Venture capital (VC) firms are increasingly playing a role in all aspects of healthcare. This is a growing trend globally, as healthcare organizations are eager for the resources, expertise, and capital these VC firms can offer.
Earlier this month, The University of California at Davis Health system announced a partnership with one of the nation’s largest VC firms, General Catalyst, with a goal to transform the organization’s digital health strategy and offerings.
The press release by the university explained: “As part of this partnership, UC Davis Health will utilize the General Catalyst ecosystem of companies to drive artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health innovations in several areas. These will include health care delivery, research, education, and public service, as well as the medical center’s ongoing transformational efforts in operations, care and outcomes.”
Furthermore, Chief Information and Digital Officer Ashish Atreja commented that “Digital innovations in medicine have the potential to not only improve patient outcomes but be a game-changer for the entire health care sector…This collaboration will create an environment that fosters open innovation in digital health, which we hope will lead to new solutions to improve the lives of our patients, increase the efficiency of health care systems and have a positive impact on the health of our communities.”
UC Davis Health is a powerhouse in the region, having a service area of over 30 counties and nearly 6+ million residents. Although it already has strong offerings in the virtual health and digital health spaces, this partnership will stand to elevate it even further. General Catalyst is an equally well known figure, boasting partnerships with some of the largest organizations in the world, ranging from AirBnB, Warby Parker, and Canva, to Stripe and Snap. Without a doubt, this is a monumental occasion.
Similarly, famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Bassett Healthcare Network in New York announced a partnership to leverage digital health capabilities in order to solve pertinent healthcare problems. Per the press release, “the collaboration aims to leverage digital healthcare technologies from a16z’s portfolio companies to address the inequities and systemic challenges of delivering high quality health care to rural patient populations through Bassett Healthcare Network. The two organizations share a common vision of broadly reimagining how digital health solutions and processes at scale may transform these valued, yet significantly under-resourced healthcare delivery networks.”
CEO and President of Bassett, Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, commented: “Health systems serving rural communities face challenges distinct from those in more densely populated areas, including less access to innovative tools and services that could help us better serve our patients and support our practitioners and care teams… Partnering with a16z will significantly improve our access to the most innovative digital health technologies and, more broadly, allow us to together truly understand how rural health systems can implement effective, scalable tech-enabled solutions to improve patient health.”
A16Z is, yet again, one of the world’s most prominent VC firms, having backed notable organizations such as Facebook, Lyft, Robinhood, Slack, and Coinbase. Congruently, the Bassett Healthcare Network entails nearly 400 physicians across 8 counties, supporting primary and advanced care for thousands of people in the area. Indeed, this partnership will transform the healthcare network’s vision and strategy.
These two examples are just recent encounters of such momentous partnerships. Numerous organizations across the country and globe are pursuing similar VC relationships with ideally, one central goal in mind: to better their services, to optimize their care delivery methods, and ultimately, to best serve their patients and commnunites.