The level of private equity trade hit low in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic hit the U.S. and global economies. But towards the end of the year, contracts began to pick up, especially in the area of digital health.
COVID-19 has forced health care providers to move from personal to meaningful care, and technology was the way to make that change possible. Investors noticed, and more contracts focused on companies specializing in telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technology platforms that enable communication among experts.
This trend is expected to continue in 2021, and keep these three factors in mind when evaluating the digital health landscape.
Tele-health and digital health bylaws and regulations
Both telehealth and digital health are heavily regulated, as all states have laws and regulations that govern how almost care is provided and how these services are the account. In response to the pandemic, we have seen flexibility with these laws and regulations, and Biden ‘s administration has indicated that some flexibility may be permanent.
Investment opportunities are increasing as a result of Biden’s willingness to reduce some of the recent barriers to coverage and payment for meaningful services, including tele- health, remote patient monitoring and other related services. That’s a good sign for companies looking at healthcare through the lens of a technology solution.
Redistribution of resources due to immunization
Since the outbreak began, laboratories have been extensively tested and have to ramp up staff and other facilities. In addition, most COVID-19 tests must be prescribed by a physician or nurse, stressing the available facilities.
Although testing in some capacity is likely to continue for some time, the number of tests is likely to decline steadily as more people receive the vaccine. That means opening up capacity, both to healthcare providers who ordered the tests and to laboratory companies that performed them. As a result, companies should start asking themselves:
Where will there be opportunities to move focus and resources beforehand for testing?
What other conditions are appropriate for a home test?
Where can companies shift previous efforts aimed at reviewing orders?
Dealing with mental health and other epilepsy
COVID-19 seems to have emerged as the real health crisis in the past year. But it is important to remember that the United States is still in the midst of opioid epilepsy.
In addition, COVID-19 has been severe on the mental health of many people. In response, many employers have prioritized mental health, and that trend is likely to continue, even when employees return to the workplace. In 2021, investors are likely to continue to focus on digital health devices and service offerings focused on mental and behavioral health.
To learn more from Lisa and other thought leaders about the landscape that invests health care going into 2021, you can watch a recording of The Deal webinar here.