The healthcare space is adapting at a rapid pace and the startup ecosystem is one of the major reasons why this is happening so quickly. 

If one looks at some of the most far-reaching changes in healthcare tech over the last decade alone, they will observe a major spike in the role startups play within the healthcare niche. These surfacing organizations are flexible, lean, and determined and will continue to shape the industry on a global scale moving forward.

Technology has been the greatest driver of startup success and is one of the major reasons the total digital health market in the United States is predicted to reach 90 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

We will be looking at a few ways technology is helping healthcare startups streamline their operations and improve overall care quality. If you’re starting or managing a healthcare startup, these are trends you need to be aware of.

1. Artificial intelligence for enhanced speed and efficiency

The developments happening in artificial intelligence (AI) allow startups to easily automate everything. From the collection of data of a patient using a Natural Language Processing (NLP) approach to analyzing their medical history. It allows you to compare the information previously entered into the system including historical data and medical knowledge. Ultimately, combining all this information into a digital assistant. 

Using this particular technique helps maintain doctor and hospital’s office capacity. This also mitigates the risk of infecting others or getting infected as the patient doesn’t need to leave their home. Which is especially helpful during a pandemic or public health crisis like the one we are currently facing.

Denver-based Sopris Health utilizes an AI-powered solution that automates the process of categorizing, collecting, documenting, and analyzing patients’ clinical history, symptoms, and feedback. Using a smartwatch/ smartphone transcribing app, clinicians can easily inspect the patient and gather insights and feedback. Instead of taking constant notes to form documentation at a later time, this active transcription makes the process more accurate and efficient.

For startups targeting both growth and exposure — leveraging technology, and deploying it to streamline your customers‘ workflow is really the best solution. Not only does it enhance patient care, but it also improves speed and efficiency on the part of the provider. The more your startup can provide faster and accurate solutions, the more likely you’ll grow.

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2. Data-driven approach for improved care

Technology helps contribute to patient-centered care by fostering communication between patients and providers through online portals, email, and text messaging. It also expands their access to vital information sources such as online medical records, which can augment self-monitoring and place control in their hands to quite some extent.

Healthcare technology in the form of a smart patient assistant possesses the potential to facilitate mutually-beneficial and protracted relationships with patients. This is especially valuable for those with chronic conditions that require continual remote care over a period of time.

Grand Rounds, a San Francisco based startup, acts like a healthcare assistant that provides employees access to high-quality medical care within their insurance network. The company’s platform leverages data science to swiftly match an employee to the right specialist that’s in their network. The company’s app also comes packed with personalized medical reading suggestions and tips, as well as, an activity stream that precisely monitors medical spending.

Like with this example, the Grand Rounds team combines technology, clinical expertise, and data to connect and guide people to the highest quality healthcare available. For your healthcare startup to succeed, identify ways to ameliorate patient care by harnessing the potential of personalized care technology.

3. Connected environment for faster results

As one of the most important industries today, healthcare must look to implement solutions that enable successful data exchange. The goal, to help patients stop ferrying their medical records from facility to facility. Better care truly starts with interoperability — the ability for computers and software to exchange and use information.

A recent study found that a robust primary care system can help intercept illness, reduce health care costs, and manage patient care across multiple providers. Essential to such a system is fruitful communication and interoperability. To direct patients’ needs, physicians are often required to communicate and exchange information with hospitals, specialists, other care settings, social service providers—and, of course, the patients themselves.

Mobileoptx, a medical equipment startup, developed an innovative hardware device that enables physicians to capture endoscopic examinations by means of an iPhone. 

However, the company’s hardware solution lacked a mobile app that could enable physicians and other members of the clinical care team to harness the recordings collected at the point of care in a meaningful manner. Physicians were using their iPhone’s native camera and then using their phone’s messaging or email applications to send their photos or video recordings for further reviewing. 

MobileOptx went to Sempercon, an app development company, in need of guidance on how to introduce connectivity to their hardware device. They wanted their mHealth app to enable physicians to record their endoscopic examinations with high definition photos and/or video data and digitally share or store this data.

The latter then explained the technical and procedural requirements of connecting their medical equipment to the internet. This was more than a simple mHealth undertaking—Sempercon produced a strategy for implementing a smart IoT solution that their engineers next developed.

As you launch your healthcare startup, your service/solution must enable interconnectivity between devices, software, and organizations. If you lack the ability to do so, identify potential partnerships that can make it possible.

Leverage technology to succeed

Startups planning on carving a niche for themselves within the healthcare space must constantly look at ways to reinvent a sense of connection between the healthcare provider and care seekers. Any idea that revolves around this logic and is backed by technology will help them propel forward and forge their path toward success.

If you’re looking to leverage technology to successfully start your own healthcare business, you’ll need to develop a business plan. You can check out our library of Medical & Health Sample Plans, or try out a step-by-step planning tool like LivePlan to get started.

AvatarRahul Varshneya

Rahul Varshneya is the founder and President of Digital Health Consulting firm Arkenea and has written extensively about the confluence of healthcare, startup economy, and technology.