Digital health and the related topic of tech-enabled services and healthcare IT have come into sharp focus as the healthcare ecosystem — including traditional players like payers, providers, biopharma, medtech, distributors and others, as well as a variety of upstarts and new entrants from other sectors of the economy such as telecom and high-tech — grapple with the opportunities and imperatives posed by regulators, consumers and employers.
“Digital health” as a concept can encapsulate a vast and diverse set of uses of technology in human health:
- From the consumer or patient journey perspective, this can include tools for managing health and wellness, screening and detection of health issues, digital technologies that supplement or even provide therapeutic care, and tools and services for improving the effectiveness and durability of the regimen.
- Providers of various diagnostic and therapeutic products can leverage digital technologies for improving productivity and effectiveness across the value chain, from R&D through commercialization and delivery.
- Providers and payers similarly are looking for opportunities to deploy digital technologies to improve access, connectivity and engagement; individual- and population-level outcomes; and efficiency.
L.E.K. has developed an integrated set of capabilities spanning its Healthcare Services, Life Science & MedTech, and Digital practices to enable a unique 360-degree view and to allow us to assist clients in understanding the issues and implications of, and their optimal options regarding, the challenges and opportunities posed by digital.
Key questions and challenges
Some of the frequent questions that we have recently received in the digital realm include:
- How should we undertake a “digital transformation” for our business?
- As a leader in our segment/category, what types of digital investments should we make to stay at the forefront? How can we structure corporate vehicles (e.g., corporate venture capital, or CVC) for this?
- As a provider of a novel technology/solution, how should we position and price our offering? How should we go to market? What should our channel strategy be?
- What are the “true” customer needs and priorities that can drive commercial opportunity for our novel technology/solution, or for our portfolio of diagnostic/therapeutic products and digital solutions?
- What is the landscape of relevant technologies and entities for our market segment, therapeutic area or disease category? Which ones should we focus on from a competitive, partnering or investment perspective?
- How can we optimize the pricing and business model related to a digital solution and/or our broader solution offering? How do different models match our broader business goals?
Examples of our work
To learn more about how we help clients create value, please refer to these case examples:
- Developed the vision, strategy and business model for an emerging leader in digital health and digital medicine. The company then successfully closed a substantial round of financing, which ranked among the largest digital health financing rounds in recent years.
- Evaluated the landscape and developed a repeatable methodology for assessing wearable and mobile digital technologies with the greatest potential to help accelerate a cure and symptom management in patients with a neurodegenerative disease condition, for a leading charitable foundation. The organization continues to deploy the analytical methodology to inform investment priorities.
- Assessed and prioritized mechanisms and structures for driving innovation in digital health, including robust benchmarking and articulation of best-demonstrated practices of innovative medtech and healthcare companies, using CVC and other alternative investment models.
- Developed a market overview of the digital consumer health sector (e.g., patient engagement, wearables, digital health and wellness), and provided context for the strategic plan to the board of directors of a digital health engagement solutions provider. We subsequently developed an enhanced strategic growth plan and assessed and prioritized the potential acquisition target landscape to position the company for significant growth.
- Completed a comprehensive review of the mobile digital health application landscape, including in-depth analysis of particular segments (e.g., medication adherence). Our work provided a foundation for the client to proceed with a mobile health strategy and product development, as well as a vetted list of best-in-class mobile health application developer partners.
- Completed commercial due diligence of a provider of patient engagement and population health analytics solutions to employers and health plans, including market assessment of the patient engagement space, evaluation of the competitive landscape, and analysis of the target’s value proposition and post-acquisition growth strategy.
- Completed commercial due diligence of a provider of interactive patient care and patient engagement solutions to hospitals and other healthcare organizations, including assessment of the core business and potential expansion opportunities, and evaluation of other patient engagement assets that could be integrated with the existing platform. Our efforts provided the foundation for a global healthcare products and services conglomerate to expand into healthcare technology.
- Developed a strategic framework for a leading healthcare information services provider to help guide organic and inorganic growth within point-of-care clinical decision support, population health management and patient engagement sub-sectors. We provided detailed market segment profiles and prioritization for entry, as well as separate long and prioritized lists of acquisition targets, that have informed merger and acquisition activity.
- Completed a vendor due diligence to facilitate the sale of a leading provider of personal emergency response systems and telehealth solutions.
- Created a cohesive population health, wellness and telehealth/mobile health strategic plan for the healthcare technology innovation business unit of a healthcare solutions conglomerate. Our work provided the foundation for enhanced alignment and collaboration across disparate business units, a mechanism for prioritization of strategic initiatives, and a platform for accelerated profitable growth.
- Identified the most critical care inefficiencies in the management of several central nervous system conditions. We codified how digital technologies could improve care, identified and prioritized specific assets for the client to consider acquiring, and articulated the business cases for stand-alone digital offerings as well as those in conjunction with the client’s therapeutic offering.