Selected from a pool of 5,000 companies, the full cohort paints a picture of the trends, regions and investors headlining digital health.

CB Insights releases Digital Health 150 list of 'most promising' private startups

By Dave Muoio
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Photo credit: CB Insights

Machine intelligence and big data analyst firm CB Insights has put together a list of what it considers to be today’s 150 “most promising” private digital health startups.

The full cohort spans a wide range of healthcare focus areas, business models, home countries and funding stages, and is accompanied by a report highlighting some of the key trends and characteristics shared by the digital health startups.

“From pharmaceuticals to patient care, technology is rapidly changing healthcare, and The Digital Health 150 showcases the 150 best startups spearheading innovation and change in the sector,” CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal said in a statement. “It's a privilege to use CB Insights' data to identify and shine a light on these companies, and we look forward to tracking their success in 2019 and beyond.”

According to the report, CB Insights’ team of researchers and analysts landed on these 150 digital health companies (which it defines as those within healthcare using technology or software as their key differentiator) from after reviewing a total pool of more than 5,000. Those included were gauged on various factors and metrics “including patent activity, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, proprietary Mosaic scores, market potential, partnerships, competitive landscape, team strength and tech novelty,” according to the report.

WHY IT MATTERS

Aside from offering a new accolade for the startups named to the list, CB Insights’ report paints a clear picture of the digital health industry’s composition and growth.

For instance, the analysts identified 17 digital health startups with unicorn valuations. While 12 of these were based in the US, three including the largest of the list (We Doctor) hailed from China. A similar disparity could be seen straight down the list, as 116 startups from the full list were headquartered in the US, with China (seven companies) and Israel (four companies) serving as the runner ups.

Funding deals for these companies have also shifted over the past year, with the report noting the proportion of mid- and late-stage rounds steadily increasing in the time from 2014 to 2019. Many of these are being led by investors well versed in the digital health realm. Here, the analysts identified F-Prime Capital as the most frequent investor in leading digital health companies (31 deals), followed sequentially by New Enterprise Associates (30), Google Ventures (29), Venrock (28) Founders Fund (27), Khosla Ventures (27) and GE Ventures (22).

And although the 150 included startups appear to run the gamut of focus areas and audiences, the report shone a spotlight on seven trends that were particularly apparent among the cohort. These common themes were artificial intelligence, women’s health, senior care, social determinants of health, value-based care, concierge medicine and telehealth.

THE LARGER TREND

There’s plenty of evidence that the digital health landscape is maturing with each passing year. Investors’ confidence in the technology is generally strong, and the total number of digital health companies featured on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5,000 reached a new high of 61 this year. But while these players are continuing to develop and raise larger rounds on the whole, new data from Rock Health suggests that overall funding numbers might have reached something of a peak within the last year.