If there’s one thing the last two years of global pandemic has taught us, it’s that healthcare matters.

We’ve all quickly learned that everything from healthcare infrastructure (number of hospitals, beds, and ventilators), to healthcare researchers and manufacturing facilities all affect our day-to-day health.

COVID-19 has raised awareness among all of us about how investing and managing our health proactively is critical to warding off illness. This is going to make the huge healthcare industry even bigger over the next few years.

Healthcare is a massive $4 trillion industry in the United States. In fact, we spend more than $12,000 per person every year on healthcare. That’s more than double the next country.

Much of this spending is wasteful and a result of the power of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. But this offers significant opportunities for startups cutting costs and enabling preventative care.

Thanks to the pandemic-driven wave of fresh innovation in healthcare, investors can enjoy some lucrative opportunities.

Today I’m going to walk you through three exciting areas of innovation you should be paying attention to.

Medical Wearables: A $170 Billion Market

One of the coolest healthcare trends over the last few years has been the growing presence of healthcare wearables in our day-to-day life. Fitbit kicked off this trend back in 2007. Google acquired the company last year for $2.1 billion.

Since then we’ve seen smart watches like the Apple Watch becoming increasingly common as well as other devices such as sleep trackers like Oura Ring and wireless blood pressure monitors like Qardio proliferate.

In fact the global wearables market is expected to grow rapidly from an estimated $22 billion last year to a huge $170 billion by 2030.

This expected breakneck global growth is going to open many segments of opportunity for entrepreneurs. Many of these new wearable startups have been crowdfunding such as Oracle Health and Future Cardia. Keep your eyes peeled!

Personalized Medical Care: Adapt to Changing Needs

Another compelling area of innovation is personalized medical care. For centuries our medical system has been designed for mass healthcare… to handle as many patients as possible and improve their health based on a set of standard practices and treatments.

This approach has served us well, helping vaccinate billions globally, reducing deaths from childbirth, and extending lifespans.

But, increasingly the diseases we face in the United States, such as autoimmune conditions, obesity, and high blood pressure, require more personalized treatment plans. The medical system is just not set up for this today.

With wearables giving us rich insight and data on our personal health metrics, a new crop of startups is building medical products using this data to personalize our healthcare. There are several companies in this space that have crowdfunded, including Revero, AudioCardio and Gali Health.

Antimicrobials and Sanitizers: The New Normal

The pandemic has taught us to take sanitizing our hands, surfaces, public transportation and the air very seriously. Hand sanitizers have become ubiquitous in all retail locations, public transportation has adopted whole new cleaning practices, and air purification systems have boomed.

At Wavemaker, we invested in one company in this space that is doing very well: Pathspot. Pathspot light-based detection system scans customer and employee hands to detect unseen contaminants and enables best in-class hygiene standards.

The company has seen food service business adopt this technology rapidly. Afterall, it’s a market where everyone works with their hands and the risk of illness is ever present.

Our investment in Pathspot has opened our eyes to the hygiene and sanitization space more broadly. Another area we have been paying attention to is air purification and HVAC systems.

COVID has given this area a whole new impetus thanks to the role that these systems can play in COVID-proofing your home. If you don’t want to buy an air purifier you can even make a DIY-version at home!

Another fascinating hygiene station currently crowdfunding is Novalent. Their antimicrobial hand sanitizer and surface protectant are specially engineered to inhibit bacterial growth for as long as 90 days!

Healthcare in the United States is always an area where innovation will constantly push boundaries. The pandemic has redoubled public funding and awareness. And a new wave of entrepreneurs and startups are building innovative medical products for our new health challenges.

There are huge opportunities out there in this space. Watch this area closely.

Happy investing!