As the epidemic roars unevenly, Emily Melton, founder and managing partner of Threshold VC, reflects a previous public health crisis: the Spanish flu. Only a century ago, he said, was the response to the emergence of interventional medicine – treating illness with surgery or medicine as soon as symptoms appeared. Interventional treatment is an influential mentality in Western healthcare today. And, Melton, a major investor in health technology startups including Livongo, Tia and Calibrate, says the path to care is better than ever.
“What’s going on in our society? Chronic disease, chronic pain, diabetes and obesity,” he said. “It doesn’t require any magic pills and just a surgery. Often, there are treatment ingredients, behavioral changes and movable touch points.” Enter personalized medicine. Buji is still growing with strong framing popularity among Silicon Valley startups. It is a delivery system in which patients receive more holistic care that considers multiple symptoms or comorbidities.
In the case of hormonal health, for example, personalized medicine prescriptions may add more data and specificity to someone taking birth control instead of the normal process of testing and error. Basically, it is the opposite of intervention medicine. “We’re not just an arm or a leg, we’re not just obese or diabetic or painful,” Melton said. “How do we treat you as a whole person?”
A number of organizations are using this method to restore the treatment of patients (MSK) and the care of patients with chronic pain. These conditions are usually treated with addictive opioids, a major public health concern. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, so entrepreneurs are working on solutions that are not like cookie-cutter stability. And the money market must have:
In 2017, the global MSK Medical market was valued at $57.4 billion; the chronic pain market, which overlaps with MSK medicine, is projected to hit $151.7 billion by 2030. “Often it’s not a new concept, it’s a combination of multiple factors that make a startup work as a result of transient change,” says Melton, about the boom and recent activity of MSK medicine. Today, we suffer from chronic pain and MSK-related conditions: clearing, piercing and wrist health.