Viewpoint: Why digital health startups fail

Healthcare may be the most difficult industry in which to launch an innovative new company — even for physicians and others with firsthand, frontline experience in the field — due to increased government regulation and the required scientific backing.

As two leaders of the global MedTech Innovator accelerator program wrote in an op-ed for Stat, "In the life of any startup, there are plenty of opportunities for missteps. And pivoting isn't as easy as it is for companies developing tech solutions, like a photo-sharing app. Mistakes in a healthcare startup can be fatal."

In the op-ed, Paul Grand, founder and CEO of MedTech Innovator, and Kathryn Zavala, PhD, vice president for operations and business development, described 10 of the most common reasons they see healthcare technology startups fail:

  • Failure to properly articulate your value proposition
  • Not having an end-to-end evidence generation strategy
  • Choosing the wrong CEO
  • Staying in stealth too long
  • Thinking the direct-to-consumer model will make life easier
  • Choosing the wrong initial indication
  • Product doesn't fit into existing workflows
  • Misunderstanding the payment and reimbursement dynamic
  • Putting too much money and effort into pilot programs
  • Staying in your echo chamber

More articles on innovation:
PBM startup wins Accenture HealthTech Innovation competition
Providence's Aaron Martin on how a recent digital health investment is boosting patient engagement
Why diversity is a 'guiding light' for the majority-female team behind the Boston Children's innovation accelerator

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