Dion Madsen

Dion Madsen

A reporter recently asked us the question, “Why invest in healthcare?”  Our response was to outline all of the business and financial reasons for why this is a tremendous time for healthcare investment.  For example, how this is a $10 trillion global market that is undergoing a tremendous transformation and incorporating new technologies as countries seek to maintain or enhance the health of their citizens and improve the efficiencies of their delivery systems.  While this isn’t a new effort, as evidenced by Churchill,

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” 

— Winston Churchill

this transformation is occurring at an unprecedented pace of change as health systems take on the challenge of expanding populations, populations that are increasing in age, have increasing incidence of lifestyle oriented health conditions and that demand the latest in medical technology.  To tackle this, payers, whether they are governments, insurance companies or employers face a fork in the road.  The easy choice in the past was to employ the short term focused tools of rationing, such as, raising premiums, deductibles, waiting lists, formularies in the hope that the expenditure could be offloaded, postponed or avoided entirely.  While mildly effective in the short run, these tools fail to address real consumer engagement and population health.  Encouragingly, recent health care reform legislation in the U.S., and policy shifts across the world are rethinking this approach and are seeking to engage health consumers in deciding when, where and how they access healthcare and to incorporate an understanding of the costs.

While this investment opportunity is exciting, I don’t think that it fully answers the question that the reporter posed.  There really is something more to investing in healthcare than the great ROI.  Of course there is the “geek out” factor of learning more and more about the amazing functioning and complexity of the human body and the human genome, the integration of leading edge physics to peer inside the body or detect substances at a single molecule level, understanding the latest in mobile technology and low power communication for remote sensors and security, encryption and structured data for the sharing of health information, but there is something more than that.  What I am talking about it the deep connection to the improvement of the human condition.  It is that connection and the deep desire to have a significant positive impact on the lives of so many people that brought our investing team together.  While our team of Gary Bantle, Amine Benmoussa, Ela Borenstein, Dion Madsen and Jean-François Pariseau have known each other for some time, it is this shared passion that brings us together and drives our effort and mission.

In conjunction with the announcement of our new fund capital, we are pleased to launch this new blog that we want to become a forum of ideas on health care transformation.  We want to start a dialogue on the challenges that we face as we drive ideas to fruition and bring technology to fruition.  We also want to use it to build a relationship with our community and discuss what is working or not in the relationship between VCs and entrepreneurs and seek to find common ground.  Finally, we want to use it to communicate who we are, why we think what we think, what vexes us about healthcare, what makes us perplexed, what we find interesting, cool and compelling.  We hope that you find the content interesting, illuminating and occasionally humorous.

Welcome to the future of healthcare, join us in the journey!

Dion Madsen

Dion Madsen

Those that know me well, know that my favorite words are “Super”, “Great” and “Awesome”. The geek part of me is energized solving the complexity of biology and improving the delivery of care.  I learned patience, hard work and entrepreneurship growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan and teamwork in the rinks and ballfields of my hometown.  After working in Europe and then dealing with bare-knuckle politics in Saskatchewan, I migrated west to Alberta where I began to hang out with some crazy guys doing something called “the Internet” which led to me being the CFO of a publicly-traded company.  After selling the company, I crossed over to the VC side and during a meeting with a vaccine company I had the epiphany of “I can make money and help people at the same time? Awesome!” and I have been working for or financing healthcare companies ever since.

read more