5 Startups Shaping the Future of Health Care

“The fourth industrial age is here,” says Daniel Kraft, a health care futurist and medical doctor. “It’s transforming how we get our digital banking done, how we stream movies. But health care is still stuck in the third — or maybe the second — industrial age, with fax machines and CD-ROMs.”

Specifically, innovations such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have been stubbornly slow to enter the health sector. And the big strides that have been made in data collection — wearables that monitor your vitals, voice biomarker trackers, and genomic sequencing, to name just a few — have so far resulted in only a few widely used, truly useful applications.

“Nobody wants more data, they want the actual insights that are useable,” says Kraft, who prefers the term now-ist to futurist. “How do we make actionable information that translates to the point of care or the bedside?” 

Bob Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine and author of The Digital Doctor, remains optimistic that some of these new technologies may still have a significant impact. “Whether you’re looking at an X-ray, or trying to predict how many people are going to come to the emergency room next Tuesday, or seeing a patient and being reminded of an alternative diagnosis, A.I. will be useful in all sorts of ways,” he says. “I think it’s going to all work out. But it’s going to take far longer and be far bumpier than anybody anticipates.”

Here are five of the companies industry observers say are leading the charge down that bumpy road and reimagining the future of health care.

1. Youper

Youper designed its A.I.-based chatbot to guide users through the process of cognitive-behavioral therapy, supplemented with remote psychiatrists, health coaches, and an online pharmacy. The chatbot looks and feels like a standard text message exchange: patients talk about their thoughts and feelings and the A.I. responds with questions and advice, as programmed by mental health professionals.

“Some people say the chatbot is even better than talking to a human, because you can say how you’re truly feeling,” says Youper CEO Jose Hamilton. “[You might say,] ‘I’m feeling 100 percent angry’ or ‘100 percent depressed.’ And then the chatbot will start guiding you toward what’s making you feel that way.”

Youper does not intend to replace psychiatrists, but instead to allow them to see more patients than

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These 3 Health Tech Startups Are Case Studies – Crunchbase News

March 12, 2020, was always going to be memorable for Jason Feldman, because that was the day his men’s health-focused startup, Vault Health, was set for a major rebrand and national rollout. But now the day is etched in his mind because it set his company on an unexpected trajectory that led to growth beyond his expectations. 

On that mid-March Thursday, Feldman stood on the stock market floor in New York and witnessed the chaos as the country’s Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 saw the greatest single-day percentage dip since 1987. 

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The founder and CEO was there to pose for photos and provide an interview to announce Vault Health’s next moves, but instead found the market was reacting to the COVID-19 virus. The deadly coronavirus had been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization the day before, and would be branded a national emergency in the United States by then-President Donald Trump less than 24 hours later. 

“I was there watching these investors on the floor of the stock exchange freaking out because the market literally was crashing,” Feldman remembered in a recent interview with Crunchbase News. “So we go back to the office, and I thought ‘What are we going to do?’ Because we had literally just launched the brand nine months before and built all this technology and here we are. Now I’m afraid that peoples’ jobs are at risk, and I don’t know how we’re going to live.” 

Vault not only lived, but grew significantly over the next year and a half. 

The pandemic set in motion a new trajectory for many healthtech startups, particularly those nimble enough to respond to a world crisis that confused and broke traditional public health care systems. And while tech’s contribution during the pandemic was a mixed bag of good and bad, those that figured out how to quickly fill the needs of scared residents, governments and companies have been rewarded. 

Investors in the space raced to put money into digital health startups last year. In all, the industry raised $16.6 billion in investments globally while the pandemic raged on, up from $12.5 billion the year before, according to Crunchbase data. So far in 2021, the industry has raised nearly $20 billion in funding, the data show. 

Of those that successfully made a pandemic pivot, many lucked out having existing partnerships

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