- San Francisco-based healthcare giant McKesson Corp. is launching a venture capital fund to incubate product-based companies that appeal to the new consumerism in the healthcare market, the company announced last week.
- "McKesson Ventures will help us support the development and commercialization of innovations taking place across healthcare," said CEO John Hammergren in the company news release, which also named former Cambria Health venture capital chief Tom Rodgers to head up McKesson's effort. "By investing and partnering with entrepreneurs and other investors that can bring new approaches to the challenges our customers are facing, we will accelerate the innovation cycle."
- It seems likely that when the fund makes investments, digital health will be on the menu. A Dec. 9 report by analytics company CB Insights found venture capital investments in digital health are growing at even a faster rate than investments in biotech and pharmaceuticals. The sector has seen more than $3 billion in investments in 2014, compared to a little more than $2 billion in 2013.
Gadgets are cool, and the consumer health industry is flooding with gadgets that are capturing the imagination of large number of people who want to make healthier choices with their lives.
The predictions for the growth of the industry are off the charts. According to an IDC report from earlier this year, nearly 112 million wearable computer devices will be sold by 2018, an increase of 78.4% over 2014's predicted sales of about 19 million. Most of those gadgets are coming from the healthcare sector.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 continue to climb, and it doesn't take a computer scientist to smell the scent in the wind. While there is some worry that the predicted boom is moving so fast that it might already be approaching a bubble, the fact is that investors are always looking for the next big wave and the healthcare industry is giving wearable tech pretty a warm reception. McKesson is stepping up to seize that moment.
With McKesson's experience and mindshare, combined with Rodgers impressive track record from Cambra, chances are better than average that they can put together a portfolio built for long-term growth.