OK: your dream — or maybe your parents’ dream for you — of becoming a world-class brain surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, or even a beloved family GP (complete with dog-eared PEOPLE magazine in the waiting room and buzzing fluorescent lights) aren’t going to be fulfilled. At least not in this lifetime.
However, you can still make a meaningful or even profound impact on the health and wellbeing of others — and in process, make a great deal of money and enjoy golfing every Wednesday — if you have the vision to launch a dynamic healthcare startup.
If this sounds like more of a realistic dream — and don’t worry, your parents will understand when you buy them a Bentley for Christmas — then here’s where you should aim your vision and efforts, because right now, this is where the growth, action and money is on the healthcare startup landscape:
Leveraging Patient Data for Research
The good news is that patient data may contain the clues to cure everything from the common cold to cancers. The bad news is that there’s an incomprehensible amount of patient data out there. The solution? Be part of the small, but growing number of thriving startups that focus on funneling patient data to researchers and pharmaceutical companies — without, of course, violating privacy and confidentiality.
Help people avoid visiting the doctor.
The cost of medical care continues to skyrocket, right alongside patient complaints and concerns about the treatment — or rather, the lack of treatment — they receive from hospitals and clinics. So what, you might ask? Well, here’s what: you can be part of the solution (and yes, add a few zeros and decimal places to your current bank balance) if you aim your startup towards helping people avoid visiting the doctor by helping them make smarter, healthier choices. Or you can work with employers to help them keep their employees healthy — which not only boosts productivity, but cuts down on absenteeism and benefits utilization.
Help people choose their care team.
These days, people are leveraging social networks and review sites to find everything from a new lawyer, a new spouse, a new pet — and yes, a new doctor or other care team member. If your startup helps patients and health care professionals connect, then you’ll be part of the solution — and you’ll be on the fast-track to startup success.
The Bottom Line
The healthcare landscape is growing — make that booming — and governments at all levels can’t close the gap (in fact, they can’t even agree on where the gap is or what it looks like!). That means it’s up to visionary entrepreneurs like you to lean forward, and offer innovative products and services that make a profound difference. Front cover of Forbes, here you come!