McKesson Makes Aggressive Move

Michele Warg
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McKesson's move to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding for health care information technology anticipates a growing digital marketplace. According to managing director Tom Rogers, McKesson will invest in 15 to 25 start-up health care companies in the next two to three years and plans to spend several hundred million dollars across four major areas of digital technology and health care within five to eight years.

McKesson's multimillion-dollar venture capital investment will fund solutions designed to meet the needs of a growing population of digital device users. Although consumers' use of this technology is steadily rising, not all patients are computer literate or will be in the future. However, even those patients who aren't comfortable accessing medical information and services online, through smartphones or via social media will benefit from McKesson's ambitious investment in the health care industry.

Millenials, the largely tech-savvy generation born between 1979 and 1993, are a driving force in the marketplace, demanding digital health care processes and support services. McKesson's strategic venture capital investment in direct-to-consumer companies will fund the development of medical technologies that provide access to health information online and support self-control in decision-making. These services will allow patients to participate more directly in their own wellness and care through the use of digital research and guidance programs.

In addition to investing significant venture capital in health care information technology, McKesson will focus funding on start-up companies that provide non-digital alternative health care methods to patients with special needs. Practices like house calls and telehealth make services convenient and accessible to patients with limited mobility. This access will prove increasingly important as large numbers of baby boomers start turning 70 in 2016.

Employers and doctors also stand to benefit from McKesson's venture capital commitment. Workplace wellness technologies will enable employers to promote the health and well being of their employees and assist them in accessing health care resources. Data management and analysis software will provide doctors easier storage of and access to the enormous amounts of information necessary in all areas of their work.

Many companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield have made major investments in health care and digital information technologies. However, many others have pulled or frozen their funding, leaving critical gaps in health care technology investment. McKesson is well on its way to filling many of these gaps and becoming the most active venture capital investor in the health care sector.

An investment in health care is an investment in the health and well being of both people and the economy. Unfortunately, the health care industry has earned a reputation as a risky investment because many firms have performed poorly due to financial mismanagement and other blunders. McKesson intends to reverse that trend with experienced venture capital managers and professionals who will actively support the growth of companies post-investment.


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