GE Ventures has made an investment in high-tech healthcare, announcing today that it has backed the company Evidation Health, a Silicon Valley startup focused on evidence-based, digital medicine.
Digital medicine is a burgeoning yet ambiguous category of the healthcare ecosystem. It runs the gamut from health-tracking mobile apps and wearables to doctor visits via tablets, and it has support from both private health companies and the federal government.
As for Evidation, the company is a relaunch of another digital health company, The Activity Exchange, which closed a Series A financing round in January led by GE Ventures. The new company is now financially backed by GE Ventures, but operating in partnership with Stanford Heath Care, the Ivy League university's academic health system.
According to Evidation's CEO Deborah Kilpatrick, the company seeks to bring key digital health essentials such as clinical and economic research outcomes alongside predictive analytics to facilitate digital medicine on a broad scale -- which is the crux of evidence-based medicine.
"We apply expertise in health outcomes research and product commercialization with behavioral and predictive analytics to help the best management strategies be deployed for the right patients at the right time," Kilpatrick wrote. "We envision a digital health-enabled future where clinical interventions can be customized and concentrated in ways that maximize clinical and economic benefit for payers, providers and, most importantly, patients."
The goal Kilpatrick describes is right on par with one laid out by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address in January, when he outlined his administration's initiative to make healthcare smarter and more patient-specific.
From a White House fact sheet on Obama's Precision Medicine initiative:
The potential for precision medicine to improve care and speed the development of new treatments has only just begun to be tapped. Translating initial successes to a larger scale will require a coordinated and sustained national effort. Through collaborative public and private efforts, the Precision Medicine Initiative will leverage advances in genomics, emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets while protecting privacy, and health information technology to accelerate biomedical discoveries.
President Obama followed up with a 2016 budget that includes a $215 million investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to bolster the digital health effort.
And the private sector has stepped up as well. According to digital health seed fund Rock Health, more than $4 billion was invested in over 250 digital health companies in 2014.