Top 10 Healthcare Startups that are delivering real value
These Health Startups are fundamentally changing the way we understand and utilize our health care making life a little easier.
Healthcare Startups have a positive future thanks to Obamacare, a generation that prefers getting services online, and again a new generation of doctors who are as anxious as their patients to change the model. These aspiring founders have access not only to capital, but also strategic partnerships and mentoring from some of the experienced players in the industry.
Almost to an average Joe, the founders don't come from a healthcare background, which works to the advantage of the industry as they look at healthcare problems with fresh eyes.
Health startups are dealing with insurance providers, hospitals, and doctors’ offices, as well as the large corporations that provide health benefits to their employees. That’s where the scope for a technological overhaul is.
“There’s a broad transformation within health care that can happen — not where a startup becomes Apple, but where startups work with big health care institutions and providers to transform how they deliver care,” says Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist, former adviser to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Description: Healthcare Booking
Created In 2007, ZocDoc looked to provide the citizens of New York an easy way to make dentist appointments online. Six years later, the Company serves over 60 fields of expertise and is being used by over 4 million patients/month across 1,900+ cities. The Company’s website allows you to search by medical specialty, along with your insurance provider and zip code. With one click, all of the doctors in the selected field in your area and insurance network are displayed— and you can instantly book an appointment online. In July this year, the Company’s patient bookings went up by 200%.
Last year, ZocDoc introduced its first major product called- ZocDoc Check-In. The feature allows patients to fill out their medical forms online in advance of their visit and saves their information for future visits as well. This capability was the #1 most requested feature to date.
In August 2013, ZocDoc created ZocDoc Health Marketplace Resource – a website providing patients with analysis of the Health Insurance Marketplaces based on the Affordable Care Act, helping them make more informed healthcare choices.
With America’s largest real-time database of available appointments, ZocDoc continues to be the leader of this service—even adding an app for your phone. The Company also has a blog that offers information on everything from different medical conditions to healthy lifestyle practices.
Description: Focusing on iPad Healthcare
Different industry professionals are increasingly using mobile devices to do all their work, and physicians are no exception. The drchrono iPad Patient Care Platform provides additional capabilities to doctors to manage their practices with an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or laptop. The Company’s free EHR helps physicians perform activities such as maintaining electronic medical records using speech-to-text, attaching photos and videos, performing electronic prescribing, billing any U.S. insurance company online, and allowing patients to check in with their tablets. The Over the last year the company has seen exponential growth, going from a small user base of hundreds to more than 15,000 registered healthcare providers and more than 400,000 patients.
Description: Providing new ways to patients to pay their bills
Describing itself as the Mint.com of healthcare, Simplee helps people reduce and manage their out-of-pocket healthcare costs which, on average, run about $3,600 a year for a family of four. The platform guides you on how much money you’ve spent on healthcare, the status of your insurance deductible, balance and transactions in your health savings account, and showing errors in your bill (according to sources about 80% of bills contain them.) The company is also working on an insurance plan recommendation engine and a customized medical cost comparison. Since launching in 2011, Simplee has managed over $2B in health expenses and processes millions of payments across thousands of providers each month.
Simplee®PAY, one of the Company’s key innovations is a cloud-based platform that engages patients and shifts payments to online/mobile minimizing the need for collection agencies.
Simplee®Wallet, Company’s popular consumer service complements Simplee®PAY by enabling patients to manage and pay all their family medical bills in a centralized place.
The Startup received $10M in Series B funding in September this year.
Description: Electronic Medical Records
While some healthcare organizations are installing costly enterprise systems and using Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Practice Fusion’s software can be set up in less than five minutes with no downtime or extensive training. Introduced in 2005, this cloud based system is completely free so even the smallest medical practices can use the technology. This makes Practice Fusion the fastest growing EMR community in the U.S. with over 150,000 medical users having access to the health records of 33 million patients.
Description: Next-Generation primary care
The Startup believes in allowing spending more quality time with your doctor and less time in the waiting room. Founded by Dr. Tom X. Lee, the Company’ centers are located in San Francisco, D.C. and New York, Providing service seen in hospitality industry, patients are given the time and care not often seen in today’s medical offices.
The physicians see, only 16 patients per day—about 9 less than the average doctor, allowing patients more quality time with their doctors. The website allows patients to log in to their personal account to book same-day appointments, view medical records and even refill prescriptions—saving an extra trip to the doctor. The Startup also allows patients to email their doctor directly with questions and even treatment updates.
Description: Online professional network for verified U.S. physicians
This LinkedIn-like site for doctors lets them consult and collaborate with peers who may have expertise they need to treat difficult cases. The profiles of physicians provide information like training, insurance they accept languages they speak, papers they’ve written, clinical trials they’ve conducted and more—all of which is searchable. About 1,000 doctors are joining the network every week and they get paid for being there. Doximity also connects its physicians with market research firms that need expert input on things like new medical devices that are in development. The Doctors present on Doximity can get paid $250-$500 an hour to hand over their opinions on such matters. As of August 2013, Doximity had over 200,000 active physician members since its launch in March 2011.
Description: Social Network for Health & Wellness
Taking advantage of the educational power of the Internet, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold created Sharecare—an interactive Q&A platform that allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness.
Renowned physicians, leading medical professionals and MDs offer the most current treatment solutions, nutrition information and much more. Business brands answer questions about their products, so users can make an informed decision about their well-being.
Sharecare also has an A-Z reference library for many medical topics. Simply type in a question and get instant answers from top medical professionals around the world. Launched in 2010 and based in Atlanta, GA, Sharecare was created in partnership with Harpo Studios, HSW International, Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications.
Description: Wearable, smart bionic devices
This ultra-high-tech startup is striving to deploy latest engineering to overcome current physical limitations and augment human mobility. Originally Berkeley Bionics, Ekso Bionics was founded in Berkeley, California in 2005. The Company makes robotic exoskeletons that allow paralyzed people to walk. CEO Eythor Bender has high hopes for the future of this product. “We’re starting with soldiers and paralyzed people because their needs are great and the opportunity for funding is better. But you can imagine exoskeletons for workers using tools too heavy to hold for more than a few minutes. And a consumer version for people who want to run a marathon or climb Mount Kilimanjaro,” Bender told Fast Company.
Description: A Privately-held Fertility Company
Launched in 2011, OvaScience was co-founded by several Ph.Ds. from the Boston-based healthcare VC fund Longwood Fund and Harvard Medical School. The Startup’s patented technology helps in increasing the success rate of in vitro fertilization and improving the quality of eggs with the help of a woman’s own cellular energy. In the U.S. infertility affects more than 7.3 million women or one in eight couples of childbearing age. The company has assembled a world-class team of leading reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, scientists and advisers to provide IVF service to patients.
Description: Social network for fitness
Whether you dread exercise or you’re an advanced athlete, Fitocracy can take you to your next level of fitness.
Built by video game addicts, Fitocracy’s conception idea is an inspiration. Co-founder Dick Talens and co-founder Brian Wang are former out-of-shape nerds turned bodybuilders who thought of turning fitness into a game. Thus the birth of Fitocracy. Their story has garnered a huge fan-following from early Fitocracy users.
The social network lets you plan your workouts and compete with others. It also rewards you for with points as well as analyzes your progress and makes suggestions on how you can improve. Even though the company hasn’t spent a dime on marketing; it now has more than 250,000 users who have logged more than two million workouts since its inception in 2010. Fitocracy has a mobile app for both iOS and Android.
Top 10 healthcare innovations for 2019
We take a look at some of the top 10 healthcare innovations which are transforming the sector
The telehealth market is booming. Consumers are leading increasingly busy lifestyles, with up to 60% favouring digitally-led services. Providing clinical care at a distance, increasing accessibility and eradicating potential delays has given patients greater control, boosting patient satisfaction and overall engagement. Such is its exponential growth, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the US has recently released its proposed Physician Fee Schedule and Qualified Payment Programme updates for 2019, where telehealth services has been heavily featured, in order to deliver ‘different access points’ for patients.
9. Mobile technology
Consumers have become accustomed to accessing their data through the use of various digital tools, where the use of mobile and tablet health apps has tripled from 13% in 2014 to 48% today. Catering to this growing market, British based start-up Babylon Health is making waves on a global scale. Partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) and private health provider, Bupa, it has also cemented its presence across the flourishing Chinese market, with a membership base exceeding 1.4mn citizens across Europe, Asia and Africa. By partnering with global juggernaut Tencent, Babylon’s artificial intelligence system has enabled both parties to interact directly with users, identify specific illnesses, deliver health status assessments, and triage necessary actions. The mobile app is available to over a billion users and linked to more than 38,000 medical facilities in China alone.
8. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) applications, such as predictive analytics for patient monitoring has provided significant financial savings. Applications that target hospitals and medical institutions include patient monitoring and transcribing notes for electronic health records (EHRs). The European Union is set to invest $24bn into artificial intelligence (AI) by 2020 in a bid to catch up with Asia and the US, who have invested heavily in AI and cloud services. This year, Google revealed its plans to harness AI and machine learning across a multitude of consumer technologies, particularly in healthcare. “If AI can shape healthcare, it has to work through the regulations of healthcare. In fact, I see that as one of the biggest areas where the benefits will play out for the next 10-20 years,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai has previously stated.
Blockchain is estimated to reach over $5.61bn by the end of 2025, even though it remains dependent on the ability to record and store information conveniently, economically and securely amongst different applications and systems. Providing transparency and eliminating third-party intermediaries, processes are streamlined, reducing healthcare costs exponentially. Unlocking the ability for providers to deliver a value-based healthcare system and enhance patient engagement, blockchain could save the industry up to $100-$150bn per year by 2025 in data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations costs, support function costs and personnel costs, according to BIS Research. Partnering with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ethereum blockchain-based supply chain platform, Viant sought to accelerate the pace of blockchain-based supply chain systems. Accenture and supply chain giant DHL have also developed a blockchain-based serialisation prototype which tracks pharmaceuticals from the point of origin to the consumer.
6. Health wearables
With the rise of lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, more consumers are turning to health wearables that monitor glucose, heart rate, physical activity and sleep to gain a greater understanding of their health conditions. Following on from the release of the first Bluetooth headset back in 2000, the growing interest in wearables has seen monitoring our health and data become standardised. This data can be analysed by sophisticated algorithms to drive long-term diagnosis and support. Partnering with Google, health wearables company Fitbit is exploring the development of consumer and enterprise health solutions. Its acquisition of HIPAA-compliant health platform, Twine Health has seen the business enhance its clinical services by bringing on board a coaching platform, empowering people to seek better health outcomes.
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5. Electronic health records tools
From 2018-2022, the electronic health records (EHR) market is expected to grow at a compound average rate of 6% per year Providers and organisations continue to house fragmented technologies which create barriers towards collaboration and data sharing opportunities. This is further exacerbated if a patient straddles both public and private healthcare. Technology giant Apple has integrated patients’ medical records into its Health App as part of its iOS 11.3 beta. The data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode. Partnering with hospital providers and clinics, patients are now able to view their medical records from multiple providers within one platform. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine, UC San Diego Health and even the Cleveland Clinic have implemented this technology.
4. Healthcare transportation
Non-emergency health transportation remains a key issue worldwide, preventing patients from getting to or from a doctor’s appointment. 25% of lower-income patients have missed or rescheduled appointments due to lack of transportation, costing US health systems up to $150bn each year. Transportation companies such as Lyft and Uber have therefore entered the market by partnering with state governments to reduce these costs and deliver personalised patient care.
3. 3D Printing
Healthcare providers are set to represent the second largest industry sector in 3D manufacturing. The Food & Drug Administration’s decision to release its first comprehensive framework advising manufacturers of 3D medical products highlights its growing impact where more than 100,000 knee replacement surgeries are completed each year using 3D-printed, patient-matched surgical guides, for example. Through this process, surfaces and structures can be optimised for strength, weight and material use. Consultation between surgeons and patients has also been bolstered, where patients can better understand the complexity of his or her specific needs.
As consumers get more involved in the management of their health, consumer genetics and research companies have grown in popularity and scale. People want to further understand their genetic makeup, leading personal genomics and biotech company 23andMe to become one of the largest consumer-based organisations worldwide. Interestingly, this year, the company has entered a four-year collaboration with GSK to develop new treatments, but using human genetics as the basis for discovery.
Not only looking to develop treatments by analysing human genetics, pharmaceutical companies are looking to even remove hereditary genes which pass diseases down generations. In 2017, human embryos were successfully ‘edited’ through gene editing tool, CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeats), eradicating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy within 42 embryos.
1. Vertical integrations
As healthcare providers aim to provide greater transparency, promote collaboration and lower escalating patient costs, 2018 has been the year for a significant number of vertical integrations. CVS Health’s $68mn takeover of health insurer Aetna is a case in point. By influencing more of the supply chain, it will gain significant negotiating power to reduce costs for payers and patients, develop personalised solutions and improve overall outcomes. It will also promote the eradication of delays in process by removing any third parties within traditional business models. Other notable integrations are Optum’s acquisition of the DaVita Medical Group, Humana and Kindred Healthcare and Cigna and Express Scripts.
Reports have indicated that not only has the number of healthcare deals more than doubled in the last five years, the size of deals has also grown as a result of repeat investor interest, highlighting that this trend is here to stay.