How to start a business in Medtech

Many entrepreneurs nowadays are interested in starting a healthcare business. After all, demand for services in the healthcare industry is at an all-time high. In recent years, we have witnessed the digital health market grow from a niche sector to a market-leading juggernaut. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the technical advancement of the Medtech sector and that momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

According to research, venture funding for digital health has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. While the total venture funding was estimated at around $7.7 billion in 2019, that number doubled to a considerable $14.7 billion in 2020. The average deal size in 2021 was $39.6 million. There is continued investor interest in on-demand models, comprehensive primary care, behavioural health, fitness, and prevention (source).

What is medical technology?

Medical technology refers to the implementation of the knowledge and skills of experts to solve health issues and improve the quality of life of the population. This includes the development of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, procedures, organisational systems, and healthcare software.

Medical technology has become indispensable in this day and age. For example, one can’t start a medical practice without the implementation of digital solutions such as electronic health records (EHR). Research shows that nearly all hospitals in the US implement certified EHR. The software allows hospitals and private medical practices to understand patient demographics, view lab reports, review clinical guidelines, and much more (source).

Medtech accelerator program for entrepreneurs

What are the types of medical technology?

Thanks to the latest advancements in healthcare technology, we have an ever-growing number of available medical solutions. Modern Medtech companies make use of all kinds of innovative tech, including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, wearable devices, and more.

According to the MedTech Europe Association, which represents diagnostic and medical device manufacturers in Europe, there are three main categories of Medtech (source):

  1. Medical devices: These are products, services, and solutions that prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat, and care for humans. Medical device companies produce all kinds of goods, including syringes, implants, and digital applications such as specialized medical billing software.

  2. In vitro diagnostics (IVDs): The purpose of IVDs is to determine the status of one’s health without any direct contact. Biological samples from blood, urine, tissue, and other materials are used to provide healthcare professionals with the right information in order to produce an accurate diagnosis. These are used extensively, from HIV or pregnancy tests to blood sugar monitoring systems for diabetics.

  3. Digital health & care: Digital health solutions provide medical professionals with technologies that play a vital role in improving the efficiency of health systems. Medical startups use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to offer more personalized, predictive, and precise healthcare solutions.

Some of the most outstanding technologies currently improving healthcare services include:

  • mRNA technology: Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a single-stranded molecule that can carry genetic information derived from DNA. It can be used in vaccines to produce vital proteins and enhance the body’s immune response.

  • Virtual reality: VR can be implemented to treat and manage a wide range of psychological conditions, from stress and anxiety to dementia and autism.

  • Neurotechnology: Encompassing all components developed to understand the human brain, this competency allows medical professionals to visualize brain processes and control, repair, and improve brain function. Neurotechnology is currently used in brain imaging and neurostimulation.

  • Artificial intelligence: The use of AI in healthcare is revolutionizing the way diseases are detected. AI can help monitor early-stage heart disease and cancer with astounding accuracy, thereby helping patients get the care they need when they need it.

  • 3D printing: Thanks to 3D printing, we can produce prosthetics that replicate a patient’s anatomy with high precision. Moreover, 3D printed models help surgeons practice and improve their qualifications in new ways, increasing success rates while also reducing the time spent in the operating room.

  • Precision medicine: This competency considers the individual variability in the genetics, environment, and lifestyle of patients to deliver more accurate care. By using precision medicine, we can tailor treatments to the unique genetic make-up of patients.

  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR): As the most advanced gene-editing technology, CRISPR harnesses the natural mechanisms of the immune system of bacteria and viruses to remove infected DNA strands. Thanks to this technology, we might be able to overcome cancer and HIV in a matter of years.

7 tips to start a Medtech business

1. Have a clear focus

Medtech technologies need to have clear applications to be successful in the market. It doesn’t matter how advanced a piece of medical tech is, as long as it doesn’t have a clear purpose, it will be a very hard sale to investors and potential customers alike. Many entrepreneurs will try to sell “platform solutions” that offer “multiple applications in parallel”. As impressive as they may be, these will sound like snake oil to investors.

2. Identify unmet needs

One of the most accurate ways to gauge the success of a prospective medical solution is to think of the unmet need it is meant to fulfill. For example, the syringe has become extremely successful because it provides an effective and unparalleled method of pharmaceutical delivery. However, an unmet need can also be providing healthcare providers with medical billing services that save money and time.

You can start developing healthcare business ideas by asking questions such as “what is the minimal viable product that can be taken to clinical trial?” and “what product specifications are enough to satisfy an unmet need?”. By addressing these questions, you will be more likely to define clear product strategies and create a sound plan for initial seed funding.

3. Leverage feasibility data

Investors tend to distrust concepts being presented without the data to back them up. Thankfully, a prototype that comes alongside feasibility data will help bring them on board. A feasibility study provides a detailed analysis that contemplates all the critical aspects of a project and thus helps support its likelihood for success.

If you’re seriously considering opening a medical technology business, then you should always provide the information required to support your projects. Investors need to see that the solution they’re putting their money towards relies on strong science and mechanisms of action that are backed up by a solid body of data.

4. Learn more about intellectual property

Intellectual property can easily be the end of any promising project. In this type of business, it is possible to make the mistake of developing a product that ends up infringing hundreds of issued patents, causing investors to back down. A product that doesn’t infringe any patents but is very hard to protect will also be problematic. A top-notch IP lawyer with experience in healthcare/medical devices will be handy, if not essential, for your success.

5. Develop a sound business model

When investors put money into a project, they expect to make it back in spades. Projects in the healthcare industry must be able to provide not only provable medical benefits but also a good potential economic value. Showing investors the market potential of a product is an effective way of catching their attention.

6. Assemble an experienced team

Your chances to succeed in healthcare products and services development will most likely depend on your team. Likewise, investors will be motivated to join your efforts if they notice you have assembled a well-rounded team of medical professionals. On the flip side, an idea that is good enough but without a team ready to develop offers the opportunity of getting interested experienced individuals early into the project.

A fruitful strategy to get the right people on board is to work alongside a business incubator. This type of organization allows startup companies and individual entrepreneurs to develop their projects by providing a wide range of services. These include management training, office space, and help with venture capital financing.

7. Form strategic partnerships

Starting a business in healthcare becomes easier when working in tandem with people experienced in your target markets. If you work with an incubator, you may find yourself in close contact with strategic players who will be happy to share critical knowledge like commercial insights and data in exchange for getting an insider’s scoop into any innovative ideas you may have.

The early-stage funding stage of a Medtech company is not easy, but a team with the right knowledge and mindset can help you accomplish it. In addition, instead of looking for investors just because you should approach those who can provide value beyond the funds. By teaming up with well-connected people, you will reach significant milestones quickly and more efficiently.

Accelerator program for entrepreneurs

TechSlice’s Accelerator Program is the ideal solution for entrepreneurs looking to create products that help save lives. The program takes the burden of finding full funding off your shoulders while also providing you with the technological expertise to launch a viable product effectively in the shortest timeframe.

The goal of the experts at TechSlice is to develop novel concepts that need deeper nurturing. The accelerator program allows entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and work closely with a team of healthcare professionals to bring the best products to the market. A focus on medical software development and integrations together with competencies in market research, UX, marketing, branding, place TechSlice ahead of the curve. The Accelerator program has been designed to empower all professionals dedicated to medical services. Thanks to partnerships with surgeons, clinicians, and technicians who wish to create tangible improvements in care, treatment, research, and devices, TechSlice can help you achieve success with investors, researchers, manufacturers, and patients in all types of medical practices.

Apply today