Pandemic spurs flood of venture capital funding to healthcare startups

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Venture capital funding in healthcare intensified in the first half of 2020 as COVID-19 made virtual care and similar technologies indispensable.Start-ups focused on telehealth, mental health, wearables and even transportation have gained new relevance during the pandemic. Companies that convinced investors of their long-term staying power even after the crisis subsides gained particular traction when it came to raising capital. “We’ve seen decades of progress in 12 to14 weeks,” said Unity Stoakes, president and co-founder of the healthcare startup incubator StartUp Health. Global venture capital funding for digital health and health innovation totaled $9.1 billion in the first half of the year, up from $7.7 billion during the same period in 2019, according to a second quarter report from StartUp Health released Wednesday. And 2019 was itself a banner year for startup funding. The types of companies that got funding are both directly and indirectly related to the pandemic. Virtual care platform Conversa Health, for instance, in June closed $12 million in a Series B funding. Conversa helps health systems monitor and manage patients across a variety of specialties, including oncology, acute discharge and wellness. During the pandemic, that has included patients who need to be monitored while quarantined at home. It counts such prominent health …

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