May 17, 2020

Is mHealth worth your venture capital investment?

mHealth
mHealth
Admin
2 min
Digital health is popular right now and investment opportunities are still plentiful.
Some analysts are predicting another big year for venture capital investment in digital health. One of the reasons fueling growth in this sector is that...

Some analysts are predicting another big year for venture capital investment in digital health. One of the reasons fueling growth in this sector is that so many Americans are already using wearable devices that can be enhanced for health care applications. There are also indicators that this market is not a bubble. All of which begs the question: is your money in digital health yet?

Last year, digital health startups fared very well in attracting venture capital. This year their fortunes may be even greater, at least according to Anne Zieger in her article “Digital health should see major VC investments in 2015,” published at Nuviun.com.

RELATED TOPIC: The Complicated, Evolving World of mHealth

If you think that investment in digital health is limited to supporting startups selling ideas for apps, you’re wrong. According to Zieger there are at least four other markets within digital health: “According to research by Mercom Capital Group, consumer-focused technologies took in 65% of all VC investment in Q3 of 2014, including $345 million in mobile health deals and $101 million in telehealth funding. VC firms also invested $85 million in personal health firms, $70 million in social health companies, and $23 million for tech supporting medical scheduling, rating and shopping. These investments are up sharply from 2013, and should shoot up again in 2015 unless something dramatic happens to dampen investors’ enthusiasm.”

Some VC firms have neglected opportunities in digital health because of the fear that overinvestment in mHealth may create a bubble that abruptly pops in the near future. Zieger explains why this opportunity is different: “But there’s a big difference between these times and the dotcom bust in 2000. While startups and investors were trialing creative concepts on the web—often with little attention to controlling their burn rate or even defining their customer base—today’s crop of entrepreneurs are largely working on real, well-defined business models.”

RELATED TOPIC: TOP 10: mHealth Apps for Android and iOS of 2015

Another reason to feel good about investing in mHealth is the investment in mobile health that’s already happening among consumers: “Also, with clinicians, payers, employers and patients adopting mHealth/connected health technologies, and even investing in companies that create digital health technology, it seems clear that demand for digital health innovations will remain in force—and that’ll keep VCs interested,” argues Zieger.

So, considering the landscape, is digital health the investment you’ve been waiting for?

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Jul 28, 2021

5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene

COVID19
Genomics
AI
biotechnology
3 min
5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene
Johannes Bhakdi, CEO of Quantgene, tells us about their approach to identifying new COVID-19 variants

Quantgene is a US biotech company that uses AI and the cloud to do genomic testing. It was founded in 2015 to focus on cancer - integrating advanced genomics and molecular diagnostics systems with the cloud and AI systems. 

CEO Johannes Bhakdi tells us Quantgene is the first COVID-19 testing company to fully integrate variant identification - we find out more. 

Given the new Delta and Lambda variants, is the coronavirus mutating at a faster rate than most viruses?
 
The reason SARS-COV2 is mutating on a perceived higher rate is not that the individual viruses mutate at a higher rate, but that the base population infected with the virus is vastly higher. The absolute rate of global mutations is a direct function of how many people have the virus at any given point in time. Since this is a global pandemic, and tens of millions have been infected, we see more mutations. 

That makes it more unpredictable, because any single mutation that has an evolutionary advantage - like the Delta variant - can then take over and spread even faster.  

What is the usual process for testing and analysing viral mutations? 

The most effective tool for analysing mutations is Whole Viral Genome sequencing. It allows you to read out the entire genome of the virus. Once the wet-lab sequencing is complete, we use this information to map it against what is called a "reference genome", meaning the classic SARS-COV2 genome. This allows us to then see any differences between the investigated sample and the baseline genome of SARS COV2. 

We then use these differences to map them against a database of known mutations, like the Delta variant. That way we can see if we are dealing with any known variant, and if we have a new variant at our hands, as well as determine what this new variant does to the spike protein and how likely it is to be a problem with antigens and vaccines, based on the changed protein structure. This last step is not easy and not clear-cut, and there is some speculation into the determination of how problematic the mutated proteins are. 

 What does Quantgene do differently?  

At Quantgene, we are focusing on solving problems for our clients - may it be employers, movie productions or governments. That means we ensure that our client gets the COVID protection they need in the fastest possible time frame and at the highest precision possible - mostly at or below market prices. 

We are bringing together technologies like RT-PCR testing and mutation profiling/sequencing, as well as advanced bioinformatics and computational resources to ensure high-quality results are being delivered seamlessly. 

We are also adding important components such as real-time cloud software and medical services to it. Simply put, we turn the COVID problem into a one-click seamless solution that works better than others, so companies and government clients don't have to deal with laboratories, medical or software providers who point fingers at each other and fail to deliver in time and with high precision. COVID is too dangerous and important to risk falling short.     

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