Black digital health company leaders receive significantly less funding than white, Asian counterparts

The lack of diversity among digital health company leadership could increase the possibility they are creating healthcare tools that further health disparities, according to Rock Health’s 2020 report on diversity in digital health.

Between July and September 2020, digital health seed fund Rock Health surveyed more than 650 digital health company founders and leaders to measure the industry’s baseline of racial and ethnic diversity.

The survey found more than half of white and Asian founders received venture capital funding, whereas just 24 percent of Black founders did. Black founders also were more likely to be from the South (38 percent) and Midwest (20 percent) than the West (4 percent) and Northeast (9 percent). The latter two regions house the nation’s biggest concentration of capital.

Responses also revealed that Black people make up 13 percent of the country’s population but just 8 percent of digital health leadership teams, and Latinx people make up 19 percent of the country’s population but just 6 percent of digital health leadership teams. The survey also found Asian Americans are overrepresented in the industry’s leadership, as the group makes up 6 percent of the country’s population but 20 percent of digital health leadership teams.

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