Powerful financial forces are in play for health tech. Global digital health development continues to increase rapidly. Patient expectations grow in the foreground while health care cost increases show no abatement in the background. Amazon, Apple, and Google entering the healthcare and medical systems markets add more pressure.

According to international technology mergers and acquisitions advisors, Hampleton Partners, the expected combined forces of Amazon, Google, and Apple on digital health development and societal forces led to a “perfect storm” of financial activity in the second half of 2017. Almost $9 billion in public mergers and acquisitions occured during 2017 H2, amounting to a fourfold jump from the first six months of the year. KKR-funded Internet Brands bought WebMD for $2.8 billion, acquiring a lineup of other high-traffic health websites in the package… and that was just the second-largest deal of the half-year. The largest was Express Scripts‘ $3.6 billion acquisition of health claims and benefits management company eviCore healthcare. Aging populations, rising obesity, diabetes, and chronic lifestyle diseases pump up the pressure for digital solutions to provide healthcare and control costs while preserving patient privacy and data security.

The stakes are running high in health tech. There will be big winners, equally large losers, and many early pioneers left behind. Hambleton’s full Healthtech M&A Market Report details the actions and reasons behind all the acquisitions and mergers last year. Current companies and hopeful entrants in digital health tech are running in the tall grass with some very big dogs, indeed.