Dispensed: We rounded up the biggest surprises that could rock healthcare in 2020, and the billion-dollar startups to keep an eye on this year

In this October 10, 2018 photo, He Jiankui speaks during an interview at a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province. Mark Schiefelbein/AP


Welcome back to Dispensed, Business Insider’s weekly healthcare newsletter. This week, we’ve spent our free time mulling over whether this is the year to lean into the whole resolutions thing (Anybody have a favourite? Considering some sort of baking goal for the year).

Before we jump in – are you new to the newsletter?Start your 2020 off on the right foot by signing up here!

What a confusing week it’s been with January 1 landing directly in the middle.

We started the first half of the week following along with the sentencing of Chinese scientist He Jiankui to three years in prison. He shocked the world back in 2018 when he announced the births of two babies whose embryos had been edited to be resistant to HIV. You can read a full timeline of the controversy here.

We’ve also been setting our sights on the year ahead in healthcare, biotech and pharma. Remember that group of VCs I mentioned a couple weeks ago who shared with me their predictions for 2020? Well, as part of our conversations, I also posed the question: “What could be the biggest surprise to rock 2020?”

It’s a bit different from a prediction, and not necessarily an event that’s going to happen. Here’s what they told me.

Vc predictions 4x3

10 top healthcare VCs shared the biggest surprises that could rock 2020, from ‘Medicare for All’ to Amazon or Walmart buying a health insurer

And here are some other highlights from my conversations with the VCs:

I’ll leave you with our running list of private healthcare and biotech startups that have reached $US1 billion valuations.

I’ve been tracking the companies since January 2018, and it’s been interesting to see which companies have left the list, which ones have taken their place, and who’s been a staple on the list.

The 19 billion-dollar startups to watch that are revolutionising healthcare in 2020

Thoughts on what we should be paying attention to in 2020? Resolutions? Tips/speculations on who will be the first digital health IPO out the gate in 2020? You can reach me at [email protected], or you can reach the entire team at [email protected]

– Lydia