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VC Investment in Healthcare

Posted on April 25, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There’s a real change happening right now in the venture capital healthcare investment world. In a recent article on NPR they highlight one piece of the change that’s happening with VC investment in healthcare:

The share of venture dollars flowing to seed and early-stage investments in biotechnology and medical devices has plummeted since 2007, when investors pumped $3.6 billion into 332 deals in which a price was disclosed, according to data compiled for Kaiser Health News by FactSet Research Systems. Overall venture investing declined by nearly one-third as the economic recession set in.

Many might look at this and say that this is a bad thing for healthcare. I think this this is a good thing for healthcare. One reason why is described in the same article:

“If you come in with [a device] that’s 10 percent better and twice as expensive, it’s hard to get anyone to care,” said Bryan Roberts, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capitalist at Venrock, a Silicon Valley company that invests in firms working on health services, medical devices and drugs.

I think it’s healthy that we’re no longer investing twice as much money in something that delivers only partially better care. Sure, we still need companies innovating and looking at how that 10 percent better care can have an extra 0 on the end and be 100% better care.

Plus, I think we’re seeing a shift in healthcare investment into a large number of smaller companies who can innovate as opposed to larger sums of money into medical device and biotech companies. In some ways we’re seeing the costs associated with a startup company in healthcare starting to come down the way they did in the IT side of things.

GE Announces $250 Million Healthcare VC Fund

Posted on October 29, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

GE has announced a new VC fund for healthcare to the tune of $250 million. They’re calling it the GE Healthymagination Fund. I wonder how long it took them to come up with that name. Here’s some more details on what areas the VC fund will target:

The formation of the fund is part of GE’s $6 billion Healthymagination initiative, a global commitment to deliver better healthcare to more people at lower cost. The fund will target three broad areas for investment:

-Broad-based Diagnostics, including imaging, home health, patient monitoring, molecular diagnostics, pathology, novel imaging agents and other technologies for disease diagnosis.
-Healthcare Information Technology, including electronic medical records, clinical information systems, healthcare information exchanges and value-added data services.
-Life Sciences, including tools for research and development in biopharmaceuticals and stem cells, and technologies for manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.

The fund will draw on capabilities from across GE Healthcare, GE Capital and GE Global Research, and will have a global footprint.

No doubt GE has a ton of capital available to them. One thing that I find interesting is how GE will balance the funds goals of investing in high quality products and the challenge of funding something that might compete with an existing GE product. I think the EMR example is a simple and good one. Will GE fund an EMR that competes with Centricity EMR. This is nothing new for large corporations, but is definitely a challenge they’ll face.

One thing is certain. There are a lot of really great opportunities to invest in the healthcare space right now.

Thanks to Shahid for pointing this out.