Year in Review: Digital health investing continues its fast pace in 2015

Digital health continued to draw substantial investor interest in 2015, with the pace of venture deals essentially matching last year’s record performance.

The year is on track to end with investments slightly above 2014’s $4.3 billion, according to a study from Rock Health. Through Dec. 8, venture investments in the United States on a dollar basis have narrowly topped last year’s and the 278 deals completed narrowly trail last year’s total of 294. The year has seen a modest shift to larger, later-stage transactions.

End-of-year transactions should push both numbers higher.

The performance is the second breakout year in a row for the sector, which in 2013 was less than half its 2014 size.

“We saw a lot of diversity across companies and how they are thinking about tackling this market,” said Teresa Wang, a Rock Health strategy manager.

The top category for investing has been consumer engagement, or consumer tools for purchasing healthcare products and services, followed by wearables and bio-sensing devices. The fastest growing investment category has been personal health tools and tracking products.

The most active investors this year have been Rock Health itself, with 13 deals, and Venrock and New Enterprise Associates, both with eight. True Ventures and Lux Capital each did six deals.

The year saw five IPOs, including from Fitbit, Teladoc, Mindbody, Evolent Health and Invitae. Two are presently trading above their IPO price.

Photo from Shutterstock.