As the world’s largest industry to date, healthcare has become a major area of opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the world. With technology growing exponentially, people have seized the opportunity to use it to their advantage and come up with innovative ways to break into the consumer health space. Here are the top ten companies to watch in 2016.
This innovative company created a way to connect existing cloud technologies to various imaging platforms. Their low cost, modest size and access to advanced imaging techniques has enabled them to create a unique application enabling physicians to automate and analyze patient information.
Essentially a telemedical platform, HealthTap provides remote access to routine care services and medical advice through their application. The increased access to care with reduced overall healthcare costs is meant to facilitate better patient/doctor communication and therefore the general health of the patient themselves.
Zhang Yusheng, the founder of Apricot Forest, describes the applications as “Evernote for physicians”. Primarily offered in China at the moment, Apricot Forest garners the power of physicians across thousands of miles to compile information for the use of their colleagues. Doctors are able to upload patient photos (of course, while maintaining their anonymity) and personal notes to be shared in the network aimed at helping healthcare providers with minimal resources (think third-world countries) to diagnose and treat their patients more effectively. The company is set to expand out of China in the near future.
Fitbit has taken healthy living and made it a wearable trend. Looking around the workplace you’re likely to see several people donning the device which tracks the health metrics of the wearer. Fitbit is working to evolve their current product to give a more comprehensive view with upgraded monitoring systems providing further guidance for personal health practices.
It’s no secret that healthcare can be pricey. Guroo, a web-based platform, has made it easier for consumers to quite literally shop for the best healthcare deals in their area. This type of price transparency arms patients with the information they need to make sound financial decisions when it comes to their healthcare needs.
Although the organization has gotten themselves into hot water with the FDA recently, their platform is still incredibly promising. Traditionally, blood testing required several tubes of the patient’s blood to run various panels. Theranos has cut that down to what amounts to merely a few drops of blood while returning the same accuracy. Lower costs and increased accessibility (Walgreens stores have provided the testing to consumers already) helps with early detection and disease intervention.
Proteus Digital Health
The companies futuristic offering measures the effectiveness of medications on individual patients and allows their physicians to improve their treatments as needed. Ingestible sensors, you read that correctly, are taken by the patient. They also wear a sensor patch. Both devices are connected to a mobile application and to the provider’s portal. Once the sensor hits the stomach, it is activated and begins transmitting information to the physician. The technology best serves patients with diabetes and hypertension.
Patients who need to monitor vital signs from home will find a sort of Swiss army knife in the MedWand. Equipped with a pulse oximeter, otoscope camera for ear, nose and throat examinations, ear thermometer, digital stethoscope, and Bluetooth capabilities to connect with glucose and blood pressure monitors, this device, which is about the size of an electric toothbrush, can do it all. Connecting to the doctor’s EMR system, results can automatically be uploaded to the patient’s record.
A mobile platform with easily integrates into existing systems allows the tracking of data points from multiple sources. The application has created an ecosystem suitable for the results of several applications, like Fitbit and other in-home medical devices, to be viewed from a single user interface. Their connections with other mHealth apps are growing every day enabling next-generation patient engagement.
While Walmart isn’t exactly the first organization that comes to mind when you think of healthcare innovation, they’re definitely doing their part to shake up the industry. The mega-chain is providing primary care services in many of their locations for as little as $4. Providing this type of healthcare at such a low cost makes medical services available to a wide variety of consumers and on a more immediate basis.