Health IT

Mark Cuban talks healthcare investing: Soon our bodies will be big math equations

Billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban said healthcare entrepreneurs would be better off pursuing the direct-to-consumer market rather than trying to get their technology into hospitals. He views sensors and big data analytics as potential game changers in healthcare that will help physicians do a better job of understanding their patients needs beyond the range of […]

Billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban said healthcare entrepreneurs would be better off pursuing the direct-to-consumer market rather than trying to get their technology into hospitals. He views sensors and big data analytics as potential game changers in healthcare that will help physicians do a better job of understanding their patients needs beyond the range of a doctor’s experience and the demographic profile patients fit.

Cuban spoke with MedCity News during a break at the Impact Pediatric health pitch event at SXSW, which he emceed.

“Sensors are the next opportunity,” Cuban said. He also voiced his enthusiasm for companies like 23andMe and Theranos, which are making it easier for people to get blood tests and gain insights about their health without having to go through a hospital or physician practice.

He noted that once companies get FDA clearance for their devices, they are not necessarily pursuing hospitals to adopt them. As an example, Theranos has partnered with Walgreens. Although he emphasized that he can appreciate the challenges involved with balancing the interests of the hospital administration, regulation, community relationships, insurers and their patients, healthcare outside of hospitals is growing. Urgent care centers is one area. So are drugstore clinics.

“Data [analytics] is taking us to new levels of healthcare, but we need to be interested in investing to accumulate that data,” he said.

Later, Cuban was asked by his fellow emcee for the Impact Pediatric pitch event, Xconomy Texas Editor Angela Shah, what were his takeaways from the companies that presented. Cuban referenced several startups with products that rely on sensors such as Owlet Baby Care, which embedded a pulse oxymeter sensor in a sock, to Nuvo Group, which uses a wearable embedded with sensors to support pregnant mothers. He noted that many were off-the-shelf technologies.

“We are transitioning to a point where…as computers become smarter our bodies just become big math equations.”

Just over one year ago Cuban voiced his enthusiasm for the mobile health sector when he invested in Validic in 2013. The company has gone on to develop a diverse group of partners using its aggregation tool.

Update: This story has been updated from an earlier version.