HLTH 2021: The Healthcare Industry Is on the Verge of Major Transformations ...and We Couldn’t Be More Excited!

November 16, 2021
Seema Otoya

There’s never been a more thrilling time to be part of the healthcare market as emerging innovations bring healthcare into the home!

As a startup in the healthcare space, HLTH’s 2021 Conference in Boston was high on our list of industry events. The conference’s focus on innovation and transformation, along with the more than 6,000 attendees, 300 speakers and four days worth of sessions, made it a crucial component of our recent launch.  

Now that we’re home and have had the chance to reflect on the conversations we had and the insights we gleaned, we couldn’t be happier with our first conference experience. Our discussions with attendees, speakers, and fellow exhibitors made clear that the services we are bringing to market are not only needed, but a shining example of where healthcare is headed: The home. 

The future of healthcare is in the home 

The emerging trend to bring more healthcare capabilities into the home was repeated throughout the conference. One panel in particular was extremely insightful: The “Home Health Digital Facelift” session. Part of the conference’s Virtual Care Boom or Bust track, the panel focused on the need to close gaps across geographic and economic populations to help broaden accessibility for more patients.  

The session included a panel of C-level executives from Optum, Carbon Health, Papa, and Royal Philips addressing how the industry can leverage technologies like AI, RPM and predictive analytics to better support home care delivery models. The speakers highlighted how a patient’s home is becoming an increasingly important site for care across acute and chronic conditions, while simultaneously offering more convenient and lower-cost access points than existing healthcare facilities and offices. 

A New Focus on Women’s Healthcare 

Another major takeaway from the conference was a notable emphasis on women’s healthcare, as well as women in the industry who are paving the way to leadership roles. There were multiple sessions at HLTH 2021 focused on women’s healthcare, including the “Recovery & Redesign” session that addressed how the pandemic had exacerbated gender-based disparities across the healthcare industry, and how systems needed to be re-engineered for greater gender-parity. 

There was also a “She Powers Awards” ceremony hosted by Teladoc Health that recognized leaders within the healthcare industry who are committed to the advancement and recognition of women. Maven Clinic, a virtual clinic for women’s health that offers fertility, pregnancy and parenting care, hosted a luncheon for women during which its founder and CEO Kate Ryder discussed the role of digital health in accessible care, and shared her advice on being a woman-founder -- a rarity in the tech startup space, and historically under-funded group.  

This new focus on women’s healthcare is long overdue, but it is a hopeful sign to see so much attention (and investment funds) put toward new technologies and platforms centered on women’s health, fitness and overall well-being. 

Emerging Innovations + Venture Capital Investments + Tech Talent = Major Transformatives 

An exciting trend we saw come to life at HTLH 2021 was the emergence of innovation combined with venture capital investments. In the past year and half, there has been a surge of technology leaders wanting to find more meaningful endeavors. People who have succeeded in the world of tech are moving into the healthcare space as they search for new ways to have a positive impact on the world, and they’re bringing venture capital funds with them. 

This convergence of innovation and venture capital dollars is spurring major transformations when it comes to how things are being done across the healthcare landscape and where the industry is headed. In the “Seed to Growth in 0 to 60” session, Sprinter Health’s own board member Julie Yoo, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, joined other VCs to talk about how digital health startups are “traveling at lightspeed” and how such accelerated growth is impacting the market, from ballooning valuations, massive IPOs, and major funding rounds. 

While precaution needs to be taken in terms of growth acceleration and investments, it’s an exciting time to be in the healthcare industry, with so many emerging innovations. It’s an awesome moment of opportunity and change. 

One of the biggest surprises for us, and most validating experiences as a HLTH 2021 exhibitor, was the number of people from around the world who stopped by our booth to tell us how excited they were about Sprinter Health. The pandemic not only made people think more deeply about their health on a personal level, it has forced many healthcare providers to reconsider how care is delivered, accelerating access beyond traditional models. 

As a startup focused on in-home healthcare testing capabilities performed by fully-employed nurses and phlebotomists, our conference experience proved the healthcare market is ripe for major transformations that will forever impact how healthcare is delivered. Healthcare providers and patients alike have awakened to the possibility of at-home healthcare services for non-urgent services and tests. Sprinter Health is fully prepared to make this possibility a reality.

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