This Might Be The Best Time To Break Into The Healthcare Business – Forbes

Healthcare is changing.

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Healthcare is changing.

Last year I wrote about what entrepreneurship looks like in healthcare. It’s an interesting topic because the two seem to have contradictory goals. How can you take the risks of an entrepreneur to an industry where the stakes are so high? But business is business, and the healthcare sector is showing itself to be a valuable marketplace to compete in.

In fact, healthcare may be the new frontier of startup innovation. In a sector traditionally ruled by major multinationals and established insurance providers, there’s now more room for small and medium sized companies to get in and get a piece of the action. Healthcare costs to consumers and their employers may be gradually leveling off, which makes for a more stable healthcare ecosystem. The economy on the whole is still recovering itself, and consumers are starting to get comfortable again.

2017 looks like it might be the year that medical costs find an equilibrium. In a consumer-centric healthcare world, which PwC calls the New Health Economy, there are more B2C options, and B2B will find some unique opportunities, too. Let’s look at a few different ways that an entrepreneur could approach this new health economy.

  1. Biotechnology

Innovation in business often means building a better mousetrap. But the biotech sector relies on medical and scientific expertise to produce innovations that are groundbreaking on a whole different level. Advancements in biotechnology can save and prolong lives, and change the way we understand our own biology.

Right now, there is a massive amount of capital going into biotech, and that means a lot of innovation coming out of it. We’re likely to see 30 biotech IPOs this year, and if the past few years have been any indication, there will be plenty of venture capital pouring into innovative biotech startups. Along with software, biotech receives more venture capital than any other industry. There has never been a better time to seek financing for a biotech startup.

  1. Mental Health and Recovery

Consider Sovereign Health, a clinic for addiction and mental health disorders. It might not sound like the most lucrative venture, but the company has grown 721% over the last three years to a $75M business. This growth demonstrates the opportunities to be found within this segment.

Sovereign’s innovation lies in the way they frame and treat addiction, which they say is more of a chronic disease, like diabetes, than an acute, short term affliction. Their methods seem to be working. Last month Sovereign announced that they surpassed the national average in clinical effectiveness.

You may not have thought of mental health as your next big undertaking, but consider the steady demand for services like these. And, as in all healthcare disciplines, the financial rewards are often secondary to the good that can be done in the lives of patients.

  1. Wellness and Preventative Care

A recent survey found that consumers want more nutritional advice, and 79% of those polled said they would welcome tips on weight management or diet from a nutritionist. The health sector isn’t just limited to insurance, and in fact it’s not even limited to medicine. Wellness includes industries such as diet foods, health tracking software, wearable technologies like fitbit and the still-increasing world of yoga classes and accessories.

Wellness innovations are creeping into every aspect of our lives, and with good results. There’s an app called HealthyOut that helps people locate and browse healthy dining options when they’re planning a meal out. On the surface this is a tech startup, but the need that they’re meeting is in health and wellness. Broaden your assumptions about what the medical economy does and doesn’t include. There are countless different facets to this industry, and each one has its own consumer demands.

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