In 2021, the digital health industry has seen an explosion of funding, the rise of virtual care initially spurred by COVID-19 and a healthcare system still struggling under the weight of the pandemic.
As we wrap up the year, MobiHealthNews asked digital health executives and other leaders what they expect from the industry in 2022. This is the third installment of the series; check out their thoughts on telehealth’s momentum in 2021 and how the influx of funding has affected the space this year.
Kyle Armbrester, CEO of Signify Health
“We’ll continue to see an increased emphasis on digital connectivity, accessibility and proactive care. Interoperability is forcing data standardization, and with more regulations coming down the pike in the next year, we’ll see health plans form more relationships with app developers and digital health innovators. We’ll see care become more accessible and more proactive as patients and providers embrace a lot of the technologies and services driving better preventive care.
“What I hope to see is more attention paid to the ridiculously high costs of care created by the fee-for-service payment system, especially from employers. Employers have always shouldered the brunt of healthcare costs and, as a result, are among the first to embrace new models and emerging technologies that hold promise for reducing costs of care. Additionally, the ‘Great Resignation’ is putting even more pressure on employers to provide better benefits and more robust health resources. This is a space to watch over the next year.”
Carolyn Witte, CEO and cofounder of Tia
“I expect we’ll see consolidation among incumbents, which will likely result in more megamergers and blockbuster deals. I also think we’ll see some consolidation among the next-generation players — with less demand for point solutions and greater demand for platform companies. That means we’ll likely see investment in fewer overall companies but instead larger amounts for those solving bigger problems.”
Amihai Neiderman, CEO and cofounder of Nym Health
“I expect we’ll see greater success from second- and third-generation founders. These are founders who were previously mid-management-level employees at first-generation health-tech companies and benefitted from successful exits. One area I’m watching closely is the data aggregator space and whether the various companies in it will be able to deliver value and if that will add more scrutiny to data reselling and use rights, and the industry around it.”
Snezana Mahon, chief operating officer of Transcarent
“The next two years in the digital health space will dictate what our healthcare system looks like for decades to come. I think we’ll see a few trends emerge. First, we’re going to see the rise of the employer. The pandemic has completely changed the way employers interact with their employees when it comes to their health and care, and employers will have to evaluate, and shift dollars to, what matters most to their employees. As part of that reckoning, we’ll see a lot more employers demanding streamlined solutions and driving efforts to tackle soaring costs. We’ll also continue to see non-traditional partnerships emerge. Big consumer brands like Walmart and Amazon have figured out how to provide a simple, accessible experience at scale, and it’s what the healthcare space is missing.”