When are we nearly there yet?

When are we nearly there yet?

Seven, seventeen, or more years – from idea to practice

Has the hype for innovation reached its peak? That really depends on who you ask. More and more money is chasing ever earlier stage companies, also in healthcare (a famously conservative industry). According to Rock Health, 2017 was the biggest year of investment ever… And 2018 looks set to smash it.


Rock Health predictions for 2018…

Already this year we have seen some mega deals (Flatiron to Roche comes to mind [$1.9b, as does the recent Pillpack/Amazon tie-up [$1bn). The second half of the year is unlikely to lag. New challengers arrive frequently.

There is a deeper question. Is all this technology hitting its stride? Or is there a lot of waste – or misunderstanding of tech? Either way, huge dollar figures build ditto expectations in the provider and patient community. How long until AI is the new ‘Dr House’, asked about in every diagnostic encounter? And how long until it can be as good as we hope?

How long is too long?

Lucien Engelen, esteemed healthcare entrepreneur, thinks it takes 7 years for technology to get to the patient. And others think that 17 years will do it. Some even hold that healthcare is coming closer to software release cycles. Traditional tech investors are crowding in, and may steer towards trajectories they know.

In a semi-scientific experiment, we looked at a decade of Gartner hype cycles, to understand deployment lag. While Gartner can come in for a lot of flak, it can give us an idea of how long we should wait.

Gartner classifies technologies by their horizon (from ‘ready now’ to ‘here in over ten years’) and where in the development cycle they are believed to be.

Gartner Hype Cycle, as per JeremyKemp

Over the last ten years, we see a growth in ‘technology triggers’ appearing. It certainly looks, from this, that we ARE seeing a boom in the birth of (potential) game changers…

More and more technology triggers…

If not now, then when?

Looking at the average ‘maturity’, while there is a small increase in long-term (i.e. 10+ years) technologies being born, the biggest growth is in the 5-10 year range.

If we look back that amount of time, this is the range in which Omada Health was founded… And it is now reaching some fairly significant milestones in terms of adoption…


But horizons are more fuzzy….

What should be landing now?

The biggest glut of time for many technologies to reach ubiquity is the 2019-2024 window, with a big body of game changing technologies marching steadily forwards….. If only a handful of these reach widespread adoption, and if pharma continues to move slowly, it will seem an even more conservative industry. In our newly released Maturometer, 90% are convinced disruption is coming – but only 10% think their company is taking it seriously enough…

So, who’s right? Different kinds of technology (clearly) take longer to develop than others… But that there are some really big changes coming is more than certain. As is so often said in technology… game changers will arrive gradually – then suddenly.

Off we go again for the 4th Healthcare Disruption Tour!

Futuregazing can illuminate what kinds of tech may disrupt today’s businesses. What is especially valuable is understanding how the cutting edge of technology is developed – namely, the ecosystems, people, and mentalities which go into them. Infectious ideas can spread quickly, disrupting industries far away from what was originally intended.

San Francisco is the fulcrum for many these game changers– and Across Health is going back for the fourth time…the 2019 Healthcare Disruption Tour (March 25-27) is just around the corner!

Join us to meet, see, and experience what will come to define our not-so-distant future. Find our more at www.healthcaredisruption.com, or email Edward.atkinsonclark@a-cross.com (also, if you would like to have a look at how Gartner is performing over ten years, I can share the dataset).


You may want to check:

Lucien Engelen – 7 years to launch: https://nexxworks.com/blog/to-innovate-you-need-the-whole-system-in-the-room-interview

The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research – Morris, Wooding and Grant, 2011 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3241518/

Gartner explains Gartner Hype Cycles – https://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp

Not everyone sold on the hype cycle framework – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301757818_The_hype_cycle_model_A_review_and_future_directions

Omada Health extends its offerings to more than just diabetes – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/omada-health-adds-new-programs-for-type-2-diabetes-and-hypertension-self-management-300668419.html


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