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Photograph by Nicholas Kamm — AFP/Getty Images
By Sy Mukherjee
January 17, 2017

Health IT venture funding came roaring back to life in 2016 after a slight dip in the previous year, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Mercom Capital Group. And mobile health apps drew in more cash than ever before.

Total global health care IT funding crossed the $5 billion mark (not including bioinformatics or medical devices) while mobile health raised a record $1.3 billion. Volume swelled, too, with 622 deals completed in 2016 compared with 574 deals that raised $4.6 billion in 2015.

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Mercom Capital Group

Right behind the mobile health market, wearable sensor companies raised $592 million, data analytics firms raised $574 million, and telemedicine companies raised $528 million.

While the report is global in scope (encompassing 35 different countries), health IT VC was strongest in the United States, which comprised $3.4 billion of funding out of the $5 billion total across 431 deals.

The biggest players in this health tech VC cash bonanza? Pretty much who you’d expect: Khosla Ventures, GE Ventures, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, and others. And the three biggest rounds of the year went to the Chinese medical service mobile app Ping An Good Doctor ($500 million Series A), telemedicine app Chunyu Yisheng ($183 million), cancer big data form Flatiron Health ($175 million), activity tracker Jawbone ($165 million), and the women’s health-centered social platform Meet You ($151 million).

Clearly, there was plenty of private money to go around. But things slowed down a bit on the M&A front, with 205 such deals in 2016 compared with 219 in 2015.

As smartphones become ubiquitous, especially in emerging markets, expect the mobile health app venture market to stay hot.


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