Healthcare investor shares what he wishes more startups would do - MedCity News

MedCity INVEST Digital Health Conference is scheduled for September 28 in Dallas, in collaboration with Hi Wildcatters at Pegasus Park. There, eight healthcare startups focused on employee benefits will battle it out in the Pitch Perfect Contest. Three investor judges will listen to the companies in attendance and ask questions about their business model and approach, deciding the winner.

Judges include Kyoko Watanabe, Managing Director of DEFTA partnersMatthew Blum, director of Cigna Venturesand Parth Desai, director of Flare Capital Partners.

In response to emailed questions, Desai talked about his firm’s investment strategy, how it works with startups and what he wishes more startups would do.

Parth Desai

What is your company’s investment strategy?

To invest in health technology, digital health and health services companies that improve health outcomes and expand access while reducing the cost of care. We are focused on early stage opportunities in healthcare technology innovation and our investors include leading healthcare companies, large institutional investors, prominent family offices, foundations and sovereign wealth funds. We are life-cycle investors in our portfolio companies as we work alongside entrepreneurs throughout their company-building journey


To view the full agenda for INVEST Digital Health, Press here.


What was the last healthcare investment you made (that you can talk about) and why did you make it?

We recently invested in an early stage company called SmarterDx, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically identify missed clinical codes that bring additional revenue to hospitals and improve the quality of their care. With hospitals currently struggling financially and looking for operational efficiencies, SmarterDx’s attributed impact on both the top and bottom line resonates well with their customers. This initial wedge positions the company to become the de facto clinical and financial data layer for healthcare organizations, enabling a range of future product opportunities.

What sets your company apart in the way you work with startups?

We have a unique LP base of 30+ strategies that represent the healthcare ecosystem (think health systems, regional and national health plans, retail pharmacies, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical organizations). We leverage these relationships to accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies; these groups have contributed over $600 million in revenue to our portfolio companies over the years.

What is one thing you wish more healthcare startups would do?

Focusing on quantifying and building a differentiated Return on Investment (ROI) story that is clearly attributable to their product. While large markets, great teams, and top-notch products can be catalysts in helping startups make their early sales, ultimately it’s the ROI story (lower costs, improved quality of care, or even discovery of new revenue opportunities for businesses) that we have found creates durability and scale. Getting it right on time is important.

What do you enjoy most about being a healthcare investor?

The opportunity to constantly learn new things about the healthcare industry from such a diverse and highly intelligent range of entrepreneurs and partners, and the challenge of transforming such a complex industry.

picture: Natalie Miss, Getty Images

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