Where Healthcare Startups in USA need to spend more attention?

Thanks frank mckenna for this!

Of late, healthcare startups in USA have seen major ups and downs.

The surge of new solutions, the rise of exciting innovations, the foray of bigger players- healthcare sector looks exciting.

We have helped some of the thriving healthcare startups and understand their challenges. We will discuss on it but before that one big silver lining here.

Healthcare startups have a lucrative market to bet on. How big? Let’s introspect-

The Demand:

Healthcare is a huge market in USA driven by massive and diverse demand-

Data Source

We churn out more data to understand the healthcare expenses of the USA and we find out the most demanding are-

  • Hospital Care
  • Physician and clinical services
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Administration and net cost of private health insurance

Needless to say, this is a huge market.

Question is, how well the healthcare startups have been able to align their solutions to the market-need?

The Offerings:

Here is a list of 106 startups who are daring to transform the USA healthcare sector wit new-age technologies.

All these startups are trying to serve wide pool of audience-

Patient Data and Risk Analytics
Medical Imaging and Diagnostics
Lifestyle Management and Monitoring
Nutrition
Emergency Room & Surgery
In-Patient Care & Hospital Management
Wearables
Virtual Assistants
Drug Discovery
Mental Health

The Big Players:

No wonder, tech giants will try to capture this large market with their innovations.

Google, Amazon, Apple have tried several times to gate crash into healthcare market time and again. Though there has not been any roaring success for them so far but it seems they are learning from their lessons and focused more than ever.

Apple CEO Tim Cook summed up their attitude nicely “We’re extremely interested in this area — and yes, it is a business opportunity.”

Now all the tech giants are investing time and money to build new healthcare products, acquire promising healthcare startups, building small but strong team to R & D more and more.

On top of that, finally they are sticking to their strength to have a breakthrough.

Google’s “brain” group is using their expertise in machine learning to analyze and aggregate medical data on behalf of big hospitals, rather than attempting to create a consumer product like Google Health.
Apple is betting upon their wearable device Apple Watch to help their customers to stay healthy.
While Apple is aiming the wearable market, Amazon is focusing on their core strength, supply chain, logistics and customer experience. In June, the marketplace giant has acquired PillPack which gives it a golden opportunity in selling pharmaceuticals to Amazon Prime members.

The Truth:

Despite all the buzzwords, excellent innovations, there has not been any big promise.

The healthcare industry is yet to be shaped out and the startups are yet to cash in big numbers excluding few good news here and there.

So, what’s stopping them?

We sit with massive startup failure list published by CNB Insights and try to identify the most compelling challenges for the healthcare startups in recent years.

Healthspot

A telemedicine healthcare service shut down when their service failed to crack the product-market puzzle.

According to Schoenberg [CEO of American Well Roy], is that HealthSpot required patients and providers to pre-arrange appointments; it was not truly telemedicine on demand.

Patient Communicator

Physician designed, cloud based communications and practice management platform for primary care practices also shut down when they could not identify whether they have real demand of their solution.

Report said, “This is a longer discussion but I realized, essentially, that we had no customers because no one was really interested in the model we were pitching.

So, what drives success in healthcare industry?

Jason Gorevic, CEO of telemedicine company Teladoc, expressed his belief that there are three critical elements to success in this industry segment-

The technology platform
Clinical capabilities
Consumer engagement

As the healthcare demand (from Nutrition to Personal Assistant to Best Communication tool) is widespread and emerging startups are trying to find their share of consumers, the choice of technology and finding the demand for the product are making all differences.

Not just CBI Insights’ report, we learned the secrets from our experience as well.

Our Experience:

We witnessed how the Right Technology, User Experience and Product-Market fit are the areas where healthcare startups need to spend most of their attention.

Yes, like other startups, they also struggle to find the investment but the data we have showed clearly tell us the market is lucrative for them.

All they need to do is to make their product best for their target audience.

Easy to say but tough to execute! Working with some thriving healthcare startups in USA, we understand the compelling need.

Product-Market Fit:

We engaged with Mindful Meal, the diet management application from the idea stage.

The founder wanted to develop a diet management system to suggest highly personalized meal plans and grocery lists for busy families.

As we were working with him from his initial days, we plunged heavily into studying the problem, competition & target audience of Mindful Meal. This helped to build the application which market and audience need.

The success of Mindful Meal underlines the need of product-market fit for a startup ready to get into healthcare sector.

User-Experience:

A healthcare solution needs to have seamless and intuitive user experience. UI and UX play a pivotal role.

Femwell, a healthcare solutions which allowed doctors to make and view referrals approached us to revamp their application.

We worked from the ground up, made modifications, brought both major and subtle UX/UI changes from the ground up for their existing app.

Working with Femwell, we understand the healthcare startups don’t have any room to compromise with the UI and UX while building their product and best to make it user-friendly from day one.

Choosing the Right Tech Stack

We have been fortunate to work with diverse healthcare startups to help them in resolving their different needs.

MDLive, a telehealth application, needed tech-migration support. MDLive was hungry for growth when they approached us.

We needed to support them with the best of technology very quickly. The technology has played an important role in MDLive growing from a startup looking for funds few years ago, to a company on the verge of an IPO.

Our Understanding

The healthcare market is getting competitive day by day and startups are not scared to try with new technologies, AI to ML.

But, all we need to do is to sit quietly, check back and forth and take cautious step as often solutions of healthcare startups are too critical to turn their audience into lab rats!

It’s smart for any healthcare startup to be sure from day one, do the right R & D and start with the best of technology instead of making headlines with outrageous claim.

That’s our takeaways so far.

Epilogue

No doubt, the healthcare is a sector full of opportunities and bottleneck competition.

Today, the healthcare in USA is not just limited among the startups but with the inclusion of the tech giants, the competition is widespread. No big success for big players has opened up the ground and also highlight how challenging the sector is and will be going forward.

Unlike other startups field, healthcare so far is not “Startups vs Tech Giants”. The field is open, promising and inviting best, brave brains to make a difference.