We write about new and developing healthcare and medical technologies every day. Our primary focus on wearables and devices people use in their homes extends to telehealth, AI, and many forms of digital therapeutics. We frequently communicate with representatives of various companies in the healthcare industry, but when we do so their agenda is primarily their own company or institution. CB Insights, on the other hand, collects and analyzes industry-wide surveys and data to understand the impact of technology today and in the future.

CB Insights recently reported the results of its 2020 Healthcare Survey. The 2020 survey based its findings on responses from more than 500 industry executives. The survey asked about technologies that were overrated or underrated, the relative impact of tech giants on healthcare, and the greatest opportunities for market disruption.

Skipping directly to wearables, 23% of the survey respondents placed wearables among the top 5 overrated technologies in healthcare. On the other hand, 21% chose wearables as the top 5 underrated technologies. CB Insights reported that “Perhaps the jury’s still out on wearables, and this captures the variation in how wearables are perceived across the industry.” We suggest the dichotomy may result from the industry focus of the survey respondents. All respondents were from the healthcare tech industry, but their respective involvement with and exposure to wearables likely varies significantly. An executive whose company develops robotic surgical devices, for example, would have less exposure to wearables than an exec who works in telehealth, where wearables can play a key role.

Telehealth and digital therapeutics also make both the top 5 overrated and top 5 underrated healthcare technologies. Telehealth is particularly interesting because it scored 12%, the lowest of the top 5 overrated technologies, but scored 33% of the votes of the top 5 underrated technologies. We’ll never know for sure how much COVID-19 advanced telehealth adoption, but common sense suggests the pandemic had a positive affect on telehealth applications. The appearance of mRNA vaccines in the top 5 underrated technologies at 15% is a sure sign of COVID-19 influence.

38% of the respondents voted Amazon as the tech giant with the greatest future impact on healthcare. After Amazon, 30% named Apple, 24% Google, 7% Microsoft, and 1% chose Facebook. In the last months of 2020, Amazon began shipping the Halo wearable and launched a health data management platform and pharmacy service, all good reasons for the company’s high rating. 37% of the survey respondents named chronic care management the greatest opportunity for disruption or innovation in 2021, followed by mental health (23%) and clinical trials (19%).

The CB Insights survey results present in interesting mix of healthcare tech data. We look forward to the results from next year’s survey to see if COVID-19 has similar or different impact.