The goal of this class is to examine what contributed to the successes and challenges for early-stage digital health companies over the last decade+ and use those learnings as a vehicle for examining existing opportunities on the horizon for the entrepreneur.
We will look at the trends in venture investment dollars and how the subsectors of digital health receiving those dollars has changed over time. 2021 was the biggest year yet for both digital health investment and M&A deals in healthcare. More than half of the digital health venture deals over the last five years have been early-stage companies. $36B of venture capital was invested in over 1100 early-stage digital health companies in 2021, up from only $4.5B and 332 companies in 2016. This is the first time ever that this exceeds venture investments in biopharma companies.
The class will review customer needs (desirability), business models (viability), legal/regulatory requirements for digital health in the US and abroad (feasibility). Specifically, the course goals are to:
- Evaluate the early stages of company formation and how companies achieve product market fit, not growth and scale.
- Understand the evolution of digital health business models both in a company's growth and as markets change.
- Understand how legal and regulatory requirements shape digital health products and business models.
- Provide you with a framework to assess digital health opportunities.
- Introduce you to digital health entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders who can provide perspective on early-stage companies and market opportunities.
- Apply your learnings to a real digital health company.
It is recommended that students have taken one of the prerequisite courses or have work experience in health care. A deep knowledge of digital health is not required, but a basic understanding of healthcare is.