- The pandemic pushed more healthcare providers to pivot to remote health technology.
- Although firms like Apple dominate wearables, smaller startups are innovating in niche areas.
- We asked VCs to put forward the wearable and remote-monitoring startups that are set to take off.
As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed hospital capacity to the brink, healthcare providers started to turn to digital health platforms to keep on top of demand.
“Digital health as a space is something where wearables were touted to have a huge potential,” Andrea Zitna, partner at venture capital firm Speedinvest, told Insider. “The main area where that’s taken off is remote patient monitoring.”
Remote-monitoring tech helps healthcare providers keep track of their patients’ health, progress, and recovery outside of a clinical setting, from monitoring chronic diseases to respiratory conditions. The idea is to supplement hospital visits so that providers aren’t overwhelmed, while giving clinicians real-time data about their patients.
European startups that focus on remote monitoring and wearable health tech have attracted record funding, raising $1.12 billion in 2021 per Dealroom data.
To be sure, there are challenges for startups entering the sector, as Big Tech giants such as Apple and Google have monopolized the consumer wearables space.
“For consumer-grade wearables used for lifestyle and health, the dominance of Apple is pretty undisputed, in terms of design and distribution,” Zitna said. “As an investor, if a startup was purely betting on general wellness use cases, I would not be tempted to invest.”
But startups have an opportunity to target “specific demographics” that have been under served, as well as work in areas such as chronic disease. By coming up with ideas that target specific population segments, such as infants or the elderly, startups can differentiate themselves from giants.
We asked top VCs for the health-tech startups that are set to take off. Here’s what they said, listed in alphabetical order.