I was fascinated by this article about the challenges of healthcare content startups. No so much about why such companies exist, but in hearing about how the general market views “patients” and “consumers” and what implications that has for healthcare institutions.
After an afternoon discussing the challenges of establishing a health content startup, the final panel at EconHealth got to deals: who’s buying and who’s investing in what. ContentNext publisher Rafat Ali moderated a discussion among a group of dealmakers, from the perspective of investors, bankers and would-be buyers.
– Interest areas: Esther Dyson: “The way I divide the market is into the arms merchants and the establishment… what’s been missing: there’s been professional content and there’s user generated content, which may or may not be valuable or reliable… and then the third thing is the content about the users.” It’s the third thing that’s exciting to Dyson, who is an investor in 23andMe, the know-your-own-genes startup. “I think it’s this area that’s so exciting… Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is really, really well positioned, as is Google.” With all these things, there’s a question on whether users are aware of these new tools. Morris R. Levitt, Managing Director-Life Sciences, Desilva+Phillips, noted that the big buyers of these startups are either PE-backed platforms or major consumer media firms, like MSO. The problem: “When I listen to a lot of these specialty things, I find that a very low percentage of things are of interest to these organizations.” Most of them aren’t up to scale. Women are particularly valuable, since in many households, said Levitt: “women are the chief medical officers.”
I know many hospital CMOs who might bristle at the last conclusion, but it underscores a complete lack of thinking about providers in this conversation. Are we the only company in the US who is looking at the issue this way?
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