Investment in mobile health and other health IT technologies has been off the charts during the first quarter of 2014, says a new report by Rock Health, continuing the meteoric rise of mobile health technologies funded by more traditional venture capitalists and newfangled crowd-funding campaigns. Technology companies have already scooped up more than $700 million since January of 2014, representing an 87% year-over-year growth versus the same quarter last year.
January led the way with huge deals in analytics and big data, telemedicine, cloud-based EHR software, and payer administration, racking up $390 million in the first month of the year alone. Health Catalyst, a rising star in the data warehousing space, took in $41 million worth of venture capital, while cloud-based Kareo medical office systems received $29.5 million from its investors. Telemedicine provider MDLive saw $23.6 million fill its coffers, and HIPAA-compliant text messaging platform TigerText came in close behind with $21 million.
In Q1 of 2014, the average deal size increased from $10.1 million to $13.1 million, with payer administration services and analytics among the most popular opportunities for investors. Telemedicine, care coordination, and alternative health tools also took in respectable investments, ranging from $50 million to $61 million in the first three months of the year.
MedHOK (Medical House of Knowledge) acquired $77.5 million for its health plan and ACO platform designed to increase care quality and compliance, while Specialists On Call, which provides emergency telemedicine consults, closed a $32 million deal with Warburg Pincus. Geographically speaking, California, Florida, and Massachusetts were the biggest investment hubs, with Utah and Virginia rounding out the top five.
The long winter of 2014 also saw a number of interesting IPOs, Rock Health says, with Care.com, Castlight Health, and Everyday Health all offering themselves up for public inspection. Castlight Health saw its stock climb by 150% on its first day of trading, while Care.com boomed at 43% above opening before dropping just below its initial price.
Crowd-funding is another trend to watch, the report says. In 2013, crowd-funding sites like Indiegogo saw a more than 2200% increase in the number of health IT campaigns listed on the network, with several successful personal health devices getting their start on the popular platform. So far, only 23% of campaigns have been fully funded, compared to 40% at this time last year, but more than three-quarters of a million dollars have been delivered to inventors and start-ups through the system from optimistic internet users.