Entrepreneurs and Startups are Transforming Healthcare Right Now

Similar to the tech industry, the growth of the healthcare industry has inevitably spurred a new market for healthcare startups. According to a recently published CIO article, venture funding has consistently increased since 2012. Healthcare records and processes are moving online and, because of this, doctors and patients are expecting mobile/remote solutions. Entrepreneurs are stepping up and leading the innovation charge with new startups that focus on helping patients visit doctors remotely, tracking patient medicine regimens or getting a diagnosis from a doctor thousands of miles away.

In this blog, we’ll reveal the leaders of the health startup movement and show you some of the top emerging healthcare startups you should know about.

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StartUp Health’s Army of Entrepreneurs

If you aren’t familiar with StartUp Health, it’s an organization that is carving out a new model for transforming health by organizing and support a global army of health entrepreneurs. Essentially StartUp Health is a global network of portfolio companies that are passionate about rejuvenating the future of health. After six years into their 25 year mission, StartUp Health boasts an impressive portfolio of over 195 companies.

Startup accelerators like StartUp Health are playing an increasingly important role in the startup communities around the United States and the world.  What does a startup accelerator do? Primarily, they focus on supporting early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentorship and financing, according to the Harvard Business Review. The key is that startups only enter accelerators for a fixed period of time as part of a cohort of companies. The acceleration process is reportedly intense, fast -paced and immersive when it comes to education. With the help of a startup accelerator, entrepreneurs can compress years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months, according to HBR.

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2017 Startups Transforming Healthcare

Last November, HCRI wrote a blog that highlighted a few of the top startups to watch out for in 2017. Now that we’re halfway through the year, we’re going to revisit and update our list of startups to watch. Many of the following startups have found support in San Francisco’s Rock Health, an incubator helping startups find their way in a healthcare industry that is notoriously difficult to enter.

CakeHealth: Cake Health is a startup focused on helping consumers better manage their healthcare expenses. The average family spends between $10,000-$20,000 a year on healthcare–that’s no small chunk of change when you factor in other expenses. With CakeHealth, you enter your provider and it pulls all your costs and tells you where they went. Additionally, it also tracks claims that were denied.

OmadaHealth: This healthcare startup’s mission is to address and attack the costly problem of chronic diseases, particularly diabetes. OmadaHealth can be thought of as a social support, shared experience and trust network to “treat” and diagnose pre-diabetes. Insurance companies are particularly interested in this solution because the “net present value of avoiding a single case of diabetes is known to be $55,000,” according to Fast Company.

BitGym: BitGym “wants to turn cardio into video games so exercise-haters can actually have fun on the stationary bike,” according to Fast Company. According to BitGym, their research shows that while most households have an exercise machine, they are rarely, if ever, used. The BitGym app is already in the Apple queue for approval and they hope to be a producer of MMOGs for those that are averse to cardio.

CellScope: This startup’s app uses your smartphone’s camera and imaging capability to assist in the diagnosis of ear and skin infections via an Otoscope or dermatoscope. These tools provide mobile magnification, illumination, calibration and computer vision for decision support. The pilot program has already been funded by the FDA and will be carried out at EmorY University.

Pipette: A tracker app with the goal of reducing complications and improving recovery times for people who are discharged from hospitals. According to Fast Company, “[Pipette] fills the education gap between the hospital’s cryptic discharge instructions and what is necessary to prevent costly hospital readmissions.” Right now, Pipette is developing content with Harvard Medical School and piloting with the Mayo Clinic.


The Big Healthcare Industry Shakeup

The process of healthcare transformation is happening all around us. On the one hand, healthcare is being transformed by legislation and the inevitable revision of the Affordable Care Act. However, the other side of healthcare transformation is being driven by innovators, technological discovery and entrepreneurs like those we highlighted above.

Without startup accelerators and incubators like StartUp Health and Rock Health, much of the innovation we see emerging around us wouldn’t be possible. Given the growth of accelerators over the last few years, most agree that they are a positive addition to the startup ecosystem around the country and the world. While some may not make a difference, Rock Health and StartUp Health clearly do, and they are best poised to meaningfully improve the odds of success for the startups that graduate for them.



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