Startups

3 healthcare trends about startups (courtesy of the MedCity Monthly Startups Index)

MedCity News writes about all kinds of startups whether their pitch is more at home on CNN or MIT’s Technology Review. We are always so focused on what’s coming next that we forget to reflect on all the companies we have recently discovered. To solve this, we’ve created a monthly report to make sure none […]

MedCity News writes about all kinds of startups whether their pitch is more at home on CNN or MIT’s Technology Review. We are always so focused on what’s coming next that we forget to reflect on all the companies we have recently discovered. To solve this, we’ve created a monthly report to make sure none of our readers missed any of these posts.

Our new Monthly Startups Index is a free (e-mail registration required) compendium of the early-stage activity across healthcare. It is a piece of business intelligence that includes MedCity’s deeper looks at select early-stage companies, chronicles the investment activity and other news, and even highlights which startups got the most attention from MedCity readers every month.

Get the MedCity Monthly Startups Index for July.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Here are three trends I noticed this month when I took time to look back on July 2013 at MedCity News.

Referral space is getting crowded. Everyone is trying to make the referral process more efficient and user friendly, whether the focus is transition care after a hospital stay or specialist care. Startups in the first group are trying to make it easier for family members to find skilled nursing care or a rehab facility. Entrepreneurs in the second group are using software to make sure referrals stay in network, among other things.

This is an easy place for technology to make the entire process more efficient. Early entrants in the doctor-referral space will have the advantage here. The world of post-acute care will take longer to infiltrate.

Sensors for everyone. It used to be only the athletes got cool sensors to track whatever data they wanted. Now companies are focusing on the rest of the population with a watch that can sense seizures and stuffed bears that can sense a child’s heart rate. We are still waiting for a watch that can track heart rate. Early reviews of the BASIS Band suggest it is not the answer to that need.

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Push for transparency continues. One company is taking on worker’s comp and another is targeting radiology services. The Leapfrog Group has created a calculator to let employers add up the cost of healthcare errors at hospitals. These early efforts will not be 100 percent accurate, but they will change the conversation. Hospital executives and bureaucrats who are still holding on to patient data with both fists will be forced to let go. It may take a few more years, but the wheels are in motion.

The MedCity Monthly Startups Index includes all the details on the companies leading these trends. We are always looking for tips on startups shaking up healthcare or developing new drugs and devices. Send us a note if there is a company we need to know about (or with your feedback about the report).

Get the MedCity Monthly Startups Index for July.

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