12 October 2012

Digital Health Innovation Increasingly Supported by Corporate Venture Capital Investments

At the LT-Innovate Workshop held in Brussels this week (8-9 October), delegates were reminded that corporate investments in innovation represent a powerful source of funding for new developments in digital technology across all sectors. 
A recent article in the L’Atelier blog (from the BNP Paribas Group) draws attention to a wave of corporate investment in the healthcare sector, citing such firms as Abbot, Boston Scientific, Burrill & Company, Cleveland Clinc, Johnson & Johnson and Philips. They cite the following useful insight into the extraordinary rise in digital health – a key focal point for innovative language technologies of all varieties:

Another recent report from Burrill & Company, which specialises in channelling venture capital into life sciences companies, points to a 194% leap in total financing for Digital Health companies, defined as a “segment fuelled by the convergence of information, wireless and healthcare technologies,” in first-half 2012, versus the same period last year. And the lion’s share of this capital is flowing in from the venture units set up by major corporates. Among the most active investors we find Philips, Abbott, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson. One third of all buyouts in the Digital Health sector over the last year received funds from corporate-based venturing units. Total exit valuations in this sector are now three times as high as those from social networks and twice as high as from mobile applications, presenters told the audience.

Language technologies appear set to provide many of the tools that clinicians, patients and hospital administrators need to channel up-to-date knowledge (encoded in natural speech and language) in various media to the surgery, the patient’s bedside, and above all to the industry’s mobile devices in order to speed up and lower the cost of delivering advanced healthcare. Corporate funding units will be looking closely at these solutions from the LT industry.

Author: Andrew Joscelyne.

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