In the latest edition of the Internet Trends report, Mary Meeker highlights the growing digitization of the healthcare sector, framing that growth squarely in the context of a U.S. healthcare system that—in some cases—has room for further innovation to better meet consumers’ demands or expectations.
Meeker, founder of Bond Capital (and former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers general partner), launches the report’s healthcare section with an overview of a system that has the highest expenditures on healthcare as a percentage of GDP among other nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Adding in the high number of uninsured individuals, high administrative costs and outcomes that are worse than other developed countries, Meeker makes the case that the digitization of U.S. healthcare is driven by consumer demand for better alternatives.
Citing a report by Rock Health, she notes that consumer adoption of digital health tools, including online healthcare information, online provider reviews, remote monitoring, wearables and telemedicine, have steadily increased over the past three years.
Meeker called out 11 examples of areas experiencing strong, consumer-driven, digital uptake in the U.S. including:
She also highlighted some of the ways that large technology companies are entering the healthcare space. These initiatives include developing consumer-centric products and services, re-imagining clinical trials and applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to healthcare challenges.
In fact, according to the report, AI promises some of the biggest benefits that could play out over the next 10 to 20 years—if it can work through the highly regulated healthcare environment.
Originally published June 25, 2019 on Fenwick's Life Sciences Legal Insights blog.