Health Care Data Emerging As New Way To Profit
Reuters reports that venture capital funders are eyeing health care technology firms that gather and analyze health data as a reliable pathway to profits.
Reuters: In Quest For Next Windfall, Tech Funds Look To Health Care
Some of the best-known technology investors are looking beyond their tried-and-true Internet plays to bet on health care data as the next growth market. Venture capital firms and portfolio managers of large mutual funds are among those investing in companies that gather and analyze healthcare data, all in hopes of tapping into the shift to electronic record keeping and consumer acceptance of personal health tracking devices. Unlike biotechnology firms, which are often hit-or-miss based on the success of drugs under development, investors say these health technology firms tend to have a reliable path to profits by selling services and data to insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. Overall, venture capital funding for health care technology firms is up 176 percent so far this year, at $2.3 billion, versus the same period last year, according to Rock Health, a San Francisco–based seed funding firm. Most of the funds have gone to companies focused on payment management and data analytics (Randall and Farr, 9/3).
Meanwhile, Politico examines how issues of informed consent play into the potential of big data --
Politico: Can Big Data And Patient-Informed Consent Coexist?
A research network funded with millions by the Affordable Care Act will begin conducting vast studies next year to compare standard medical treatments. But what about the 100 million patients in the network -- do they have a choice in the matter? Will researchers get permission from each of those patients? And if patients are told about the studies, what, exactly, will they be told? These questions have bioethicists, scientists and health care officials debating how to bring the question of patient informed consent into the 21st century (Allen, 9/3).