Big Tech companies bullish on healthcare
The world's largest tech giants have their sights set firmly on the healthcare market.
With global health concerns dominating the headlines, it’s no surprise that healthtech and medtech companies have thrived in a COVID environment. Historically an area of heavy regulation and slow tech adoption, the healthcare industry has faced disruption out of necessity, leading to a flourish of healthcare transactions in 2020 - most notably for those companies at the intersection of healthcare and digital technologies.
Tech giants are ahead on the actionAlphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have all set their sights on the healthcare market, many since long before COVID.
“If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ It will be about health,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview with CNBC in early 2019.
While it’s hard to imagine associating Apple with health rather than the latest phone or tablet, the world’s most tech-savvy companies are already applying their skills to the goal of faster, more accessible health services across the globe.
With a focus on crisis support – both Amazon and Google have offered their IT & operational capabilities to support overwhelmed hospitals and speed up the COVID vaccine rollout – or innovations related to connected devices, data pooling & analysis, telehealth, or medical supplies & distribution, their involvement has the potential to reshape modern healthcare as we know it.
Acquisitions in the best of health
Valued at $200 billion in 2020, the global healthcare IT market is undoubtedly poised to grow. Forbes puts it poignantly – ‘the largest battleground in the tech world is and will continue to be healthcare’.
Amazon’s acquisitions of Health Navigator, CareCloud and PillPack back in 2019 have allowed it to launch new healthcare software and roll out its pharmacy service. Google and Fitbit’s $2.1 billion union was finalized in January after being announced in 2019. Microsoft has partnered with numerous digital health companies in the last few years in a bid to be healthcare’s choice cloud provider.
And in the largest deal seen in digital health to date, telehealth giant Teledoc acquired chronic-care company Livongo in an $18.5 billion deal at the end of 2020.
2021: The year of infinite possibilities in digital health?Pandemic mania has sped up the integration of healthcare and tech and brought a renewed focus on the infinite possibilities of digital health.
While 2020 was a record year for healthcare deals, 2021 could be even hotter – according to the investors predicting an acquisition spree.
With Big Tech companies in a great position to buy and record levels of global funding available, more companies than ever could find themselves in an opportunistic position this year.
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