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Digital health faces the same hurdle as fintech: Get profitable or get lost.

Hey there! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, but more specifically I’ll be at the Fintech Nexus conference today with my colleague Paige Hagy. Come say hi if you see me. Just mention the newsletter so I know you’re one of the good ones. 

Today, we’ve got stories on why Janet Yellen is freaking out about the debt ceiling, AI tools that will make you more productive at work, and the best stuff to buy at Costco, according to a food critic.

But first, take two of these and call me in the morning.


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doctors

Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

1. The doctors’ [bankers] are in.

A tech-focused section of an industry that is facing setbacks after a few monster years is ready to make some deals.

No, I’m not talking about fintech.

Digital health, once the darling of the healthcare industry, is having a tough go of it. After a pandemic-fueled surge when health services and offerings utilizing tech were prioritized, digital health has come back down to earth.

But the market downturn isn’t terminal… at least not for the entire industry. 

Insider’s Blake Dodge, Shelby Livingston, Rebecca Torrence, and Yeji Jesse Lee spoke to 16 of the top healthcare bankers and dealmakers to get predictions on the future of digital health.

In short, there are deals to be done. 

It’s obviously in a dealmakers’ best interest to call for a return of M&A, but the bankers Insider spoke with provided some thoughtful, nuanced perspective on where the industry will, and won’t, see activity.

The similarities between digital health and fintech are striking. Startups in both spaces leverage tech to upend incumbents, streamline services, and improve the overall customer experience. They’re also doing it where the stakes are high: health and money. 

Of course, it’s not just out of the goodness of their hearts. The “tech” part of their strategy, they argue, affords them a higher valuation than would traditionally be considered for companies in their respective spaces. 

It’s a pitch that while initially successful, has fallen flat as investors scrutinize startups for signs of profitability. In some cases, digital-health startups have pivoted from going direct to consumers to selling into businesses. They’ve even jumped on the generative AI bandwagon.

For both fintechs and digital health, this year has served as a reminder that they’re only partly tech companies. They still exist in industries that largely rely on fundamentals. And ideas, however grand and ambitious, need to eventually be tied to dollars and cents. 

Click here for predictions from 16 bankers and dealmakers on the future of digital health.


In other news:

A collage of browser windows with a gen z person scrolling, drawing, and taking a photo

Tyler Le/Insider

2. We’re now at threat level “catastrophic” regarding a US debt default. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen didn’t mince words when describing the impact of the debt ceiling not being raised. Here’s why she’s so worried. For more on a potential default, check out my colleague Phil Rosen’s work on the 10 Things Before the Opening Bell newsletter.

3. Credit-card fees are getting extra attention from regulators. Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked the biggest credit-card companies how much they’re profiting from those pesky late fees. It’s the latest criticism of card companies’ late fees, which cost Americans billions of dollars each year. More on how regulators are looking to change that.

4. Hustle harder. Hustle smarter. Unimpressed with the corporate grind, Gen Z is taking matters into their own hands. The young generation is Amazon reselling, crypto investing, and working at content-creation jobs, all to avoid a traditional 9-to-5 job. Meet the side-hustle generation.

5. AI tools you can use at work. If you’re looking to get in on the AI bandwagon, here’s a helpful guide. These 10 AI-powered tools can do everything from write emails to build slide decks. So read this and get to work on being able to not have to work.

6. Vanguard is making billions of dollars in the most Vanguard way possible. It’s not sexy or exciting, but the giant asset manager’s bond indexing business has been minting money for the firm, Bloomberg reports. Here’s how the sleepy business is posting big returns.

7. Even banks hate dealing with your paper checks. The old-school method of payment is still ripe with fraud, and banks sometimes struggle to reimburse victims quickly, The Wall Street Journal reports. Which begs the question: Why are we still paying with these things?

8. This luxury Swiss watchmaker went from obscurity to a one-year waitlist. Parmigiani Fleurier, which sounds like a dish my grandma used to cook for me, has exploded onto the watch scene seemingly overnight, Bloomberg reports. Here’s how a new CEO, and a single line of watches, turned things around.  

9. The exclusive all-inclusive resort. Long considered a place to get cheap booze and mediocre food, some all-inclusive resorts are catering to a more luxurious crowd, The New York Times reports. Ditch the spring breakers, and check out these high-end resorts.

10. A critic goes to Costco. Don’t worry, this is not a criticism of our beloved Costco. Instead, a food critic shares the 12 things she loves to buy at the store. Add these to your next food-shopping list.


Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email ddefrancesco@insider.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 

 

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