Healthcare startups stand to change the way the world works, both from the perspective of medical professionals and patients. As such, it seems like launching a healthcare startup might be the best way to go into business for yourself and achieve your dreams of entrepreneurship.
However, like most things, launching a healthcare startup is more challenging than it seems. There are rules and regulations to consider, as well as access to technology that is out of reach for many.
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Here are Some Things to Consider Before Launching a Healthcare Startup
#1. Regulations and Laws
Many of the challenges healthcare startups face are the same as other startups. They must deal with healthcare staff scheduling, finding the right tools to get the job done, and adhering to a budget for long-term success.
Where the main dichotomy lies is within the world of regulations and legal issues surrounding what they’re allowed to do and what processes they have to follow for testing.
For example, a healthcare startup offering a treatment will have to adhere to rules and testing from the FDA in the USA. If you’re collecting patient information, you not only have to abide by the laws about collecting information online but also be sure that you’re following the standards outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
If you fail to follow these regulations and laws (which vary around the world) not only will you face hefty fines and jail time, but your business can also be shut down and your name blacklisted in the healthcare community. There’s no room for mistakes when it comes to a healthcare startup.
#2. Staff Requirements
An average Joe with a business degree can’t just start a healthcare business and become an overnight success story. Regardless of what your goal is with your startup, you need specially trained experts to get the job done. That means working with medical professionals and those with specialized training and expertise, which doesn’t come cheap.
That’s not to say that a great healthcare startup idea can’t come from someone who lacks medical training. Some of the greatest ideas in history have come from people with educational backgrounds that don’t align with their invention or idea.
However, you need to have the resources to see if your product is viable and to pay professionals to help you develop it. Usually, these people are employed full-time as it is, so finding someone who has the time, interest, and hourly rate that will fit your needs will be a significant challenge.
The beauty of the technological advances over the past decade is that someone can start a business from a beach in Costa Rica and work with someone who is enjoying lunch in Central Park, NYC. However, the technological requirements to create a healthcare startup are usually far ahead of what it takes to start something that’s business oriented.
For example, if you’re thinking of starting an organization like 23andMe to do genetic testing, you not only need access to the laboratory for processing, but you also need to design a huge interface that connects people based on genetic markers around the world. So, while the concept seems simple and straightforward, the behind the scenes technological requirements are complex and costly.
If you have personal experience in app development or healthcare-related technology, then you have an advantage over other would-be entrepreneurs. However, this isn’t the type of startup you can start as a one-person show. You’ll need a team to assist you with your endeavor, so that the technology you’re using isn’t obsolete by the time you launch.
If you’re someone who dreams of entrepreneurship and knows that launching a startup is a great way to get started, then chances are a healthcare startup isn’t for you. It’s like with writing: stick to what you know if you want the best results.