Giving Compass' Take:

· TechCrunch takes a look the most crushing challenges in the world of healthcare that need to be addressed before healthcare startups can truly deliver.

· What challenges does TechCrunch list as the barriers blocking startup success? Why is it important to address these challenges? 

· Check out these opportunities to help improve healthcare reform.

Digital health startups seem to be struggling to the point of failure. Many insights into why have addressed how technology’s traditional model of quickly putting out a minimum viable product then finding useful applications and business models isn’t working. The model might work in the general technology startup space, but it rarely goes well in the complex world of healthcare. Dr. Paul Yock, a cardiologist and founder of the Byers Center for Biodesign at Stanford University, built his brainchild program on one philosophy to help healthcare startups: need-based innovation.

Need-based innovation is a process in which problems are identified and sorted based on impact and opportunity. Once the top problem has been selected, solutions and commercialization are approached.

While I completely agree with need-based innovation, our healthcare system is set up to discourage all forms of  innovation right now. We also must tackle changing the ecosystem that healthcare startups need to navigate. As a physician-innovator, I have experienced how institutional policies, hierarchical and administrator-driven systems and pilot program dynamics are creating a stunted ecosystem that is not reaching its full potential.

When approaching any stakeholder a health startup usually works with — an advisor, a healthcare system, a pilot site — the wheel often needs to be reinvented. The entrepreneur is faced with a time-consuming and costly disadvantage that frequently forces them to enter deals that hurt them. The deals also counter-intuitively hurt the stakeholder that they are bringing on board because the technologies and companies on which they are counting are set up to fail. There needs to be a clear set of rules for everyone to play by to accelerate growth, with the philosophy that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Read the full article about healthcare startups by David Riggs at TechCrunch.