D Health: fixing a broken market

A newly established consultancy aims to accelerate the development of digital healthcare throughout Western Europe


Digital health, using information and communication technologies to help meet patients’ needs and introduce efficiencies, is widely expected to play a major role in supporting the necessary change to new and sustained models of healthcare.

But, while the challenge to global healthcare services – an ageing population suffering from increasing levels of chronic disease associated with unhealthy lifestyles – is growing, adoption of digital healthcare is limited and commercial success scarce.

“Clearly, there is a massive and unmet need – the market is broken,” says Jeremy Cummin, executive chairman of D Health, a specialist consultancy offering services to the global digital healthcare community.

With a unique blend of experience in its core team, D Health has a clear insight into the underlying cause of this dysfunction. Based on this understanding, the consultancy has developed the D Health Catalyst – a European market accelerator programme to drive collaboration and trade so a new and successful dynamic is established to help meet the challenges ahead.

Although there is little evidence of widespread adoption or commercial success, the digital healthcare market is developing rapidly. Such evolution, coupled with the breadth of digital healthcare, dictates that most organisations focus on very specific niche areas of this diverse market and find it difficult to keep abreast of wider market developments.

D Health is drawing together a community of leading European players committed to driving the growth of the digital healthcare market

At best, this limits the scope for collaboration and trade; at worst, it creates a disjointed and uninformed community which is limited by its inability to access and digest relevant market information.

“The market must move away from a high-cost, equipment-based approach to a service-led market with low price points to support access to mass-market opportunities,” says Dr Steven Dodsworth, D Health’s chief executive. “Commercial innovation will be required, as much as technical innovation, in delivering new business models and new routes to market.”

Should smaller businesses (SMEs), typically regarded as the main source of innovation, begin to prosper, the uptake of commercial and technical innovation will increase by the corporates. Putting resource into compelling innovation will result in stronger business models using more acceptable technology.

The likelihood of creating mass markets will increase as the public awareness of digital healthcare increases. While clinicians will move to provide more community-based models, the high street will become an important player as the digital healthcare consumer market begins to emerge.

D Health Catalyst is a subscription-based programme offering a different and more powerful model than the healthtech accelerators that are proliferating at present. D Health is drawing together a community of leading European players committed to driving the growth of the digital healthcare market. Some 150 organisations sharing the same vision are being recruited across Western Europe in a carefully considered ratio to create an optimal market dynamic.

Leading-edge developers (start-ups, SMEs and corporates), service providers (state and private), investors (debt and equity), pharmaceutical companies, high street retailers and supply chain organisations will form a highly interactive cohort.

The Catalyst will support these key market groups through the provision of online and human resources, including quarterly market reports, tailored introductions and, where appropriate, brokerage capabilities to drive collaboration and trade, support in identifying and securing funding, and specialist support packages for SMEs. Service providers will receive support in delivering sustainable digital health solutions as well as assistance in engaging with industry.

Networking, showcasing and mentoring will be important aspects of the programme, supported by a range of online services and closed events.

“The aim is to help the collective prosper and seed a new market dynamic,” says Mr Cummin.