2018 set benchmark for digital health investment - report

Hands of scientist working on digital tablet

Last year was the biggest ever for digital health investment, according to a report that has been tracking the market since the beginning of the decade.

According to the report by Startup Health Insights, investment in digital health has increased 14-fold since 2010.

In 2018, funding for digital health was $14.6 billion, compared with just $1.2 billion in 2010, and almost $3 billion more than in 2017.

The average size of deals also increased in 2018 to $21 million, a $6 million increase compared with 2017.

Unsurprisingly, the US was the country driving most of the investment, with the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago the main hotspots for investment activity.

In San Francisco, the report recorded 131 investment deals during the year, worth a total of $3.8 billion.

Outside of the US, London and Beijing were the leading hotspots by volume of deals, with 21 apiece. But investors were far more generous in China, where the deals were worth $950 million in total compared with $198 million in London.

The biggest deal involving healthcare was Grail’s $300 million Series C funding round, as investors enthusiastically backed the company’s bid to detect cancer early using a test for circulating cancer DNA.

The increase in investment in digital health is tracking an upward trend in overall healthcare investment.

In a separate report the Silicon Valley Bank said that the US and Europe saw record investments and deal values in healthcare.

In the US alone, venture fundraising was a record $9.6 billion, a record 50% increase compared with 2018.

That report found that investment in devices increased from nearly $3 billion in 2017 to $4.8 billion in 2018.

Investment in diagnostics and tools remained steady at around $4.8 billion, but 2018 was a bumper year for biopharma. The sector raised more than $16 billion in 2018, compared with $8.4 billion in 2017.