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  • Lloyd Price

What exactly is HealthTech? What is the difference between Digital Health and HealthTech?



Exec Summary:


HealthTech is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ‘the application of organised knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives’.


This umbrella term incorporates a diverse range of products ranging from over the counter consumer devices for health monitoring (e.g. smart phone apps, pregnancy testing) to complex robotic surgical systems used by specialist clinicians.


HealthTech spans the entire health continuum of disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and maintenance incorporating a number of industrial sectors including MedTech, digital, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and consumer health, with recent advances often sitting at areas of convergence between different clinical disciplines and between industries.


Healthtech is a broad term that encompasses the use of technology to improve healthcare. It includes a wide range of products and services, such as:


  • Medical devices: These are devices that are used to diagnose, treat, or monitor a medical condition. Examples include pacemakers, insulin pumps, and surgical robots.

  • Software: This includes software that is used to manage patient records, provide remote care, or deliver educational content.

  • Wearable devices: These are devices that are worn on the body and can track health data such as heart rate, sleep, and activity levels.

  • Telehealth: This is the delivery of healthcare services remotely, using technology such as video conferencing or phone calls.

  • Artificial intelligence: This is a rapidly developing field that has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. AI is being used to develop new diagnostic tools, personalize treatment plans, and improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

  • Digital health: This refers to the use of technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. Examples include telehealth, e-prescriptions, and patient portals.

  • Biotechnology: This is the use of living organisms to develop new medical products and services. Examples include vaccines, gene therapy, and personalized medicine.

  • Health information technology (HIT): This refers to the use of information technology to store, manage, and analyze healthcare data. Examples include electronic health records (EHRs), clinical decision support systems, and population health management systems.


Growth and M&A for Healthcare Technology companies


Healthcare Technology Thought Leadership from Nelson Advisors – Market Insights, Analysis & Predictions. Visit https://www.healthcare.digital 


HealthTech Corporate Development - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for Founders, Owners and Investors. Email lloyd@nelsonadvisors.co.uk  


HealthTech M&A Newsletter from Nelson Advisors - HealthTech, Health IT, Digital Health Insights and Analysis. Subscribe Today! https://lnkd.in/e5hTp_xb 


HealthTech Corporate Development and M&A - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Visit www.nelsonadvisors.co.uk  





International definitions of HealthTech:


Government Organisations:


The World Health Organization (WHO): defines healthtech as "the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives."


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines healthtech as "the use of digital technologies, such as software, hardware, and connectivity, to enhance the delivery of healthcare."


The UK National Health Service (NHS) defines healthtech as "the use of technology to improve health and care."


Commercial Organisations:


PitchBook: defines "HealthTech includes as any technology-enabled healthcare product and service that can be delivered or consumed outside of a hospital or physician's office."


DealRoom: defines "HealthTech as a synonym of Digital Health, the intersection of Health and Technology. It is a broad term that encompasses the use of technology to improve healthcare delivery."


Goldman Sachs defines healthtech as "the use of technology to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes."


Healthcare providers


Kaiser Permanente defines healthtech as "the use of technology to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities."


The Welsh NHS defines healthtech as "any technology, including medical devices, IT systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and blockchain, designed to support healthcare organisations."

The Hospitals Corporation of America (HCA) defines healthtech as "the use of technology to improve the delivery and management of healthcare."



What is the difference between Digital Health and Healthtech?


Digital health and healthtech are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.


  • Digital health refers to the use of technology to improve health and well-being. This includes a wide range of technologies, such as wearable devices, mobile apps, and telemedicine. Digital health technologies can be used to track health data, provide education and support, and connect patients with healthcare providers.

  • Healthtech is a broader term that encompasses the use of technology to improve healthcare delivery. This includes digital health technologies, as well as medical devices, health information technology (IT), and genomics. Healthtech technologies can be used to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

In other words, digital health is a subset of healthtech. All digital health technologies are healthtech, but not all healthtech is digital health.


How is healthtech evolving?


Healthtech is evolving rapidly, driven by advances in technology and the growing demand for better, more affordable healthcare. Some of the key trends in healthtech evolution include:


  • The rise of digital health: Digital health is the use of technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. This includes telehealth, mobile health apps, and wearable devices. Digital health is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows patients to access care more conveniently and at lower cost.

  • The growth of personalised medicine: Personalized medicine is a field that uses genetic information to develop treatments that are tailored to individual patients. This is made possible by advances in genomics and big data analytics. Personalised medicine has the potential to revolutionise the way we treat diseases, making it possible to deliver more effective and targeted treatments.

  • The increasing focus on value-based care: Value-based care is a system of healthcare delivery that rewards providers for providing high-quality, efficient care. This is in contrast to the traditional fee-for-service system, which rewards providers for the number of services they provide, regardless of the quality or efficiency of those services. Value-based care is gaining momentum as a way to improve the quality of care and reduce costs.

  • The use of artificial intelligence (AI): AI is being used in a variety of ways to improve healthcare delivery. For example, AI can be used to analyze medical images, diagnose diseases, and personalize treatment plans. AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we deliver healthcare, making it more efficient, effective, and personalised.

These are just a few of the key trends in healthtech evolution. As technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to use technology to improve healthcare delivery.


Here are some of the specific technologies that are driving the evolution of healthtech:


  • Mobile health apps: Mobile health apps are becoming increasingly popular, as they allow patients to track their health, manage chronic conditions, and connect with healthcare providers.

  • Wearable devices: Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, are gathering data that can be used to improve health and fitness.

  • Virtual reality (VR): VR is being used to train healthcare providers, simulate surgery, and provide pain relief.

  • 3D printing: 3D printing is being used to create custom medical devices, such as prosthetics and implants.

  • Blockchain: Blockchain is being used to track patient data and payments.



HealthTech 2030: Trends that are likely to shape the future of healthtech


Healthtech is rapidly evolving, and it is difficult to predict exactly what it will look like in 2030. However, there are a number of trends that are likely to shape the future of healthtech, including:


  • The continued growth of digital health: Digital health technologies, such as telehealth, wearable devices, and mobile apps, are becoming increasingly popular. These technologies are making it easier for patients to access care and manage their health.

  • The rise of artificial intelligence (AI): AI is being used to develop new diagnostic tools, treatment plans, and drug discovery methods. AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by making it more personalised and effective.

  • The development of new medical devices: New medical devices are being developed that can diagnose and treat diseases more accurately and effectively. These devices are making it possible to provide earlier and more targeted care.

  • The growth of genomics: Genomics is the study of genes and their role in health and disease. Genomics is leading to the development of new personalized treatments that are tailored to individual patients' genetic makeup.

  • The increasing availability of data: The amount of data being generated by healthcare providers and patients is increasing rapidly. This data can be used to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.

These are just a few of the trends that are likely to shape the future of healthtech. As these technologies continue to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.


Here are some specific examples of how healthtech might look in 2030:


  • Wearable devices: Wearable devices will be more sophisticated and will be able to track a wider range of health data. This data will be used to provide personalized insights and recommendations to help people improve their health.

  • Virtual reality: Virtual reality will be used to provide immersive training for healthcare providers and to create more realistic and engaging patient experiences.

  • Gene editing: Gene editing technologies will be used to develop new treatments for diseases that are currently incurable.

  • Robotics: Robots will be used to perform surgery and other medical procedures with greater precision and accuracy.

These are just a few of the ways that healthtech might look in 2030. As these technologies continue to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.


Growth and M&A for Healthcare Technology companies


Healthcare Technology Thought Leadership from Nelson Advisors – Market Insights, Analysis & Predictions. Visit https://www.healthcare.digital 


HealthTech Corporate Development - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for Founders, Owners and Investors. Email lloyd@nelsonadvisors.co.uk  


HealthTech M&A Newsletter from Nelson Advisors - HealthTech, Health IT, Digital Health Insights and Analysis. Subscribe Today! https://lnkd.in/e5hTp_xb 


HealthTech Corporate Development and M&A - Buy Side, Sell Side, Growth & Strategy services for companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Visit www.nelsonadvisors.co.uk  






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