In the 21st century, the era of constantly advancing technologies, it is possible to build a flourishing business in such a serious field as medicine. Numerous medical university students, young researchers and already experienced practitioners whose interests go beyond the everyday hospital routine are looking for new healthcare solutions by combining their knowledge and practice in biology, anatomy, biochemistry with the latest tech innovations. Among the proposed healthcare startup projects, there are not so many of great quality and competitive design. Therefore, chasing such trendy terms as ‘big data’ and ‘globalization’ is actually not enough while building a successful startup in medicine, the one that would influence the whole healthcare industry. It is also a pity that some promising startups, bringing really valuable ideas, often cannot thrive because of funding obstacles.
Like any other market niche, the healthcare industry is full challenges and barriers preventing entrepreneurs from getting involved and promoting their businesses. Surprisingly, there are people who assume that Intellectual Property rights or licensing are unnecessary matters to take into account in some emerging fields of healthcare, like wearable devices for example. More often we hear about healthcare startups born in some ‘unexpected surroundings’ or created by totally unknown developers. But who really wants to invest in a medical startup, usually characterized by long investment return periods, without a patented technology or impressive research findings? Here is the problem for young developers and scientists to get noticed by capitalists, provided that they have no access to a medical laboratory of some prestigious university. For example, Kolo Medical, an innovative ultrasound technology, developed in Stanford University, only managed to get seed funded after gathering 40 patents. Also, it is extremely important to find an investor, who would be able to lead the project during all stages and not participating only in the seed round. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cases of both traditional and emerging healthcare startups failing because of insufficient funding.
Often, to build a new product in medicine, you need to process loads of real data as a part of the research. Needless to say, not all the Big Data provided carries really valuable information. To get access to the first-rate medical data is very difficult because of privacy regulations. Fitbit company even created a special product in order to collect data from their customers. All the complicated data-mining techniques, computer algorithms, and artificial intelligence are the keys to the success of any healthcare startup, which will definitely stand out because of higher value. So data can be considered another important aspect in medical startup engineering.
Finally, there is globalization issue. It is already proved by some healthcare startuppers that combining international means of medical treatment can bring some innovative solutions. For example, PhysioCue startup from the US is based on Asian acupuncture techniques, which also opens new market space for their product in such countries as China and Korea. Also, remember to carry out a small market research concerned with people’s income rates, most common diseases and any other aspects of the local healthcare environment when launching a new product in the foreign market.
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