Digital health funding soars to $7.2bn in 2017, Mercom Capital reveals
A new report by Mercom Capital Group has revealed how Digital Health venture capital funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) in 2017 smashed previous records, reaching $7.2 billion in over 770 deals. It surpasses 2016 figures, which reached $5.1 billion in 622 deals respectively.
This 42% increase follows on from the total corporate funding for Health IT companies, which rose to over $8 billion last year, a 47% increase from 2016’s figures.
Health Information Management became a main area of growth within digital health funding in 2017, with mobile health coming in at close second. In 2016, funding in mobile health took centre stage.
Since 2010, the top five digital health categories have been mHealth apps ($3.5bn), with $759mn spent last year alone. Telemedicine has seen $2.1bn in funding since 2010), with $624mn spent last year. Wearable sensors have seen $1.9bn in funding, with appointment booking closely behind, with $1.7bn spent since 2010, and $516mn spent in 2017.
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Furthermore, health funding within data analytics has risen exponentially year on year. Last year, funding in this area surpassed $1.1bn, with increased funding placed within artificial intelligence focused analytics and predictive analytics, the report has stated.
Additionally, the number of countries participating in digital health funding has also risen, highlighting how the growth of digital healthcare is taking a multitude of industries by storm.
The number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) has also seen surprising. The $2.8bn acquisition of WebMD by Internet Brands (ib) is certainly one of note.
“Venture capital funding into Digital Health spiked after plateauing the last couple of years. Artificial intelligence and Data Analytics companies had a breakout year with over a billion dollars raised,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.
“Digital Health public companies had a much better 2016 compared to previous years with a majority of stocks outperforming the S&P 500. Investors do not want to miss out on the sheer size and potential of this growing market, but the exit path for many companies remains elusive.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”