By: April Joyner
New apps and devices are bringing diagnosis and treatment straight to the end consumer.
The Affordable Care Act put a spotlight on the surging cost of health care. Now, companies are developing products–including fitness apps and glucose monitors–that aim to help consumers take control of their health and cut their costs. Your products should bring sleek, user-friendly design to even the most intimidating and opaque areas of health care, such as cancer screening.
Jawbone, WeightWatchers, Nike. Privately held companies include Castlight Health and Zocdoc.
Investors are very interested…
Digital health care companies raised $1.4 billion from VCs last year, up 46 percent from 2011, according to incubator Rock Health.
…So are strategic buyers.
That includes insurance companies and other tech firms. Aetna bought Healthagen, maker of health reference app iTriage, in 2011. In February, Jawbone acquired Massive Health, maker of the meal-tracking app Eatery.
Brace for red tape
Start-ups have to navigate a maze of regulations regarding consumer privacy and health claims. Certain apps, like diagnostic tools, may require FDA approval.
What’s the ideal prior job?
Big Data engineer or a doctor or medical researcher. Design skills help, too.
Wearables: Sensor-based technology that track users’ vital signs. Wearables comprise one of the leading segments in consumer healthcare.