How to Become an Overnight Success in a Decade or Less

Promising advances in the combination of technology and healthcare have led to successive waves of innovation since the genomic revolution. The combination of genomic data, health information systems, inexpensive and ubiquitous sensors, integration with mobile phones and watches, and other factors have contributed to the dramatic rise in potential for "digital health" to change our overall care - including its presence in our daily lives and our control over our own health data.

Over the last decade, a cohort of Kleiner Perkins startups in personalized medicine had the makings of a first generation of new arrivals in health technology standard bearers. But the future is promised to no one. Sometimes practice is resilient against even the most exciting innovations.

A few months ago, good friend Ian Hathaway, a nonresident fellow at Brookings, published this piece on rising investment in digital health startup activity. In this piece, Hathaway and co-author Jonathan Rothwell find that the surge in investments may have already created technologies that will revolutionize care.

Still, our system has to be able to perceive these innovations, understand them, then absorb them.

So why is getting to scale proving so challenging? As it turns out, the markets at work in health care are complicated, to put it mildly. A system with misaligned incentives, unclear connections between need, benefit, and payments, and often lacking objectivity when it comes to assessment of breakthroughs is bound to test even the most established startup veteran.

We intend to dive into these issues with a close look at getting to scale in digital health at our First Pitch: Digital Health Demo Day on March 24th in Mountain View. Included in our agenda is an expert panel on planning for scale up, featuring a collection of tremendously experience executives from health technology companies.

For many who are devoted to delivering on the promise of digital health and all its component parts, this is not their first rodeo, it won't be their last, and it won't be resolved at any time soon.

We hope to see you on March 24th.