Investor interest in IoT startups working in healthcare has grown hand-in-hand with the broader boom in digital health.
Increasingly, Internet of Things startups are finding new applications within healthcare and leveraging connected sensors to better diagnose, monitor, and manage patients and treatment. Many are focused on clinical-grade wearables to more robustly track patient data, while others see opportunity for sensor networks within hospitals and practices to optimize healthcare delivery and monitor patient adherence.
We broke down the healthcare IoT into the following categories:
This category included startups that are using connected objects to improve the delivery of healthcare in hospitals and clinics, and also track treatments to boost the effectiveness of healthcare providers. Augmedix and Obaa, for example, enable smartglass wearables like Google Glass to be used for healthcare charting. And Simplifeye harnesses the Apple Watch for doctors to track patient visits and access EMRs. Others like Awarepoint use IoT sensors for location-tracking on patients and medical equipment in real-time, in what they call location-as-a-service. AdhereTech, another startup here, is a connected pill bottle that tracks medicine adherence.
Clinical-grade biometric sensors/wearables
Companies here were focused on connected biometric sensors for use in a clinical or hospital setting, and some companies in patient care (such asEarlySense and Monica Healthcare) have FDA approval. Quanttus, MC10, and others are developing clinical-grade wearables that are on the road to FDA approval. Other clinical IoT equipment included Eyenetra, a smart phone-enabled “auto-refractor” for vision testing.
This group of companies develop technology marketed to consumers for the collection of biometric information. Startups in this space range from addiction cessation tracker Chrono Therapeutics to the smart thermometer made by Kinsa. Also included were monitoring systems like Qardio andAliveCor, which allow for ECG (electrocardiogram) testing to be done from home.
This was mostly comprised of startups trying to hack the brain with high-tech consumer-targeted cranial wearables. Ybrain and InteraXon (with its brain-sending headband, marketed as Muse) read brainwaves, and Thync transmits mood-elevating neurosignals.
Others, such as Neurovigil, are more clinical-grade projects focused on noninvasive neurotech (brain wave reading/recording) in order to analyze drug efficacy and track neuropathology. Neurovigil raised a Q2’15 Series A from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and entrepreneur Elon Musk, among other investors.