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A boom on the horizon: VC investment in HealthTech

Will we see a boom in UK digital health investment opportunities? Seasoned investor Andrew Elder, of Albion Ventures, thinks so. 

Created by a confluence of unforeseen circumstances and leading to drastic outcomes, a perfect storm can occur in any complex system. Hollywood told the tragic story of a fatal weather version, but the confluence is not always destructive – a perfect storm of rapidly converging digital technologies is currently causing massive business disruption in a number of many business sectors.

So is the healthcare sector, until now relatively in the digital doldrums, about to experience similar drastic impact, or will its idiosyncrasies ultimately prevent it?

Healthcare has seen its fair share of technology-based hype-bubbles come and go, often due to a lack of confluence of certain factors. Take, for example, the promised genomics revolution in the early noughties, which took a further 15 years to really start to deliver on its promise, when the data became meaningful and cheaper to access. Rational drug design and combinatorial chemistry in the late 90’s and mono-clonal antibodies ran a similar course in the 80’s and 90’s. Also, minimally invasive surgery, MRI and X-rays were all dragged into common practice a generation after they showed their first glimmers of promise to revolutionise patient care....