5 Key Stories From The Digital Worlds

April 5

BY NABYL CHARANIA

1. 

FEMTECH’S BILLION-DOLLAR YEAR

  • Defined as any software, diagnostics, products and services that leverage technology to improve women’s health.
  • Greatly surpassing last year’s record of $650 million…brought in only $62 million in 2012, $225 million in 2014 and $231 million in 2016.
  • Way in which the VC world is structured…difficult to understand the value of a product you aren’t ever going to use or to understand a problem you aren’t ever going to have.

2. 

AMAZON’S FIRST HIPAA-COMPLIANT ALEXA 

  • Use the voice assistant to take care of sensitive medical issues.
  • Making an “HIPAA eligible environment” available to Alexa developers…can expect other skills that transmit sensitive health data.
  • Major step for voice assistants, but not unexpected from a company that has been pushing aggressively into healthcare.

3. 

A RECORD $2.5B WENT TO U.S. INSURANCE STARTUP DEALS LAST YEAR, AND BIG INSURERS ARE IN ALL THE WAY

  • While other industries fall prey to the forces of creative disruption, giant insurers have largely managed to remain giant and profitable.
  • Surprisingly large portion of funding is coming from the corporate venture arms of the very same giant insurance companies startups are trying to disrupt.
  • As for M&A, we haven’t seen a lot of big insurance startup acquisitions.

4. 

3D PRINTING IS QUIETLY TRANSFORMING AN UNEXPECTED INDUSTRY: MUSEUMS

  • American Museum of Natural History has asked students to digitize, print, and assemble dinosaur bones and identify species like paleontologists do.
  • Enabling people to learn, enjoy, and better appreciate cultural heritage through multi-sensory experiences.
  • Power of digitally fabricated replicas also lies in their digital nature…can easily be stored, edited, and shared across the world.

5. 

JEFF BEZOS AND AMAZON PROPOSE SPACE-BASED INTERNET SERVICE TO COMPETE WITH SPACEX AND ONEWEB

  • Amazon filed with the International Telecommunications Union for permission to put 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit.
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for example, plans to put 12,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.
  • Amazon and most other new entrants plan to use orbits at low as 1,200 miles for satellites that are smaller than washing machines.