About 100 NY-based tech startups creating consumer health and wellness products have launched recently. But these entrepreneurs face bigger challenges than those specializing in social media.
According to Crain’s New York Business, in this field it’s hard to make money just by targeting consumers. They have to include hospitals and health insurers, which often means providing documented proof that a product or service meets approved standards. An example given is the founders of WellApps, who initially offered their product, which tracks the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, for free. When they wanted to sell the app through insurers, they had to provide scientific proof the app improves patient health. Now WellApps is sponsoring a clinical trial.
Founders also need to understand complex regulatory requirements as well as a familiarity with the bureaucratic nature of hospitals, insurance companies and other healthcare organizations, as Crain’s mentions two new venture accelerators have stepped in to help. Startup Health plans on providing mentorship and funding to about 1,000 healthcare entrepreneurs during the next 10 years, while BluePrint Health just announced its first incoming class of nine startups.