This year so far, billions of dollars have poured into the digital health space as so-called unicorns become increasingly more commonplace. But this month, we are focusing on frugal innovation – those new developments that are happening with fewer resources.
While the U.S. has largely been the hotbed for digital health, the industry has been expanding into new regions as more new companies and technologies have launched thrifty innovations. In May, we look at how companies all over the world are creating new digital health tools with less funding.
Traditionally healthcare has lagged behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation. However, a global pandemic has turned the system upside down and forced the rapid adoption of new technologies. While the move toward virtual seemed overnight, innovators had been laying the groundwork for this transformation for decades.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of professional groups centered on digital health and telemedicine and established healthcare organizations release guidelines about health innovation. As tech continues to transform health, these efforts have pushed the conversation around digital health validation, implementation and ethics. This month we are following the efforts of entrepreneurs, doctors, investors and executives as they build a solid foundation for healthcare to move through the decade.
It was only a few years ago that digital innovation at pharmaceutical companies was the province of tiny siloed innovation groups, churning out the odd companion app for a drug. These days, innovation is front and center, with big pharma acquiring, partnering and innovating in-house in all kinds of areas from digital therapeutics to remote clinical trials to connected drug delivery devices. And that's not even mentioning the incredible transformative power of AI for drug development or pharma's increasing presence as strategic investors in promising digital health companies.
The question is no longer, "Will pharma innovate?"; it's "How is pharma innovating?". In the month of July, we'll take a closer look at the many answers to this question, as well as exploring what the changing face of pharma means for other healthcare stakeholders.