.65m in funding to continue its push into the US market.
HIMSS & HEALTH 2.0 RETURNING TO FINLAND NEXT YEAR
Yesterday, the conference also saw Hal Wolf, HIMSS president and chief executive officer, call on stakeholders to work together and advance efforts to deliver on the “potential promise” of digital transformation in healthcare.
The digital health ecosystem is facing a “perfect storm of factors” contributing to increased pressure on healthcare, including rising costs and staff shortages, but the landscape is also said to be ripe for opportunity, the HIMSS CEO said.
“While major pressures loom, there are some trends that aim to solve many challenges to help build toward a foundation for accessible, affordable and high-quality care for all," he added.
Digital has the potential to support and augment the work of healthcare professionals, enabling them to focus on interacting in more patient-facing care, but effective solutions will not be found without putting the patient at the centre of these efforts, Wolf concluded.
Over 2,800 attendees from over 60 countries are expected to gather in Finland this week for the European event, and the HIMSS CEO revealed that the next HIMSS & Health 2.0 European conference would take place in Helsinki again from 26 to 28 May 2020.