Global Digital Health 1000 - 2021 Stats

Benchmarking the 2021 Global Digital Health 1000

Health Intelligence Unit

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April 28, 2022

Every year, HolonIQ’s Health Intelligence Unit identifies the top 1000 Digital Health startups around the world. The global 1000 is built region by region from over 10,000 nominations, applications and screening to ensure the global cohort is diverse and to shine a light on the inspiring innovation happening all around the world.


Applications
for the 2023 Global Digital Health 1000 are now open.

Winners of HolonIQ's 2022 Global Digital Health 1000 will be announced at our Global Impact Summits Sep-Nov 2022. Please also check our 30 individual maps for the 2021 Global Digital Health 1000, Global EdTech 1000 and Global Climate Tech 1000.

The purpose of the Global Digital Health 1000 is to identify the most promising, young, fast-growing and innovative startups in each major region of the world. To be eligible, startups must be less than 10 years old, headquartered in the region in question, or predominantly focused on that market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers). They must also be ‘startups’ (‘pre-exit’, i.e. not acquired, a subsidiary or listed) and not controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

The HolonIQ Health Intelligence Unit and select market experts assess each organization based on HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric, which in brief covers the following dimensions:

Market. The quality and relative attractiveness of the specific market category in which the company competes.
Product. The quality, uniqueness and impact of the product itself.
Team. The expertise and diversity of the leadership team.
Capital. The financial health of the company and its ability to generate or secure sufficient funding.
Momentum. Positive changes in the size, velocity and impact of the company over time.

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1 in 3 Digital Health 1000 startups are focused on patient connectivity or data and analytics with wellness, clinical development, diagnostics and treatment/monitoring all represented as significant categories.

At each of our regional summits we will announce and shine a light on the most promising startups operating in the region. By the end of the summits, we start to see the full and diverse global picture of innovation and technology across the burgeoning digital health landscape.

In 2021, one in three of the Global Digital Health 1000 was focused on either patient connectivity or data and analytics, with wellness, clinical development, diagnostics and treatment/monitoring all represented as significant categories. Improvements in technology adoption across global health systems helped to drive growth across all categories.

Different regions of the world have different areas of focus, demand or specialization in health innovation and technology, driving variation in the regional composition by sub sector.

The importance of connectivity to geographically large and relatively under-developed health systems can clearly be seen in Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. In North America, wellness was the biggest area of focus for digital health startups, reflecting both the established existing market for connectivity platforms and the focus on personal health (physical and mental) as the pandemic subsides. Europe’s strong academic heritage is also underscored by the 22% of startups focusing on research and development.

Globally, 5% of the Global Digital Health 1000 were founded through the pandemic, and 54% founded in the four years prior. This leaves just over 40% who were formed prior to 2015.

By analyzing the founding year of the Global Digital Health 1000, we can also see trends in company formation, biased of course by the fact that we are looking at the most promising startups region by region.

Interesting outliers include Sub Saharan Africa, which has the highest percentage (16%) of startups formed since the pandemic. At the other end of spectrum, almost 60% of startups in our European cohort were founded prior to 2015. At a regional level, the Americas has the youngest group of startups, with two out of three digital health businesses founded post 2015.

Founding year patterns in the 1000 together with sub sectors hint at category formation and growth over time. The importance of data and connectivity globally in digital health is clearly shown as the only two categories to increase year on year to represent 12% and 28% respectively of all startups in 2020-2021.

The two charts below show the trend in the founding year, or company formation, for the Global Digital Health 1000. Left to right in both charts we see the composition of the startups founded in that range. On the left we see the formation composition by sub sector and on the right we see the formation composition by macro region categories.

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HolonIQ's Health Intelligence Unit rates thousands of organizations from startups to listed companies, powering annual assessments such as the Digital Health 1000.

HolonIQ’s Intelligence Platform powers decisions that matter at the world’s largest and leading institutions, technology platforms, companies and investors. But one of our most demanding Platform power users is our own Intelligence Unit. Our engineering team builds software and tools that power our customers and our own Intelligence Unit to make tens of thousands of machine-learning powered and human-driven quantitative and qualitative assessments, applying the scientific method to impact intelligence and investing.

The screenshot below shows a sample ratings cohort of companies that have been assessed on multiple dimensions and are being evaluated by an analyst. We build tools that help analysts leverage technology, data science, and human evaluation to power decisions that matter. Our Intelligence Unit applies those tools, along with a rigorous, scientific mindset to, in this case, identify the most promising Digital Health startups around the world.

30 Regional Impact Maps

Explore each of the 30 individual impact maps for the 2021 Global Digital Health 1000, Global EdTech 1000 and Global Climate Tech 1000.

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