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How to grow your healthcare app?

Running a MedTech startup can be an exhaustive feat. The risk is higher than for almost any other vertical, the costs of building and launching a healthcare product are huge, and, on top of that, the regulatory clearance might take a long time.

Quite a bleak perspective, huh? Not entirely. Fortunately, there are ways to accelerate your growth, especially in the product design and development phase, where you have more control over the pace of your progress. In this guide, we’ll share proven strategies for taking your MedTech startup to the next level. You’ll learn how to develop a healthcare app with innovation in mind, how to secure money for your product’s expansion, and, finally, how to increase your chances of getting funded if you’re seeking external investment.

Six strategies to boost your MedTech business

Start an R&D department

It’s easy to dismiss this idea because it may seem like an extravagant spending for up-and-coming companies. The advantages of R&D efforts, however, can be really beneficial for growing startups. Your R&D team can find ways to improve product quality, accelerate time to market, or reduce operational costs. As a healthcare startup on the rise, you need these advantages. And as for the costs associated with running an R&D department, keep in mind that R&D projects can be supported by financial grants and tax incentives offered by many countries.

Develop a few prototypes

Prototyping is a crucial step in developing any digital products, but for healthcare apps, it seems almost indispensable. The chances are that your MedTech startup is trying to change the traditional ways of treating or diagnosing patients. Before you go full-speed on your innovation, you might want to build a prototype to test whether your idea is technically feasible and whether it works the way you intended it. Spending some extra time on software prototyping can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Experiment with new technologies

Yes, you can do that at the product prototyping stage, but it’s never really too late to try out new, better tools as long as you’re still working on the product.

Rewriting the whole application to a different programming language or framework might be worth it, but there are less time and cost-consuming ways to get an advantage here. As technologies evolve, new tools appear that can remarkably improve your product and, as a result, give your business a boost. How? You can, for example, enhance your app’s performance or add features that were unviable to build with the technology available back when you started developing your product.

Seek an external development partner

Partnering with product development teams is a solid strategy both when you want to build a new healthcare app, and when you want to maintain your existing product. Of course, specialized software development companies come with significant technical expertise. There’s, however, another advantage of hiring external teams that is often overlooked.

When you employ a team of programmers and designers to build your healthcare app, you and your team can focus on working on other aspects of building your business. Imagine that you were making an app with your in-house team of coders. Every time you needed to plug in extra hands or add new technology to your product’s scope, you would have to complete lengthy recruitment processes or having your team members learn new things from scratch. Software development companies have these challenges figured out, so they can really accelerate the progress of your app’s development.

Focus on your marketing strategy

This strategy is best suited for MedTech startups whose products are already on the market. If you feel that you need to get your business out of a slump, the best answer might be to go back to the drawing board and work on your marketing strategy.

Analyze your current marketing efforts and their effects, look closely at your target group, try to benchmark your activities against successful healthcare startups. Once you’re fully aware of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it is turning out, you can come up with new ideas. Perhaps there are markets you haven’t tried yet? Or promising channels you didn’t use to communicate with your audience? Refreshing your marketing strategy might be an effective way to grow your business.

Research your users

It’s always a good idea to immerse yourself in your users’ POV. You get to uncover their needs and pain points, which, in turn, may inspire you to either improve your existing product or add new features to it. As time goes by, your users’ opinions may change, so user research is worth doing regularly, not just before you start designing your healthcare app.

How to finance a healthcare app startup?

Hopefully, at this point, you see that there are several ways of accelerating your startup’s growth. Many of them, however, require a considerable investment, which you might not be able to afford on your own. The financing itself is actually also a sound strategy for taking your business to the next level: with extra funds, you can develop and validate your product faster, or market it on a broader scale. MedTech startups usually consider the following types of financing:

  • VC funding - with 2019 being yet another record-breaking year for healthcare venture fundraising ($10.7 billion), businesses operating in different areas of healthcare are seeking funding from VCs. Startups that are able to disrupt the cost, quality and access to healthcare have a real shot at securing funds from top VCs in the industry.
  • Crowdfunding - raising money from donors through crowdfunding platforms has been popular among startup founders. It could be a good idea for you, especially if your product is consumer-facing, and you are confident you will be able to deliver the perks you promise to your backers (e.g., manufacture and ship the product).
  • Equity crowdfunding - this may be the most optimal way to raise money quickly for many healthcare startups. Unlike the traditional crowdfunding, here you’re raising funds in exchange for equity/shares in your business. Before you publish your offer on one of equity crowdfunding platforms, you will most likely go through a screening process to determine if you’re the right fit: be ready to provide financial plans or your business strategy.
  • Self-funded - it may be the case that you’re able to start generating profits quickly. In that case, the self-funded route might be the right choice for you. Granted, you probably won’t be able to grow as dynamically as VC-backed businesses, but you’ll have complete control of your company.

You might wonder when is the right time to seek investment for your healthcare startup. The reality is that there are at least two suitable stages at which you may want to consider external financing:

  • You have a great idea that’s already been validated (at least to some extent), and you need extra money to develop the product.
  • You already have a functioning product, but you want to take it to the next level (e.g., through clinical validation), and you want to finance the development and regulatory processes.

Prove that your healthcare app ideas are worth financing

You might have all the healthcare app ideas in the world (at least figuratively), but if you want to raise money from investors, you need to show something more than just a great concept. These tools will help you win startup financing:

  • Pitch deck - if you’ve got yourself a meeting with people who can invest in your product, they probably expect you to pitch this product to them. While a slide-based presentation is not the only way to draw investors’ interest, it will help you to convey a coherent and clear message about your business.

We’ve actually prepared a template for MedTech pitch decks, so go ahead and check it out. You’ll save yourself a ton of work.

  • Prototype - we could argue that a solid prototype will be more effective in terms of securing funds than the slickest presentation. A prototype can prove that your idea is feasible, and it will make it easier to imagine the benefits your product can bring to patients or medical professionals.
  • Product mockup - say that you’ve already done some critical conceptual work regarding the design and UX of your product. Why not then prepare a product mockup and show that you have much more than just an idea? Again, as it is the case with prototypes, your mockup may help people see the value in your product.
  • Landing page - this is your opportunity to show off your products’ benefits clearly, present its mockups, share the data proving your point. A well-constructed landing page will help you draw attention to your startup.
    Data - whether it’s market reports or early user feedback, if you have some research to support your claims, definitely show it off! Prove that your idea has legs and that you’ve done the research regarding your target audience and their needs.

Growing a MedTech startup: resources for founders

Tips, inspiration, and even ready-to-use templates. Browse our article library to find useful blog posts for healthcare app founders.

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