Reality of mHealth start-ups

Unknown-1KEY TAKEAWAY:A central theme in today’s tech industry is that start-ups, which promise to disrupt lucrative businesses,  become valued on the basis of fantasies about their potential rather than present reality. Investors are so keen to get a piece of any sexy-sounding startup that they lap up entrepreneurs’ hype—and anyone who asks awkward questions risks being cut out of the funding round in favor of someone more trusting.

I was going through some research with HCP’s about mobile health apps and one of the first key findings was that “doctor’s don’t trust patients to be complaining when it comes to mhealth apps and devices, even ones that could significantly improve their health”.  Now the key question “why?”.  Because most apps are not patient friendly and require patients to change their routines.


There is a lot of VC money flowing into all kinds of health startups from mhealth to doctors on demand video conferencing, but 99% of them will be gone in less than five years.  Patients want more empathy from health care, not less. Talking to a doctor, who doesn’t know you or your medical history, is frankly not the way to go.  Sure, it may work for people who just want a simple Rx but taking care of patients requires physicians to play detective.

mHealth apps require people to change behavior and any marketer understands that is hard to do, even when you offer incentives.  Treating patients like people who look for help and support is the new formula for healthcare regardless of the hype around disruptive start-ups.