No industry is immune from being revolutionised by agile and innovative startups.
One would perhaps think that the medical and pharmaceutical industry was safer than most due to heavy regulations and the costs involved with developing new drugs and treatments, but this isn’t the case.
At Infosys’ Digital in Life Sciences event McKinsey’s Dr. Stefan Biesdorf described the changes taking place in the medical industry.
Backed by VC funds (more than $2bn was invested in healthcare startups in 2013) and built on the mobile infrastructure provided by smartphones, these new businesses are going straight to patients rather than doctors and using our own medical data as a competitive advantage.
Here are five healthcare startups that are revolutionising the industry…
ZocDoc works like a Yelp for doctors and dentists, so US-based patients can search for an appointment based on their personal needs.
The mobile app allows users to search based on speciality (e.g. eye doctor, dermatologist), location or insurance provider, with each doctor having a star review by their name.
Some people still don’t like visiting the doctors if they have a particularly sensitive or personal problem.
DrEd.com solves this issue by offering online consultations and discreet home delivery for medication and test kits.
According to Dr. Biesdorf, DrEd.com is currently performing 5,000 consultations per week in several different languages.
AliveCor is a connected heart monitor app that allows users to share the results with their doctor.
It records heart rhythms, symptoms and lifestyle activities to give a better view of your heart health.
Dr. Biesdorf said AliveCor currently has readings from around 800,000 users and when this gets to 1m it will be able to build an algorithm to analyse and diagnose heart readings.
Once the app gets to this stage it will really begin to disrupt the relationship between doctor and patient as there’ll potentially be no need to see your normal physician.
You can tell Proteus is futuristic as it’s reminiscent of a scene from the Matrix.
It’s a microchip-enabled pill that helps patients to regulate their medication by reminding them when to take it.
Users have to wear a patch on their skin which picks up data from the ingested sensor. This is then fed into the mobile app so users can track their health.
The data can also be relayed to selected people so they can also keep an eye on the user’s health.
Proteus could have a big impact on existing doctor-patient relationships as it gives users greater access to their personal data and a clearer view of what’s wrong with them.
Parents with young children will be pleased to know that long waits in the doctor’s surgery may be a thing of the past.
Cellscope is a smartphone-enabled otoscope that allows parents to check inside their child’s ear and get a diagnosis back from a doctor in around two hours.
It’s currently available on pre-order in a number of US states and could be a hugely useful tool for parents.