Healthcare is a difficult space for startups to break into. The industry is highly regulated and costly for entrepreneurs to break into.
Take Theranos, a company that was doing well in the industry. This blood testing startup valued at $9 billion is currently facing lawsuits and being regulated by the government. Raising money is another obstacle for health startups. Investments in digital health startups declined from a record $9.4 billion to $5.8 billion in one year.
But demand for better healthcare is there. People want to live longer and healthier lives. In the next five years, new health technologies are emerging even if current market behavior appears to be fighting for stasis.
In recent months, the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission announced a partnership to work with mobile healthcare applications. Health startups will receive regulation assistance and government connections to grow faster.
With the healthcare industry on the brink of an evolution, here are 5 healthcare startups that want to help you live longer:
The nature of the majority of office work today is not conducive to good health. Employees spend hours sitting at a desk without moving and living a sedentary life. Many companies are offering gym memberships and exercise breaks during work to enforce a healthier lifestyle.
FitBliss offers an app that makes fitness a social activity at work, encouraging a better business culture. FitBliss lets employees see how their coworkers are exercising while providing personal tracking tools.
2. Gecko Biomedical
Every year, 40,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect, which is the leading death infant cause. Paris-based startup Gecko Biomedical is researching a biopolymer that acts as a glue to hold tissue together.
The company is focusing on how the adhesive can work in heart surgery, reducing trauma in surgery and speeding up the recovery process. Gecko Biomedical just raised €22 million in a series A2 funding round in March 2016.
Mental illness is difficult to diagnose because physical symptoms are difficult to identify. In the U.S., the number of mentally ill people is large: 33% of the homeless population and 16% of the prison population.
HealthRhythms collects data on users’ behavior through their smartphones.They analyze user’s sleep habits, speech patterns, activity. The company aims to help users identify troubling trends or shifts in their patterns before the user realizes it on their own. Their doctors are the only ones allowed to access their information.
Melanoma is a hard disease to self-diagnose since there aren't many signs that point to skin cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts that over 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S. alone in 2016, and over 10,000 will die from it.
SkinVision provides the tools to identify skin cancer early, offering an app that allows users to take pictures of potential moles. SkinVision then analyzes the picture and recommends whether you should see a doctor. The app also lets users compare images of the same mole over time in an attempt to recognize unnatural growth.
Pager is a service that connects a patient with medical attention from anywhere. If a patient is sick and unable to get to a doctor, they can call Pager and speak with a nurse free of charge. The nurse will assess the patient’s needs and send a doctor if necessary. Pager can help those who are alone and in an emergency.
It might be a long time before startups can help you live forever. But I believe in the bright future of healthcare startups. More companies are providing more resources every year to take care of your health and allow you to live a longer life. Are there any other health startups helping expand your lifespan in 2016? Leave a comment below!