2024 Outlook for Digital Health Founders

Given the complexities of our healthcare system, we believe making great investments is only the beginning. That’s why our team always makes sure to view industry tailwinds and headwinds through the eye of the entrepreneur.

While the healthcare industry’s outlook for the year is usually shaped by JPM headlines, we learned just as much after hitting the pavement and connecting our founders with strategic partners at the largest health plans, health systems, and life science companies.

It’s clear that 2024 will be yet another test of endurance for founders and they will need more support and partnership than ever:

360 degree view. We’re working with our founders to think more proactively about their strategic position in the market and to offensively think about partnerships and their position in different strategic scenarios- encouraging founders to ensure they’re thinking proactively in a 360 degree view and networking from multiple angles.

Who’s in your corner? At JPM this year we fielded a lot of questions around how to thoughtfully build a board and advisor network. Because playing offense requires having a strong team of experts in their corner, founders are recognizing they’ll need extra partnership and guidance with their strategic direction and how to push the envelope on their current model. Having a board that acts more reactively to the needs of the business won’t cut it in today’s environment.

Strategic partners are coming back to the table and want to make deals. Several dozen meetings and countless interactions later, we met with many large payers, providers, and life science companies to connect and build relationships with our partner companies. We believe strategics are starting to see a more clear distinction between the durable companies that can provide real value and transform their business over point-solutions that provide marginal ROI.

Balancing today’s AI with long-term vision and potential. As OpenAI’s Greg Brockman shared at our annual Payer Forum event, AI is starting to feel less like science fiction and more like reality. And while it may not surprise anyone that AI was the buzzword at JPM this year, founders recognize the need to balance developing real use cases that drive true value with keeping ourselves open to the long-term, powerful change AI can drive. For example, simplifying back-office tasks and automating clinician documentation vs having a doctor in your pocket that can meet the promise of holistic, whole-person care. Healthcare is all-in on AI for a reason because, as Greg explained, it allows us to live in the exponential, where every year we’ll be able to make what we built before obsolete. However, founders recognize they still have plenty to develop and discover before we get there.

Grounded optimism. We’re seeing strategic partners leaning in and looking to make moves, the power of AI has provided our industry with energy and optimism, and there is capital that has been sitting on the sidelines. If the first few weeks have given any indication, we believe founders will need to navigate what is to be another interesting year. If they’re offensively thinking about their strategic position and who they partner with from the board to strategics, they can find opportunity to drive forward in 2024.