While progress in medicine continues to astound us, it hides a modus operandi that hasn’t changed for decades – a bricks and mortar model of delivering healthcare reactively to treat illness and disease. Although highly lucrative for healthcare providers and Big Pharma, it is archaic, capital intensive and, in many ways, broken.
Thanks to broad adoption of mobile computing and advances in technologies such as wearables and artificial intelligence (AI), we are now witnessing the beginnings of a revolution in healthcare that will vastly improve disease detection and the management of chronic illness, address spiralling costs and make services accessible to another billion people.
At Mangrove, we believe digital health represents one of the very largest opportunities for value creation. This report will explore the rise of mHealth and the convergence of medicine with AI and Big Data. It will also explain the value of clinically- proven software interventions, while dispelling the myth that doctors are better placed to build digital health businesses.
“The idea that you need to be a clinician to build a successful digital health business is a complete fallacy. In fact, it is more likely a hindrance than a help. Only outsiders, who come entirely unconditioned by industry experience and cultural thinking, are able to radically reimagine the solution to a problem.” (Mark Tluszcz, CEO at Mangrove Capital Partners)
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The power of AI to extend life is already abundantly clear. With very considerable investment now flowing into AI-driven health businesses and healthcare transforming from an analogue sector into a digital one, the space has advanced dramatically over the last three years. The industry is now moving from a structure that treats sick people to one which, through AI, is predicting and preventing illness and disease.
mHealth will unlock the cheapest and most efficient healthcare and make it available to billions of people via their smartphones. For those areas that lack physical resources or where healthcare is prohibitively expensive, mHealth may prove to be the internet’s most valued legacy.
Interestingly, the future of DTx may lie in cooperation rather than in competition with Big Pharma and drug development. By partnering with Big Pharma in bringing combination therapies to market, DTx companies can help to unlock new revenue streams for both parties. Similarly, rather than entirely disrupt traditional healthcare, mHealth will augment existing capabilities to prevent, detect and treat illnesses and disease.
There is, of course, a considerable change in mindset required to leverage the full potential
of AI and Big Data. And there are very significant differences between the ‘move fast, break things’ culture of the technology sector and that of the traditional healthcare industry. The leading medical apps are first and foremost technology companies founded by strong operators, but the winners of tomorrow will be those businesses that successfully marry technology expertise and product skills with solid medical experience.
About Mangrove Capital Partners
Mangrove Capital Partners (www.mangrove.vc) is Europe’s leading early stage venture capital firm. It works with top entrepreneurial talent at the earliest stages of innovation, with the aim of being the first institutional investor: the firm has co- created projects and regularly injects funds prior to product launch, often in unproven, unusual or unfavoured technologies. Mangrove manages more than $1 billion in assets and is headquartered in Luxembourg with offices in Berlin and Tel Aviv.
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