“Hospital departments have become dangerously full, patients are waiting hours in A&E, and the health service is facing the worst financial crisis in a generation.” Strong words from Labour’s shadow health minister Justin Madders!
In a week that has seen much NHS news coverage, we saw the government launch its latest attempt to improve the use of technology in the NHS. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that over £4bn will be set aside for electronic medical records, online appointments, prescriptions and consultations in a drive towards a ‘paperless’ health service.
The aim is to allow patients to book services and order prescriptions online, access apps and digital tools, and choose to speak to their doctor online or via a video link thereby increasing efficiency. The market has witnessed the emergence of several innovative video consultation platforms – such as Babylon Health, DMC Healthcare, Dr Now and Push Doctor – which could benefit from NHS technology investment. Push Doctor recently raised $8.2m in a Series A funding round led by Oxford Capital Partners, Draper Esprit and Partech Ventures. Patients will also be given the opportunity to upload and send real-time data to medical professionals for long-term conditions such as blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes.
Global health tech trends have been an area of growing interest in the past few years, with the USA taking the lead whereas regions such as Southeast Asia have been slower on the uptake – due to infrastructural, regulatory and cultural reasons. Many are hopeful that the transformative potential of healthtech innovation will lead to lower costs and better quality of life for patients in the UK.
Should the Tories honour their investment pledge, it is inevitable that the demand for UK healthtech will facilitate additional M&A activity from both private equity and strategic trade buyers. 2015 saw Octopus Investments acquire healthtech provider CM2000, EMIS acquire admin and compliance software firm Pinbellcom and Servelec acquire healthcare software supplier Aura – to name but a few.
The ‘Hunt’ is on for 2016!
Clearwater’s healthtech credentials include advising DATIX, a leader in the development of risk management and patient safety software for the healthcare sector, on the management buyout supported by Bowmark Capital and Cetrea, a supplier of healthcare IT within clinical logistics and patient flow management, on its acquisition by Getinge-owned Maquet.