Variety in Digital Health: 2020 Yearly Report


When we began this research study, a couple of essential concerns were on our minds to much better understand diversity in digital health:

  • Are there significant distinctions in representation in between digital health management and the basic population (i.e., the people health care business seek to serve)?
  • Does identity play a role in the degree to which different groups of creators gain access to capital?
  • Exist differences in how creators of different races and ethnic cultures experience the obstacles of constructing a company in digital health?

Led by curiosity and a data-driven frame of mind, we created a 33-question survey to hear directly from leaders in digital health– we included supervisors, directors, VPs, C-suite executives, and founders. After evaluating 678 survey respondents– we can state “yes” to the questions above, for our study population.

Our study method

We surveyed leaders– supervisors and above– at United States digital health startups from July 17 through September sixth, 2020. Study respondents were inquired about the attributes of the business they work for, experiences they have actually had structure and leading digital health startups, and their personal demographics– including, gender, race and ethnic culture, sexual preference, and special needs status. Because of the sensitive nature of a few of these questions, a trusted 3rd party de-identified all reactions (i.e., eliminating company name) and then moved the information to Rock Health and Dr. Horn. People were not asked to submit their names. All data is reported in aggregate– and can not be reported by specific, business, or fund.

Our advertising efforts were meant to reach as much of the United States digital health start-up ecosystem as possible. We shared the study through Rock Health channels (e.g., social media) and networks (e.g. portfolio business, Limited Partners). We likewise benefited from several ecosystem partners– endeavor funds, accelerators, consultancies– who shared the survey with their startup networks (thank you!). It was very important to extend the reach of the survey to people and organizations beyond our existing network to enhance the sample– and there’s more we can do to widen our reach next year. If you have concepts, let us know!

We expect that our dataset includes an oversampling of some underrepresented populations given the focus of the survey, and outreach to varied groups. The data is not a representative sample of the digital health start-up industry. Instead, it functions as a standard step that can use directional assistance to explore issues more deeply.

To supplement our quantitative information set, we sat down (virtually) with digital health financiers and entrepreneurs of color to hear their experiences and insights. In many methods, our data shows that their stories are illustrative of the experiences of lots of. We’ve included their insight and select quotes in the full report to shed light on their experiences. Thank you to the five financiers and eight entrepreneurs who provided us with their time and insights!

A Look at our Survey Respondents

Here is a total picture of the study respondents (for a total picture of respondents and division, please download the full report):

  • 678 participants who are leaders (managers, directors, VPs, C-suite executives, or founders) at US-based digital health startups.
  • Gender identity mainly matches United States Census information: 48% of DDH study participants determine as males, 49% as ladies, 1% as non-binary, and 2% did not report their gender.
  • DDH participants have greater variation from the United States Census from a race and ethnic background viewpoint. Though White representation corresponds, Asians are overrepresented among DDH respondents compared to the Census, while Blacks and Hispanics are under-represented.
  • 87% of DDH participants identify as straight (heterosexual), 4% as gay/lesbian, 2% as bisexual, 1% as queer, and 6% of participants preferred not to share their sexual preference.
  • 11% of DDH participants recognized as living with a special needs, 84% determined as not living with a special needs, and 5% chose not to divulge their status.
  • The sample consisted of 253 creators and 425 leaders (non-founder roles).