Participating in conferences like RISE is one of my favorite parts of working in a VC. Never boring, high energy level all around and there’s bound to be something new to learn. Some people go for retreats to get recharged, I go to conferences!
For those who missed out this year, here are some highlights of RISE 2018 that I found interesting, as well as observations in the general Healthtech trends:
Wider range of applications
Lots of interesting applications in this year’s RISE. Other than online doctor consultation services (an application I see most of in past conferences), it was refreshing to see a broader range of healthtech startups such as AI diagnostics (SylexWise – an AI aided clinical decision support), wearables (Mindfio), and patient healthcare records or PHR.
Early in the game
We saw more Healthtech startups in seed stage compared to other stages, indicating that it is still early in the game for many with the ambition of revolutionizing the healthcare model. There was more than one with high relevancy to the Indonesia market, but one technology in particular that I like for Indonesia is AI diagnostics. For Indonesia, and other countries with remote areas, this technology may go a long way to aid health practitioners who would otherwise have limited access to advanced testing facilities.
Online to offline model
While many tech companies across different industries can push for and become sustainable through online-only presence, giant healthtech players in Asia such as Ping An Good Doctor and WeDoctor have so far bet on bolstering online to offline experience. As many healthcare startups fail due to unclear monetization plans, it remains to be seen whether an O2O model is key when it comes to healthcare.
Who knows you?
Looking at Asian countries’ trend on patient data records, I wonder which will be the best fit for Indonesia. The continued adoption of electronic health records (EHR) by providers could be a doorway towards a nationalized health records. Some countries such as neighboring Australia and Singapore are already working towards this. Doing so for Indonesia will undoubtedly be a hugely complex undertaking, although with potentially massive benefits (privacy concerns aside). A PHR such as the product developed by the folks at Inspiroma whom I met at RISE may be a faster to adopt model instead.
As in most SEA countries, healthtech in Indonesia is still a greenfield. No company has established a solid presence in the sector here as yet. It’s not too late for founders looking at the market to start up and target a piece of this $30B market.
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