The 5 Mistakes Most Healthcare Startups Make (And How to Avoid Them)
Healthcare product design and development can come with its share of risk – from products failing to meet business or consumer needs, to more stressful problems like falling outside of compliance or regulatory standards.
The good news? You’re not alone. The SeeSaw Labs team has worked with dozens of companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to large global enterprises. We’ve compiled the most critical information you need to know about designing your next healthcare product successfully.
Mistake #1: Building an idea instead of solving a real problem
You will not be able to learn much about your product until it is shipped live for real users to experience. Getting to this point fast is critical.
Oftentimes, new product leaders will expect to receive rave reviews off the bat – leading to an endless search for perfection before pushing it live. You may have great ideas, but it’s important to be realistic, cost-effective, and fail fast.
How to avoid it: In-depth user research, “jobs to be done” analysis
To successfully design a healthcare product and bring it to market, you must be willing to look and get feedback as early in the process as possible. This will not always be (and rarely will be) positive, but it is invaluable in terms of making your product commercially relevant.
Spend time talking directly with users during development phases; ask questions regarding desired features and even reach out via surveys – doing so helps build relationships with customers post launch too, meaning greater chances of success long term once available for full commercial operations.
Mistake #2: Not getting a product MVP up fast enough
When building a healthcare start-up, deciding on which direction to take your product so that it succeeds in the market is typically the most pressing challenge. Without proper guidance and understanding, entrepreneurs can quickly find themselves making costly mistakes that could put the entire project at risk.
How to avoid it: Prototype rapidly with a lean mindset
It is critical that you sprint towards your first MVP with as much speed and grace as possible. In the early stages, focus solely on the need-to-have feature(s) that differentiate your product in the market and make an exceptional experience for the user.
By doing ample research, talking to users, and understanding the competitive landscape, entrepreneurs can ensure they are avoiding costly healthcare startup mistakes and setting themselves up for success.
Mistake #3: Overlooking key industry requirements
Healthcare product development comes with rigorous guidelines that engineers, marketers, and salespeople must uphold. Being meticulous in this regard will pay off down the line. You will need to address these concerns at some point, so getting your product compliant will save you big time.
How to avoid it: Understand interoperability, industry standards
Technology develops rapidly. To be successful in a competitive industry, it’s essential that your team is fully aware of the requirements set forth by regulatory agencies.
To ensure a successful launch, founders should follow these steps:
Research local regulatory rules – Healthcare startups must be aware of the laws governing healthtech products in their locality. It is also important to consider potential changes to existing legislature as technology evolves over time. Healthcare startup mistakes can be avoided by consulting legal advisors.
Get help from experts – Healthcare regulation specialists can help founders navigate through all the paperwork required for an efficient launch process. These services can also ensure continued alignment with set standards after launch day.
Execute & continuously review processes – Executing well-thought-out plans is necessary due to the complexity involved. Multiple teams must work together to adhere to protocols stipulated by healthcare organizations such as the FDA.
Mistake #4: Running through cash too fast – with nothing to show
To maintain a cost-efficient approach, it’s important to deploy capital sparingly in the beginning stages so that you can improve as needed. Getting to your first iteration quickly and cheaply will give you the most bang for your buck.
How to avoid it: Waste time trying to get your product perfect the first (or 100th) time
To avoid this mistake, entrepreneurs should have clearly defined goals and milestones they want to reach with their budget.
It’s important for businesses to create financial plans and forecasts which are regularly reviewed against actual performance so corrective action can be taken if needed before major losses occur as a result of irresponsible spending habits.
Having a clear understanding of basic finance principles beyond simple math calculations and ratios used in everyday life activities such as paying bills from paycheck wages received from employers at fulltime jobs within industries unrelated directly connected and supportive services towards meeting company standards outside comfort zones usually explored only under high levels of stress during problem solving situations is essential.
Mistake #5: Not letting users into the product early enough
What problem is your app solving?
What features should it have?
These questions must be answered before committing resources into development, especially if you plan on launching within limited funds and timelines set by investors or industry standards/regulations.
Further research such as testing out existing products in the same space can provide invaluable insight into what works best for users, allowing you to develop more effective feature sets from day one.
How to avoid it: Launch… even if you think you’re not ready!
Getting real-world users into your software or mobile app is the only way to stress-test the ideas generated in the beginning of development. Launch your product even before you think its ready so that when the time comes, you can be confident in it’s success in the market.
Conclusion: Healthcare Technology Comes With It’s Share Of Mishaps
In conclusion, starting a healthcare startup is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. By avoiding common mistakes like failing to conduct proper market research, developing an MVP that’s too broad or too narrow, burning through cash too quickly, not meeting industry regulations, and neglecting the customer experience, early-stage founders can increase their chances of success.