Forget the billion dollar market. A technology startup in the healthcare space today has the potential to tap into a $10 trillion market that is still growing steadily at 10% per annum. That kind of number should send a pang of excitement down any entrepreneur's spine.
Entrepreneurs should not dismiss the healthcare sector when brainstorming the next big idea. It's a space that is ripe for disruption and technology is what will fuel that innovation.
In the same vein, investors can't afford to ignore this space. If they want big returns, they need to invest in startups that have big potential. And there arguably isn't anywhere better than healthcare right now.
"It's an industry that's undergoing massive transformation," Dion Madsen, Senior Managing Partner at the BDC Healthcare Venture Fund, explained to Techvibes in a phone interview.
And Madsen, the founder of Physic Ventures, should know. These days he oversees BDC Venture Capital's Healthcare Venture Fund, which is Canada's longest standing healthcare fund. It's invested in such companies as Quebec's Angiochem, Ontario's MedCurrent, and Western Canada's Monteris. It's also seen successful exits from several portfolio companies including Conjuchem back in 2000 and Tekmira as recently as this year
According to Madsen, we're now seeing a complete transformation in how healthcare is being delivered—not just in Canada but worldwide, which has spurred the creation of lucrative new ventures. Madsen also hinted that BDC Venture Capital would soon make an "important announcement," one which would position his fund to take advantage of these investment opportunities.
"In the past, you got sick, you went to the doctor's office, you sat in a waiting room for a while, you get five minutes with the doctor, and then you're home, with a prescription," he says. "That's most of healthcare interaction—primary care—dealing with little aches and pains and chronic disease. And that's what's being transformed to be done better, faster and with more interaction, because dealing with chronic health conditions is 85% of the cost of healthcare."
And it's being transformed with the same tools that have transformed other industries, he adds. "Finally we're seeing information technology penetration in hospitals: electronic medical records, wearable sensors, portable data, distribution of data to the consumer level. It's really exciting."
This trend is tangible and should have entrepreneurs salivating. The potential for disruption is vast and the dollar signs are followed by many, many zeroes—what more could a startup ask for?