Tag Archives: digital medicine

Global Funding Insights for Digital Health Initiatives in 2018

12 Jul

By Ashley Durrer, Marketing Manager, LSN

This week I interviewed Colin Widen, the CEO of Boston Innovation Capital (BIC), Life Science Nation’s (LSN) wholly-owned broker-dealer arm, to learn where investors are allocating funds, and the current focus on healthcare advancement within the digital health space.

BIC works alongside LSN and our network of investors to support early-stage companies in forging connections with investors, major pharma firms, and other strategic players in the life science world. By managing clients’ fundraising campaigns and connecting them to investors who are a good fit, BIC is able to address its, and LSN’s, mission of advancing new and innovative technologies to the clinic.

Interview with Colin Widen moderated by Ashley Durrer

AD: With billions of dollars being poured into digital health, why the sudden increase?

CW: “Healthcare needs to find a way to pay for digital health now that value-based care and hospital incentives are aligned to support lower costs in healthcare with improved patient care. There are new potentials for change within the telemedicine space in light of ongoing healthcare reforms and debate.”

AD: How will that turn out for those seeking funding?

CW: “Digital health initiatives will be the least impacted by changes to the American healthcare system, making them prime opportunities for investment this year.

“There is a much lower cost to creating software, virtual platforms, compliance tools, etc. than creating advances in biologics, drugs, and other life science advancements, making digital health an increasingly popular space for investors. Successfully investing in therapeutics or medical devices requires a great deal of expertise, not to mention the increased risk due to the potential failure in clinical trials. On the other hand, software is a recognizable, lower cost, and scalable business model that is often also easily adaptable when regulations change.”

AD: Where does BIC fit into global funding from client perspectives?

CW: “BIC is working tirelessly to support digital health technologies that will have a real impact on the healthcare system for our doctors, nurses, and hospitals. This year BIC is focused on digital health technologies, assets, and virtual tools, which can support doctors’, hospitals’, and nurses’ efforts with patients. However, this currently excludes consumer-based products and electronic medical record (EMR) initiatives.”

AD: What are some examples of potential best-fit clients?

CW: “Some examples recognized in the market are pill dispensers and medicinal tracking for patient compliance, health portals for patients and doctors, mental health apps, medication tracking, patient monitoring and more.”

AD: What kind of client are you seeking now? Can you share a potential client profile?

CW: “Within our LSN network of investors, feedback clearly shows there is an increasing appetite to invest in niche digital health opportunities.

“Investors are seeking companies within the top-tier of their specialization, and a proven business model within the market. Often these investors want to see that the product, software, tool, etc. are viable, which means it’s already being used within the market e.g. hospitals. This also includes an accompanying value proposition for payors and the company is receiving ongoing revenue for that service.”

BIC Global Network of Digital Health Investors are focused on:

  • Funding of $10M-50M
  • Min $3mm+ ARR
  • Niche companies within the top-tier of their specialization
  • Currently avoiding pure EMR focused and consumer-based products

The Future of Digital Health

There are innovations happening every day to help improve access to healthcare. 2018 has already seen an increase in the debate over healthcare reform, rising insurance costs, and uncertainty of coverage for millions of Americans. Advancements in technologies and virtual tools for doctors and hospitals could really help to streamline processes and reduce overall costs for themselves as well as the patients they serve.

We can’t wait to hear what new innovations are entering the digital health space.

About Colin Widen, CEO

Colin Widen, registered representative, is a seasoned executive with 25 years of sales, trading and portfolio management experience in major investment banks. Colin joined Deutsche Bank where he led a team providing consulting services about alternative asset allocation strategies to family offices and smaller endowments and foundations. In creating BIC, Colin has combined investment skills with the robust investor network of LSN to offer a unique platform. Colin is a registered representative and holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 82 registrations. His specialties include reconstructing hedge fund portfolios. analyzing private equity holdings and helping with strategy and execution of capital raise initiatives across the spectrum of today’s life science assets.

About Boston Innovation Capital

Boston Innovation Capital (BIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Life Science Nation Holdings, became a FINRA-registered broker-dealer in 2016. BIC works alongside LSN’s other two divisions (LSN’s Investor Platform and Company Platform, and the RESI Conference Group) to support early-stage companies in forging connections with investors, major pharma firms and other strategic players in the life science world.

Big Data, Digital Medicine, and A View of the Future at RESI X

22 Sep

By Caitlin Kramer, Research Analyst, LSN


RESI X featured the arrival of a new panel session – Big Data in Healthcare.  If you were unable to attend, you will have another opportunity to hear insights from investors and influencers in the space at RESI SF on January 10th.

The panel, available for your viewing below, was moderated by Nicole Fisher (Founder & CEO, HHR Strategies) and featured the thoughts and experiences of:

Each discussed the unique approaches their firms take toward evaluating big data and software investment opportunities, how they partner with and shape start-up growth, and how the healthcare system landscape is (or is not) shifting to enable a realization of the big data vision.

A unique angle toward the healthcare system and policy was brought to the table by moderator Nicole Fisher, who works on Capitol Hill as a senior healthcare policy advisor, Forbes’ Contributor, and Founder and CEO of HHR Strategies.

At many points throughout the panel discussion, the conversation trended toward how data can improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. Emerging technologies blending healthcare, science, and data do not enter the same marketplace as other generalist tech software; instead they must interface with provider systems and policies in ways that are new and different from the existing therapeutic and device sectors. Morris gave an illustrative example of the “noise” created by this new relationship: he and his primary care physician ordered genetic tests, and faced with interpreting the 24 pages of results realized “neither of us are cardio-geneticists, so now what?” While the technologies advanced by new companies may provide actionable information, the health system will ultimately play a central role in their utilization and continued innovation in the space.

Entrepreneurs need to know that technology itself frequently takes a back seat to other aspects of a company. Getting blunt, de Winter shared: “The way investors think is driven by fear and greed. You want to think about how your idea specifically addresses the greed part of that equation.” Morris, an entrepreneur himself, had to transition away from his natural enthusiasm for the underlying science of a company when he began his career in venture capital. “The order of operations in the way we look at a company is market, then team, then the product, and then finally technology”, he said.

There is consensus that teams are central to accomplishing a company’s goals. Hazlehurst describes how oftentimes a company’s goal is to “translate science into software”. She goes on, “It’s a fun and challenging problem because the lifestyle and culture between the people building in these different domains is very different, and getting everyone you need working together is more than just a technical problem.” Deep and practical expertise in life sciences and software engineering are indeed vastly separate, and teams need to effectively coordinate internally and externally with strategics to formulate long-term visions.

With regard to the technology, two main aspects of big data technologies were touched upon: algorithms and data. Entrepreneurs may be surprised to learn that IP around algorithms is not a core focus of potential investors. Algorithms will change and evolve in response to higher quality or increased data. Therefore, a more important focus is access to high quality proprietary data through partnerships or through its generation as part of the platform. “We have now over 300 million individual patient records spanning 5-10 years, but that’s not enough and we still crave more”, said Pan.

Wearables, which continuously record certain metrics for individuals, inevitably enter conversations about health data. Their true utility to big data applications in healthcare is still unclear, although it is clear that in many respects they empower individuals to better understand and track their daily habits. Creating a distinction, and if necessary a distance, between digital health trends and rigorously validated data acquisition is important to avoiding hype cycles and fostering continued innovation in the field.

How we can ultimately arrive at the vision shared by entrepreneurs, investors, established companies, and individuals is explored in moderator Nicole Fisher’s recently authored whitepaper “The Digital Medicine Crystal Ball: Unlocking the Future of Real-Time, Precise, Effective, Healthcare”, published by EBD Group last month: “It is time we agree on defining and refining the meaning of digital medicine, particularly as it pertains to the toys versus the tools that will usher in a new age of healthcare. This will determine how the proper tools can lead to the most efficient and effective R&D process, strengthen the patient-physician relationship, and simultaneously enable individuals to become the CEO of their own health.1

Life Science Nation is proud to have hosted these thoughtful and influential individuals and the firms they represent, as well as the many inspiring entrepreneurs doing the heavy lifting to champion their technologies. Said Hazlehurst, “One of the beauties of investing in early stage companies is that you’re waiting for the day an entrepreneur is going to walk through your door and pitch you on something that’s really unique and disruptive.” To our life science entrepreneurs in the audience: get out there and do it. Many, like LSN, are here to help.

  1. Fisher, Nicole. The Digital Medicine Crystal Ball: Unlocking the Future of Real-Time, Precise, Effective, Healthcare. Publication. Carlsbad: EBD Group, 2016. 4.

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