Catalyzing Change: Exploring the Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Entrepreneurship

Digital health startups
Wearable technology
Empowering patients
Telemedicine
AI and machine learning
Preventative care
Collaboration
References
Further reading


The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving to meet the global population's changing needs. Entrepreneurship in healthcare involves identifying, developing, and implementing solutions to improve healthcare. Innovations by healthcare entrepreneurs may target improvements in patient outcomes, the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and the value patients obtain from their healthcare services.

Image Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock.com

Image Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock.com

Without entrepreneurs, healthcare would not be able to respond as rapidly and dynamically to the evolving needs of patients. Here, we analyze how healthcare entrepreneurship drives change in the healthcare industry.

Digital health startups

There are a growing number of digital health startups that are improving the efficiency and accessibility of healthcare. It is estimated that there are currently more than 3,000 digital health startups in the US. In 2022, the digital healthcare market was valued at $211 billion, and it is predicted to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 18.6% from 2023 to 2030.

These startups are facilitating the progression of theory to practice. Technologies being developed across a range of scientific disciplines are being leveraged into novel applications in healthcare by these entrepreneurial startups.

Wearable technology

Wearable technology is particularly popular among healthcare entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs in this area have been successful in launching a number of wearable devices.

Fitbit, for example, which launched in 2007, represents pioneering wearable technology. Fitbit devices collect and analyze data on a range of health indicators, including heart rate, sleep patterns, activity levels, and more.

Fitness trackers have had a significant impact on healthcare. They have changed how individuals have access to health information. Fitness trackers allow people to monitor their health data, helping motivate people to live healthier lives and identify potential signs of poor health earlier on.

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Empowering patients

Healthcare entrepreneurship empowers patients by putting healthcare data into the hands of the individual. It empowers patients to understand their own health situation. It also improves communication between patients and healthcare professionals by facilitating the sharing of information.

Research has suggested that empowered patients might lead to better health outcomes. Moving forward, it is likely that healthcare entrepreneurs will continue to work on innovations that will further enhance patient empowerment by improving access to healthcare data and improving communication.

Telemedicine

We have explored the benefit of remote working across various industries for many years. The COVID-19 pandemic propelled this trend forward as government guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease limited all but essential face-to-face interactions. Throughout the pandemic, applications that remotely connected patients to healthcare providers began to thrive. Since lockdowns have been lifted, such applications have continued to thrive.

Sometimes, it is unnecessary to see a doctor in person, at least for an initial appointment. Healthcare systems can more efficiently attend to patients by operating traditional, face-to-face appointments alongside remote video calls and phone appointments.

Healthcare entrepreneurs facilitate this shift to hybrid healthcare via apps connecting patients with their healthcare providers.

AI and machine learning

AI and machine learning represent a big trend in healthcare entrepreneurship. Advancements in this technology are being leveraged into applications that can analyze huge datasets and used in disease diagnosis, personalized treatments, drug discovery, and more.

Entrepreneurs are accelerating advancements in AI and machine learning in healthcare. Healthcare providers, patients, and pharmaceutical companies are already relying on this technology, and more applications will likely emerge in the following years.

Preventative care

Prevention has become a key focus of disease management across a wide range of illnesses. A growing body of research is expanding our knowledge of factors contributing to disease initiation and progression. As a result, we are more aware of how to prevent a number of diseases. Often, early detection of symptoms as well as access to healthcare are vital measures that can prevent disease or catch it at early stages when it is more manageable.

Healthcare entrepreneurs are developing innovations that can help recognize disease symptoms early. Scientists have designed an app that can reliably detect skin cancer from photos. This is just one example of how entrepreneurs are using technology to drive change in disease prevention.

Collaboration

Finally, healthcare entrepreneurship is key in driving interdisciplinary collaboration in healthcare. Often, healthcare entrepreneurship requires the input of a diverse set of stakeholders, such as healthcare professionals, patients, data scientists, engineers, business experts, and more.

Drawing together such a diverse team of experts connects people who may not have previously had the opportunity to meet and share ideas. By building these interdisciplinary teams to work towards a shared goal, professionals are exposed to unique perspectives and gain knowledge and skills that may not be typical to their role. The sharing of ideas, perspectives, and skills, of course, is fundamental to driving innovation.

References

  • Digital healthcare market size [online]. Grand View Research. Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/digital-health-market (Accessed September 2023)
  • Hickmann, E., Richter, P. and Schlieter, H. (2022) 'All together now – patient engagement, patient empowerment, and associated terms in personal healthcare', BMC Health Services Research, 22(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-022-08501-5.
  • Smak Gregoor, A.M. et al. (2023) 'An artificial intelligence based app for skin cancer detection evaluated in a population based setting', npj Digital Medicine, 6(1). doi:10.1038/s41746-023-00831-w.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Sarah Moore

Written by

Sarah Moore

After studying Psychology and then Neuroscience, Sarah quickly found her enjoyment for researching and writing research papers; turning to a passion to connect ideas with people through writing.

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