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Investment in research solutions tops attention from digital health investors in APAC: PRmoment Health Communications Review

PRmoment's weekly 'Healthcare Communications Review' column looks at the biggest healthcare trends every week and analyses the communications implications. In partnership with SPAG, A Finn Partners Company.

2021 in the wake of the pandemic was a great year for investments in digital health. The Galen Growth 2022 Year-End Digital Health Ecosystem Report for Asia Pacific examines digital health ventures in 2022.

While China led the investments in 2022 at 1.7 billion, India was second at 1.2 billion.

Aman Gupta, managing partner, Health Asia, SPAG – A FINN Partners Company explains why the APAC digital health sector matters, globally, "27% of digital health ventures were founded in Asia Pacific, making it the second largest ecosystem. At the end of 2022, there were 2,305 private and active ventures founded in Asia Pacific. Over the past five years, the ecosystem has been expanding at a CAGR of 4%. With corporate collaborations being a key driver, digital health ventures in APAC mainly partnered with pharmaceutical, biotech, and genomics companies, followed by academic institutions."

The report notes that while investment slowed in the first 3 quarters of 2022, the last quarter showed a quickening of investment. Asia Pacific followed the global trend of steadily declining venture capital funding across the first 3 quarters of 2022 and a strong rebound in Q4, with a final annual venture funding value of $5.79B, a YoY deficit of 41% below 2021.

What does this mean for health communicators?

To begin with, as per the report, this means the advocacy goals will revolve around, "Ushering in a new phase of digital health, with less extravagance and higher expectations for proof points and ROI."

Funding Trends in digital health ventures for 2022 and Beyond 

Here is what the report says about how the market for digital health will behave in the coming year:

  • Industry consolidation is becoming stronger, with Digital Health ventures accountable for 60% of global acquisition activity.
  • Digital Health ventures in the Asia Pacific will find the path forward to be more challenging in 2023, with declining venture valuations, but ventures have already shown resilience in 2022, and this new landscape will strengthen the pipeline of ventures, driving innovation and business model viability further to show the value of Digital Health tools for improving healthcare research and delivery. 

Where is the funding going, or not?

As per the report 2022 has experienced a largely negative funding development across therapeutic areas as compared to 2021.:

  • Oncology lost further momentum in 2022 after already dipping during the previous year.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases which experienced strong acceleration from 2020 to 2021, was the second biggest losing therapeutic area with a dip of $537M as compared to 2021.
  • Apart from Research Solutions, which showed strong growth of 23%, all of the other top 5 highest-funded clusters decreased in funding value. Online Marketplace (-57%) and Medical Diagnostics (-45%) saw the biggest losses.

Who is partnering with these ventures in APAC? 

As per the report Pharma/Biotech/Genomics companies disclosed the largest share of corporate partnerships with Digital Health ventures in APAC, while Academia/ Institutes took second place.

The biggest deals in Healthcare in APAC in 2022, a ready reckoner:

Source: Galen Growth Report for 2022

Call out of the week

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That's it for this week. Special thanks to SPAG, a FINN Partner company for their ongoing support for this weekly column.

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