Health and wellness startups have become enormously popular in recent years, and it’s no wonder. The digital healthcare industry is massively successful and promises to be lucrative for the foreseeable future. From diet apps to digital doctor’s calls, there are tons of possibilities for those looking to get a foot in the door. Here are some factors to consider if you’re one of the thousands hoping for a spot in this bright new world.
1. Thoroughly Research the Market
Market research is always an important part of developing a product for a specific industry, but for the healthcare industry, your research should be as in-depth as you can manage. If you don’t work in the industry, it might be hard to find out where its pain points and needs might lie. Interviewing various members of the industry, from doctors and nurses to insurers, is probably going to be a necessary part of your research process. Knowing your competition will also be important, as your audience has most likely heard a pitch like yours and will want to know what makes you different.
2. The Importance of Trust
Unlike many other industries where tech has become successful, healthcare is and will likely remain quite conservative going forward. This makes sense – when people’s lives and health are in question, healthcare institutions are unlikely to take risks with new startups. That’s why in order to make it in this field on any level you’ll have to build trust first.
Building relationships should be a big part of your business model. You should have impressive presentations to show that you’ve thought through every possibility and have a rock-solid plan for scaling. Even if your startup does something as innocuous as selling isolate protein powder, you should have credible medical professionals on staff or at least regularly consulted to sign off on each step of your process. The most brilliant tech entrepreneur isn’t going to be the best person to decide when the product is ready for market- that should be done by healthcare professionals.
3. Have a Solid Development Plan
To make the best possible impression, your product needs a solid outline, with included documentation that lists your plans for considerations like security, design, and software. If you have a team that works mostly via virtual communication, having an outline like this makes it much easier to stay on track with goals and be on the same page regarding what those goals are. It’s very easy for the various arms of a startup’s core team to get off track and start considering their own part of the process to be the most important.
4. Test the MVP First
Having a flashy end product with all the bells and whistles might be your eventual goal, but when you start the product testing process, you should start with the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This means you’ll create a stripped-down version of your product that does the bare minimum. It’s a lot easier to test functionality and UI with a product that only does the basic things you want the end result to do. Getting feedback on this beta product will help you quickly eliminate core issues before moving on to the next step of the design and production process.
5. Know the Regulations (and Follow Them)
Last but not at all least, it’s crucial that you and your entire start-up core team are aware of the regulations surrounding your product and follow them to a T. Security is always a huge concern for healthcare products, so that should always be at the forefront of your production plan. Thankfully, there are compliance tools that you can use to manage that side of production without having to become the #1 expert yourself.
Most startups fail right out of the gate, and many fail years into the process. By taking care to consider each aspect of the industry and knowing your audience, you’ll be eliminating a lot of potential risks for your healthcare startup.