How Do Healthcare & Entrepreneurship Mix?
The biggest nexus for healthcare and entrepreneurship is currently in the realm of tech. From apps to theoretical preventive technology, there is money to be made for anyone who has the drive to be an entrepreneur. Let’s look at a few ways of how businesspeople can dive into the healthcare industry.
The fitness industry is wide open for the savvy entrepreneur. From apps to wearable technology, there’s plenty of opportunities.
Fitness tracking, for example, is important when working out. According to Bradley University, users of some form of an exercise tracker are more likely to exercise in their free time than those without any digital assistance. It might take the form of an app that tells you a story of how you are being chased by zombies, changing the story depending on your jogging speed, or it could simply record data for your later perusal, such as a Fitbit.
Creating your own tracker, or a service that does something with tracked data may be the perfect way to cash in on the fitness tracker trend.
While apps can track fitness, they can also be used to track conditions, aiding in telehealth. By capturing biometric data, they can detect something wrong, immediately alert the patient’s doctor.
For example, Juan-Pablo Segura pitched his idea to investors for a healthcare app service on the first episode of The Pitch podcast. His app addresses part of healthcare unique to women: pregnancy. The service would come with a blood pressure cuff and scale, each used once per week. The weight and blood pressure are sent to the cloud via the app and then to the woman’s doctor. This saves time, as the woman no longer has to go to as many appointments, and the doctor can still keep track of the woman’s health.
In order to prevent mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by fibers of the mineral in the lungs, OSHA regulates asbestos, including limitations on its levels in the air at worksites. They require testing and record-keeping on a regular basis. While there are field testing kits available, there are none that automatically connect to a database. Instead of having to transfer data over, possibly by hand, imagine a testing device that could automatically upload information to an app or cloud, collating data for easier later use.
An interesting application that is just beginning to be utilized in healthcare is blockchain technology. It can be used is to decentralize and reduce healthcare costs and cut out the insurance middleman. It’s essentially a service as a business, providing a platform for healthcare providers and patients to use.
MedCredits, a medical blockchain, connects to Hippocrates, an app that connects dermatologists to their patients. The app allows a patient to send information like symptoms and photos. The doctor makes a diagnosis and sends treatment options. Finally, using the Ethereum blockchain, they pay using MEDX or ERC20 tokens, two different cryptocurrencies.
This is combined with smart contracts, which automatically processes invoices, bank balances, and other accounts. The key, as with all blockchains, is absolute transparency in transactions, including across multiple companies in the same joint patient registry. This works to increase patient trust and data security while reducing paperwork.
If you are looking for a long, healthy retirement, a great way to get your finances in order is to become an entrepreneur and find success in the healthcare industry. While it takes skill and creativity to making a winning product, combined with a bit of luck, there’s plenty of opportunities, especially at the crossroads of health and technology.