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Our Theses for 2024 and Beyond 

These theses will inform our investment decisions and drive our thinking about the future of healthcare. 


As we look back on 2023, we have seen countless companies underpinning our vision for the future of healthcare outlined here. With the first few weeks of 2024 under our belt, including the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and CES, we wanted to share some of the theses we have for 2024 and beyond. These continue to inform our investment decisions and drive our thinking about the future of healthcare. 


Defensetech and Healthtech will continue to overlap. We co-founded Black Opal Ventures two years ago when we saw that the tech developed for the defense and intelligence industry could have profound impact in healthcare and life sciences. With the growth in the number of defense related funds, we believe that the synergies will continue especially as many newly minted defense related funds realize their portfolio companies truly need to be dual use as the demand for innovative solutions for health preservation and extension escalates. 

 

Generative AI continues to improve patient navigation and be a true assistant to overextended medical professionals. These solutions have the potential to reduce costs, help consumers navigate healthcare, and address the critical workforce shortages and administrative burden that exists in healthcare.  

 

A slow but continued second wave of digitization within the healthcare sector with startups leading the way. Digitization in healthcare has been happening for more than two decades, but healthcare is still an industry that struggles with complete digitization. We believe that startups will continue to support and drive digitization efforts.  

 

Winners in healthcare will both unlock the power of data and generate unique data. If I (Eileen) learned anything from being a managing partner on the investment team at INQTEL (the nonprofit VC fund for the US defense and intelligence agencies), the breakdown of information is the culprit of most tragedies, and the sharing of information is the best way to prevent them.  

 

Elimination of bias becomes paramount. With the increasing use of AI trained models for diagnostics, the elimination of bias becomes more crucial, and we can expect the industry to recognize the risks associated with biased datasets. Recently, a doctor misdiagnosed me (Eileen) with having an increased lifetime risk for breast cancer after using a model trained on data from women of European descent. We look forward to the day when diagnostics and information are as advanced and informed as the suggestions on our Amazon Prime accounts. 

 

The need for accountability will pave way for healthcare to lead the future of responsible AI. This accountability will include oversight by agencies like the FDA and the need to publish research in scientific literature. Connected to our previous point, healthcare is one of the most regulated industries, which requires a focus on responsibility and explainability when approaching complex problems using some of our most personal information.  

 

Throughout the coming year, we will be publishing deep dives into each of these predictions. Stay tuned! 


-Tara Bishop & Eileen Tanghal 

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