The healthcare industry is a diverse and stimulating space for a start-up.
Knowing that your innovative ideas will benefit a national, maybe even international, community of patients, family and healthcare professionals is what motivates many entrepreneurs to make their dream a reality.
Of course, investment is huge when it comes to healthcare. With various funding opportunities available for research and development, along with investors looking for the next big thing, it’s one of the hottest startup environments out there.
But, that also means it’s fiercely competitive.
It can be a real test of your entrepreneurship to reach the top of the healthcare ladder, but many entrepreneurs are achieving just that with their startups. That’s why we wanted to share with you the top 5 hottest startups and entrepreneurs that are shaking up the healthcare industry and finding success by chasing their dream.
Digital healthcare is rapidly becoming a priority in today’s society, where hectic lifestyles make physical appointments harder than ever to fit in around work and home life. One issue affecting many women in America is easy access to birth control, and that’s where the founders of Nurx, Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, identified a problem they could solve in their home city of San Francisco.
Nurx has been called the “Uber” of birth control thanks to its concept of on-demand contraception that’s delivered straight to your door within 24 hours. Currently available in 17 states across America, Nurx wanted to make it easier for women to obtain birth control
“We realized there were certain things people wanted done in healthcare rather than research them and birth control is certainly one of those. Everyone we spoke with, friends of friends said friends called them with a birth control prescription emergency.” (Co-founder Hans Gangeskar)
Nurx offers the contraceptive pill, patch and Nuva Ring prescribed from a Doctor licensed and practising in the woman’s home state, following completion of an online form with some health-based questions, with access to a doctor for appropriate advice available.
It’s such a simple idea that it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nurx is rapidly expanding as a startup, with Chelsea Clinton joining the board of directors sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience with the Clinton Global Initiative. With Nurx recently closing a $36 million funding round led by Kleiner Perkins, Nurx is undoubtedly an exciting startup that deserves its spot on our list of hottest healthcare startups.
Quick and easy access to GPs is a growing problem in the UK, and the founders of Babylon Health had a mission to “put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth”. Bold statement but one that’s rapidly becoming a reality thanks to video and audio based consultations available within minutes, 24 hours a day, through a smartphone app powered by artificial intelligence.
“If you can take and identify what people need in healthcare, such as a diagnosis or a treatment and then teach machines to do that, we can solve big problems. Once we did that, making it accessible was pretty straightforward.” (Dr. Ali Parsa)
This London based startup, founded by Dr. Ali Parsa, is now offering personalised health assessments, treatment advice and face-to-face appointments not just in the UK, but in Canada, Ireland and Rwanda too. Specifically designed to meet the needs of the UK’s National Health Service, Babylon Health is a for-profit startup that is versatile enough to meet the health needs of citizens around the world, whether healthcare is provided free at the point of need like in the UK, or with an insurance-based model like Canada’s Medicare.
Dr. Ali Parsa has been recognised as a significant innovator in healthcare and Babylon Health was the first app to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. With an aim to deliver this powerful app and on-demand healthcare services around the world, it’s not difficult to see why Babylon Health has made our list of hottest healthcare startups.
Type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices, with an estimated 90 million adults in the U.S. at risk of developing the disease and around 50% of those individuals developing the condition within 7 years. Not only is this a severe condition that can cause medical complications like peripheral neuropathy, impaired immune system and eye problems, it’s also costly to America’s economy with a $327 billion hit in 2017 alone.
Dr. Sindhu Rajan, Founder and CEO of HabitNu, who has personally lost family members to the disease, wanted to put her 12 years of research and experience into diabetes to good use by helping individuals across America who have been identified “at risk” of the condition to take control and put effective preventative measures in place.
“Diabetes is a preventable condition… I decided there had to be more attention given to prevention, not just management.”
HabitNu is an app based year-long program that supports lifestyle change and effective habits that prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. With support from an online lifestyle coach to lose weight and increase physical activity over 16 weeks, those identified at risk of the condition can join the program for free through insurance providers.
With full recognition from the CDC, HabitNu is a remarkable startup that’s actively preventing millions of U.S. adults from developing this serious health condition thanks to innovative digital-based technology.
Communication within a busy hospital or clinical setting can be a nightmare. Needing the advice of a doctor who’s been in a consultation for the past 20 minutes with no sign of stopping, or needing to run test results past your consultant who’s the other side of the hospital in an outpatient clinic can slow down and inhibit communication to such an extent that it impacts directly on patient care.
These were the issues facing the founders of Forward, junior doctors within a busy NHS hospital who wanted a GDPR compliant and secure communication platform that enables staff to talk quickly and easily with one another, prioritise tasks and safely share patient information. Since the app has been developed more junior doctors have joined the team to scale the platform with the aim for national rollout across the UK’s health system.
“This is a solution built for doctors, by doctors and one which we believe could make a drastic difference to how much time we’re able to spend with patients. With many NHS wards at breaking point this winter, technology solutions like Forward are desperately needed.” (Co-founder Dr Lydia Yarlott)
This innovative app is entirely free to download, and around 1500 clinical staff around the UK are currently making use of the technology. With an estimate of saving an hour of time every day that can be put toward patient care, the entrepreneurial spirit and focus of the team behind Forward are certainly deserving of recognition on our list of hottest healthcare startups.
Physiotherapy is essential for many patients with a variety of short and long-term injuries and medical conditions, but it can be difficult to repeat what you’re shown in the clinic, in your own home. Often stick men exercise sheets are handed out that are difficult to follow, hard to understand and more likely to make patients give up on their daily exercises then stick to their physical therapy routine.
This was an issue one of the co-founders of Physitrack discovered when a relative was given an unclear paper home exercise handout after a knee operation, which greatly reduced his motivation to do his home exercise program. Knowing that there must be a better way to encourage and track patient adherence for faster recovery, the idea for Physitrack was formed.
“Even the best physical therapy regime will be unsuccessful without proper patient education,” (Henrik Molin, co-founder)
Physitrack provides guided physiotherapy through a smartphone app which is a combination of clinical exercise, education, outcome tracking and telehealth consultations. The concept being that a physiotherapist will onboard a patient in clinic and treatment can be continued at home using Physitrack.
This startup was founded in London but now has offices in Australia, the US and the Netherlands with an eventual aim to provide this innovative service for physiotherapists and patients across the world. Thanks to being a participant in Apple’s Mobility Partner Program and the DigitalHealth London accelerator programme, this goal looks likely to be a reality within the next few years. Definitely a success story worthy of being named one of the top 5 hottest healthcare startups.
Each of these healthcare startups began with a simple idea that could improve the lives of patients and make it easier for healthcare professionals to deliver care where needed. If you have an idea you’d like to see become a reality there’s no better time to get started than today.
Zoe Hughes is a freelance writer and content marketing whizz with a passion for helping business owners get noticed online for the right reasons. For the latest info on business blogging, content marketing and search engine optimisation head over to Zoe’s blog at Cupcake Content Marketing.