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Will tech, pharma come together for digital health?

January 14, 2020 / ELISE REUTER

Digital health companies have caught the eye of prominent corporate VCs. But funding rounds aside, they’ve still struggled to gain traction in a risk-averse industry. Audience members at a panel during J.P. Morgan Healthcare asked, will it take a marriage of the technology and pharmaceutical industries for them to succeed? So many companies today aren’t just life science companies or technology companies. They’re some combination of the two,  said Stacy Feld, head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation for West North America, Australia and New Zealand. She manages J&J’s investments in everything from traditional pharma startups to up-and-coming medical device companies. For example, J&J led a $25 million funding round in Carrot, a digital health startup with a smoking cessation program. It uses a carbon monoxide breath sensor to communicate with users how smoking affects their lung health. As they smoke cigarettes less, the levels of carbon monoxide decrease.