The last decade has seen almost every industry disrupted by players who took a customer-centric approach to enable greater convenience and flexibility for its users. In turn, this created new consumer expectations and demands for other services and sectors, like health. With an enormous potential market (almost 7 trillion in the US alone), an industry that hasn’t kept up with new consumer demands, and an increased interest in personal health and well-being, smart money is flowing quickly into the sector.
But what is Health Tech?
The depth and range of projects across Health Tech make it hard to pin down. For many people, the health industry is linked to their personal experience or what they’ve seen in pop culture. The result is that an easy catch-all definition for the Health Tech sector is hard to find.
Some see Health Tech and MedTech being differentiated simply by where on the timeline the caring takes place: Health Tech is preventative care or “healthcare-at-home,” and MedTech is care, treatment, and diagnostics for existing conditions in institutions like hospitals. Then there’s BioTech, the pharmacologic products and services used in care, which often fits in the same stage of care as MedTech. And finally, there’s even DeathTech, which needs no explanation of its placement on the care timeline.
Health Tech is any technology-enabled healthcare product or service that aims to optimize patient-centric healthcare delivery while decreasing costs. That means it can be consumer-facing at any stage in the care timeline, or it can be behind-the-care B2B services and products.
Some of the niches we’ve seen in Health Tech include, but aren’t limited to; Anti-aging, Neurotechnology, Medical Robotics, Wearables and Trackers, Gene Therapies, Mental Health, SleepTech, Assistive Technology, Psychedelics, FemTech, Fertility, Virtual Reality, Medical Exoskeletons, Prosthetics, Health Education, Therapy, Rehabilitation, Mindfulness, and even PetTech. There are certainly more niches within the Health Tech sector.
With so many possible use cases, services, and stakeholders across Health Tech, we predict early-stage startups will begin pivoting their existing business into the Health sector.
However, unlike many other sectors that have taken off through lean approaches to innovation, the barriers to entry are higher in Health Tech. For many areas in Health Tech, there’s either strict regulation or the risk of causing severe harm to an end-user. That can mean more extended approval and development times, and thus the need for longer financial runways.
Other factors can make Health Tech more challenging than other sectors, such as differing regional healthcare regulations and everyone’s favorite topic in Germany, GDPR Datenschutz / Privacy. But one startup’s challenge or roadblock is another’s opportunity for innovation. Digitalization, data sharing, and privacy in Health Tech is a ripe opportunity.
To demonstrate the breadth of Health Tech, here’s a list of Berlin Health Tech startups from early-stage to IPO-ready.
Amboss helps medical students learn faster and better, and that makes for better practitioners later. It also distills complex medical information to help active practitioners be more efficient and to improve patient outcomes.
An app that tracks over 20 symptoms related to your body, mind, lifestyle, thyroid medications, and supplements so you can chart how your lifestyle impacts your well-being, especially if you have Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Medigo pivoted away from being a Medical Travel Platform to focus on helping serving insurers, members, and hospitals with comprehensive third-party administration services to generate savings at every step of the patient journey.
Yoni is an app and paired hardware that women can use to train their pelvic through and reduce issues with incontinence, especially after giving birth.
Berlin Founders Fund has recently launched a Health Tech Fund.
We give selected founders a 24K€ check without taking any equity. In addition, we support founders through a 12-month residence in Berlin to build their startup and get it ready for the next stage.
We encourage early-stage founders to apply herebefore October 1 to join our first Health Tech cohort.
If you’re still not sure whether your startup fits in Health Tech or you have other questions about our Fund, be sure to check the website FAQ or come along to our monthly meetup.
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