Venture Cap Investors Still Hungry for Healthcare Tech

Regulatory pressures may create a looming cloud of uncertainty for companies operating in the current healthcare landscape, but for tech companies focused on senior care, the silver lining is a growing interest from venture capital investors.

Healthcare reform measures have long emphasized the need for improved care while simultaneously reducing costs, resulting in an environment abound with opportunities to invest in a plethora of tech companies striving to accomplish this.

Large, multinational consumer electronics companies like Phillips, LG, Toshiba and AT&T have already begun to enter the market for senior care technologies, operating side-by-side smaller tech providers.

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Despite the abundance of new products under development, those on the forefront of tech say there’s still room for investments—with one prestigious U.S. health system “betting big” on the market for certain technologies both nationally and abroad.

“The regulatory pathway is uncertain, reimbursements are getting scary and ROI is starting to come back, but it’s challenging,” said James Rogers III, chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures, Wednesday during the MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum in Chicago. “There are opportunities in this current environment, but you have to be thinking ahead.”

To date, Mayo Clinic Ventures has invested approximately $100 million into its “Co-Investment Fund,” which comprises the company’s funding partnerships with venture capital and private equity groups.

Through its various partnerships and investments, Mayo Clinic Ventures boasts over 2,300 technologies licensed, with tech ranging from pancreatic devices to analytic software that streamlines electronic medical record data for physicians to help them not “get lost in the data,” Rogers said.

One area where Mayo Clinic ventures is “betting big” is on medical devices, Rogers said. Though he did not disclose any dollar amounts the company is planning to invest in this segment, they could likely find their way not only here in the U.S. but abroad as well.

This month, the investment arm of Mayo put up $800,000 for venture in Galway, Ireland, working with the National University of Ireland (Galway) to develop and commercialize up to 20 “novel” medical technologies in Ireland over the next five years.

The intent of the investment also plans to create several “high-value” medical technology spin-out companies, according to a statement from NUI Galway.

“At the end of the day, there are ways to move and find the funding,” said Rogers. “You just have to go after it hard. It’s difficult, it’s challenging, but it’s out there.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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