Health Start-Ups! – Four Tips for Health IT Start-Ups

June 13, 2013
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health start-ups(Editor’s Note: Introducing Amanda Guerrero, who will write occasionally for the Health Start-Ups! series.  Amanda has a passion for healthcare technology and blogs about healthcare-related topics, including electronic medical records, Meaningful Use, and using social media outreach to increase patient engagement.

health start-ups(Editor’s Note: Introducing Amanda Guerrero, who will write occasionally for the Health Start-Ups! series.  Amanda has a passion for healthcare technology and blogs about healthcare-related topics, including electronic medical records, Meaningful Use, and using social media outreach to increase patient engagement. Amanda maintains her own health IT-related blog and contributes to leading industry websites such as HealthTechnologyReview.com.)

health start-upsTechnology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and many of the changes taking place are long overdue. From patients taking charge of their health records to physicians “prescribing” smartphone applications for disease management and health tracking, there are so many new tools at our fingertips and even more yet to come. The fact is, the healthcare industry is going through a major transformation, and it has opened up the door for entrepreneurs eager to make an impact.

Here are a few tips for healthcare IT entrepreneurs just starting out:

1. Know the healthcare industry.

Healthcare is an industry all on its own, and starting a health IT company (even a small one) requires a lot more work and initiative than many other businesses. To succeed in this industry, it is important to have worked in it and to understand how it works. It can surprise people outside the industry how outdated the technology tends to be at many hospitals, clinics and practices. If your product isn’t compatible with the technologies most of the healthcare industry uses, no matter how innovative it is, it won’t work.

2. Surround yourself with people who know the industry too.

If you don’t know the healthcare industry personally, find people who do. Experts who have worked in the industry for years and who know it first-hand will be a valuable asset to your team. They will know what works and what doesn’t – and they will be able to help you determine whether your product is a practical solution for the industry.

3. Be prepared to encounter delays.

Starting a new business can be challenging, even more so if that industry is heavily regulated. When it comes to healthcare, there are countless guides and regulations to follow – and there will always be new roadblocks and challenges to undertake. If you prepare for these setbacks and work them into your business plan, your start-up will have a greater shot at success.

4. Build your brand.

Once your health IT solution is nearing completion, you will want to start raising awareness and building your brand. This is due to the fact that healthcare professionals want a brand they can trust, whether or not it is the best on the market. Conventional marketing won’t be enough to make a name for yourself in the healthcare industry and to get the kind of respect that you want. Instead, be prepared to put yourself out there in front of target consumers by attending trade shows and conferences to exhibit your product.

(healthcare IT / shutterstock)