MedTech and Telemedicine Startups: From Idea to First Customers

Gayane Tamrazyan
HealthCare Projects

The MedTech and telemedicine markets are actively developing now. The pandemic has led to a tremendous interest in this area. Both users and the authorities of different countries express their interest in this market. Accordingly, the investment attractiveness of MedTech and telemedicine startups has grown. But when launching a MedTech project, there are a number of considerations that a beginner startup needs to take into account. This post deals with the concept of starting a medical project: from generating a concept to choosing investors.

MedTech and Telemedicine Startups: From Idea to First Customers

Expected growth of the telemedicine market till 2026 according to Statista

Telemedicine or telehealth is one of the most revolutionizing aspects in healthcare as of late. The idea behind this term is about contacting a healthcare professional over the telephone. Secure cloud storage, interoperable electronic health records, and wearable health trackers have further encouraged users to take advantage of the telemedicine. With the pervasive presence of smartphones, the growth of the telemedicine market has found massive impetus, with the industry valuation projected to surpass $175 billion by 2026.

The medical technology or MedTech industry is a prominent part of the healthcare sector. It refers to medical devices that simplify the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. The most popular products within this area are pacemakers, imaging instruments, dialysis machines, and implants. 

How to choose an idea?

One of the easiest options is to analyze the global market. It is worth choosing an idea that has already taken root and has shown itself to be successful there – all that remains is to apply it to our realities.

Using technologies for storing medical data in cloud services is already an established practice in the USA. Various trackers (heart rate, sleep, etc.), are long known and widely spread there. 

Whether a Telemedicine App, a Healthcare or Doctor’s appointment App, projects in this area keep on emerging. Many companies enter the global market with a health care project. Starting a medical project is challenging, but rewarding.

First, a startup should compete with similar projects, and this will even be an incentive for development. 

Secondly, there are startups that dominate in the US and Canadian markets, but they do not exist, for example, in Europe. Therefore, opportunities for development, including international development, can always be found. 

Another option is to answer the question: what project could solve a specific problem in the medical field and really help people.

What really matters for a medical tech project is the benefit that a product or solution can bring to people.

For example, projects in the field of telemedicine are of value, since this is an opportunity to quickly contact any doctor and get a consultancy. Trackers that help improve sleep patterns or monitor the state of the body make life easier.

If we talk about an area in which we would like to see active development, then these are, perhaps, technologies that allow non-invasive extraction and determination of blood glucose levels.

Of course, you also need to analyze the market and see if there are already similar projects, and generally study what startups are now represented in this area.

For this, the Crunchbase site is ideal, which contains information on startups from various industries. You can see how much investment there is and what funds were invested in specific projects, compare the turnover of companies.

StartupRanking provides a ranking of startups around the world by location and country.

It is also worth exploring the reviews and forecasts of analytical firms such as MarketsandMarkets, Teladoc, etc.

Case study

EcoBox MedTech Project
EcoBox MedTech Project

Vladimir Sadkov, co-founder of EcoBox startup, once visited a friend who works in a beauty salon and noticed a sterilizer for manicure supplies on her desk. It turned out that ultraviolet or bactericidal lamps act on the DNA of microbes and break it down. At the same time, they cannot cause any harm to the object, be it a manicure tool, jewelry or electrical appliance. This is how the idea of ​​a startup selling ultraviolet sterilizers EcoBox appeared – compact fashionable boxes for disinfecting and cleaning smartphones, as well as other small household items with which we are in daily contact.

How to start promoting a health care startup?

After choosing an idea, you need to make a minimum viable product (MVP) and analyze the audience segments that will be interested in it. A competent analysis of the target audience will provide the initial client base to which advertising will be directed.

Moreover, at this stage, the goal is not so much to introduce a product but to get feedback (reviews and comments).

In the case of a medical tech startup, the most important thing for promotion is the evidence base confirming that the startup really has value, as it makes life easier for people. The evidence base includes reviews of customers who have already bought a product, certification and any documentation that indicates that this is a living and working idea.

But in order to find the first customers, you need to do at least a minimal advertisement for the product, the so-called seeding of content to the target audience. After the first customers buy the product, they collect feedback, and with this evidence base, you can already enter the wide market.

Case study

Mira Hormone Tracking MedTech Project
Mira MedTech Project

Another way to promote a health care product is the affiliate marketing

Sylvia M. Kang, Co-Founder, and CEO  of Mira shares how she did promote her business.

Mira is an AI-powered at-home hormone tracking system. While promoting her business, Sylvia decided to include an affiliate program into her marketing strategy. She called it Mira Club. 

Sylvia: “Mira Affiliate Program is a massive part of our marketing strategy, and it’s divided into two parts: Affiliate Program for Influencers and Affiliate Program for B2B partners. 

We are reaching out to healthcare experts and influencers interested in fertility, parenthood, and natural family planning. 

The key to attracting them is to give them the freedom to provide their audience with honest and independent feedback after the trial of our product. We do not offer an Affiliate Program as a first step. Instead, we propose to check Mira Fertility Tracker after understanding that Mira in general fits their needs and interests. We do this to make sure that the Affiliate Program will benefit both parties and our common audience”.

Affiliate Marketing is just at the beginning of its way. Additionally, we’ve created a webpage dedicated to our Affiliate Program, and it is a great way to invite an engaged audience to spread the word about the product. This makes the initial product promotion a lot easier, as people are more likely to buy something new if there are already positive comments about it.

Sylvia

How and where to find investors?

First, you should understand that the times when you could come up with a cool idea and come to investors with it are over. Of course, this happens, but basically, everyone now starts with creating an MVP. And so it is much easier and more profitable to go to investors.

When there is an MVP, the chances are higher for more funding with more comfortable conditions for cooperation.

Moreover, it should be borne in mind that the area of ​​HealthTech and MedTech are the areas where investors do not even look at the idea itself, but at the applied value of a particular product or solution.

The easiest way to find an investor is to write to them directly on social networks. For example, you can message CEOs of large companies on Facebook and Instagram.

But you need not just get in touch with investors, but immediately interest them, and this will require a presentation. Such a presentation contains introductory information about the startup: its mission, the problem it solves, and the development stage.

It is worth sending applications and investment presentations to “investment clubs” such as National Association of Investors Corporation or similar companies.

If we talk about the choice of specific investors, then first of all you need to pay attention to those who are already investing in projects from your area. 

Look for contacts on official sites and send an investment presentation by mail. The more foundations see the presentation, the more likely one of them will be interested in the project.

Often, information about which projects specific funds are investing in can be found in open sources, for example, in relevant articles in the media, but you can directly contact the fund and find out if they are interested in a startup of a particular focus. This question should be supported by a competent investment presentation.

Also, it is recommended to go to investors when the startup already has its first clients.

Investors found – what’s next?

When investors are found, you need to come to grips with the strategy of promotion and sales. It is necessary to draw up three documents that will determine the development plan for the startup.

First, it is a financial and economic model for the next 2-3 years. The indicators indicated in it will help to understand when a startup deviates from the plan and in which direction.

Second, a sales plan with specific channels. The main thing here is to determine what channels the startup will have (B2B or B2C, online or offline, etc.).

And the last – just the direct promotion strategy for the coming years, that is, understanding what products the startup will produce, how the line will expand, how the startup will capture new market shares. This also applies to the team: you need to understand what kind of specialists are needed for the development and promotion of the project.

Despite the fact that this is paperwork that many do not like, having such documents makes it much easier to find investors for a startup and increases the chances that the project will be successful.

How to further promote a startup?

Startup promotion channels depend on its specifics, but we can definitely say that no project will start without advertising. Advertising is the fuel for launching a startup. You need to declare your project to the widest possible audience (taking into account a specific target audience).

In parallel with this, you need to improve your product, for which you track customer reviews – and immediately fix errors.

Ideally, of course, you should use a combination of different promotion channels, taking into account the target audience of the product. Think about promoting with the help of microbloggers and social networks to collect the evidence base. After that, focus on promoting your project through the media, since this is already a slightly different level, especially if we are talking about large business publications.

Healthcare data security

Healthcare startups will have to have to ensure a reliable IT cloud infrastructure for their projects. Constant changes in configuration, options, and service offerings require IT, professionals, to have the expertise and current training in cloud services. Selecting the best cloud configuration settings will increase performance and save thousands of dollars monthly for medical projects. At Simtech Development we provide secure hosting, platforms, add-ons, and custom development for healthcare projects. You can be sure that you get an all-in-one service right from one place, stay secure, and provide value to your customers.

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